We first met young cycling enthusiast Riley Evitts about 12 months ago, when he was just eight years of age and completed an impressive 800-kilometre ride from Melbourne to Adelaide in support of the Little Heroes Foundation.
That was a huge undertaking and since then, Riley, who is now aged nine, has been keeping up his road riding with his pop, Paul Turnbull, with regular day trips around the state.
Now the pair is trying a new cycling discipline – track cycling.
They signed up with the Port Adelaide Cycling Club late last year, after Riley’s interest in track cycling was sparked following a visit to the Adelaide Superdrome to watch the South Australian Junior Track Cycling Championships.
“I couldn’t believe how fast they were going; I wanted to go that fast,” Riley said.
Riley took part in his first time-trial not long after.
“I have been training with the Port Adelaide Cycling Club at their outdoor velodrome and have built up endurance with long distance road cycling but track cycling is very different,” he said.
“You need to put in 100 per cent the whole time, so you can’t ride for as long but you get to be more strategic and go fast.
“I also had to get a new bike that has no brakes which has been interesting to get used to.”
One of the youngest riders taking part in time trial training, Riley regularly competes against boys who are 12 or 13 years old, but this doesn’t daunt him.
“It pushes me to do better and try harder,” he said.
“My favourite race is the flying 200 and my goal for this year is to beat my best time of 17.36 seconds and get under 17 seconds.
“I am not old enough to compete officially yet but am enjoying learning new skills.
Riley said he would one day love to compete for Australia, citing Anna Mears as an idol.
“I have met Anna through my connections with the Little Heroes Foundation and watched a few of her races on youtube and she is a real inspiration to me,” he said.
“I also follow Nicolas Paul, who holds the world record for the flying 200 of 9.100 seconds, and my dream is to one day beat this time!”
Big dreams Riley, all the best as you chase them.