Treading familiar ground
Mike Pearson saw the sign early.
He knew his young son Trevor, then just three-years-old, was athletic. What he didn’t yet know was his strength and determination.
Mike, an avid triathlete along with his wife Donna who he met in 1988 at the South Slope Triathlon Club in Vancouver, soon found out.
“Trevor’s daycare used to be about a kilometre and a half away and I had to get a run in,” says Mike. “So, I ran to the daycare and said to him, ‘Trevor, I’m sorry I can’t drive you home today. We have to walk or run home. And he turns to me, and this is from a three-year-old, and says, ‘It’s okay dad, I haven’t had my workout yet today.’ And he ran all the way home with me.”
That was a little over 13 years ago, and that first hint of something special is showing up big time now. Trevor, close to 17, is having a break out cycling season as the podium finishes rack up and the opportunity to race on home soil at the 2012 Tour de Delta this weekend.
This season Trevor, who lives with his family in North Delta, has already managed four wins and placed third in the provincials, an 82 km road race a few weeks ago in Victoria.
“It came down to a sprint between me and the second place rider and I didn’t quite get him. But, it’s gonna happen,” says the soft-spoken, Grade 11 French immersion student at Burnsview Secondary with an underlying competitive fire.
This season he also placed third at the West Side Cycling Classic around Pacific Spirit Park near the University of B.C.
Not bad considering Trevor only started riding about four years ago—it happened almost by accident when he was 12.
He wasn’t old enough to compete in the BC Summer Games as a triathlete. So, he entered the cycling event instead.
“The coach at the time then got me into the track at the velodrome and I gradually started getting more into it,” Trevor says.
He had a good base to start with. Trevor was initially a soccer player and competitive swimmer—one of his records with the swim club at Sungod still stands in the 1,500 metre freestyle.
But it was his parents’ love of competing in triathlons that got Trevor on a bike.
“I kinda grew up on a bike,” he says. “First of all, I would be fooling around on my mountain bike. Then I did a triathlon or two and got into things.”
“Trevor has grown up in a pretty active family,” says dad Mike, who just like his wife, sports Iron Man tattoos as testament to his commitment to and achievement in sport.
With that as a template Trevor’s steady rise up the standings over the years has him making a name for himself with the Coastal Cycling Club as a Category 3 rider.
Expectations are that he will soon move up to join the Category 1 and 2 riders that includes professionals.
“Last year was an alright season because I was racing in a lower category,” says Trevor. “Nothing super stood out. But this year, things have all of a sudden started to click.”
And click they have as his results have earned Trevor a place on the B.C. provincial team that recently competed at nationals in Quebec.
Also on the road ahead is the Tour of Abitibi, an international, seven-day stage race for 16 and 17-year-olds held in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Quebec.
“I leave for nationals on June 25 and come back July 3, and the Tour of Abitibi is July 16.”
“That will be his first exposure to road closures and full support,” says Mike. “It’s big time racing and a pretty big deal to go back there.”
In between Trevor will tackle the Tour de Delta’s Brenco Criterium July 7 on the streets of Ladner Village.
The Tour de Delta does not have Cat 3 races for its other events—the MK Delta Criterium in North Delta on July 6 and the White Spot Road Race on July 8 that, for men, starts in North Delta and winds its way to the finish line in Tsawwassen.
But this will not be the first time the North Delta rider has been a part of the Tour de Delta. Mom Donna counts the Kids Criterium in Ladner four years back as her son’s first “real race.”
“He’d (Trevor) done a short course triathlon in the morning, left there and had jean shorts on, then happened to get into the (Ladner) race at the last minute and ended up winning it,” Donna says.
Trevor says that coming back to the Delta race has special significance for him.
“It’s cool being able to say I raced the Tour de Delta because friends and people I know say they are going to go out and watch it,” he says. “It’s great to have a local race.”
While his progress has been ramped up this season dad Mike knows his son has to be brought along slowly, nurturing his talent with the right amount of experience that will serve him well in the long run.
“Because he’s only 16, that’s the level he’s been racing at so he can lean how to win,” says Mike. “But, it’s not just about winning. It’s about doing it (riding) different ways sometimes, like breaking away, which he did in a couple of races earlier this year. He took off from the pack, left them behind and ended up winning the race.”
Trevor has also found success by sprinting from the pack that made for very close finishes.
“He’s right in there for the wins and second and thirds are still pretty good,” Mike says.
Helping boost Trevor’s enthusiasm has been the recent success of Victoria cyclist Ryder Hesjedal who won the Giro D’Italia last month—the first Canadian to win a major cycling event.
“It’s fantastic to have someone like Ryder do so well,” Trevor says, adding it gives him inspiration to follow in his tire tracks.
The connection with the Victoria rider goes a little deeper since his coaching regimen follows some aspects of Hesjedal’s. When coupled with Trevor’s natural talent for endurance, the combination is one that is paying dividends right now, and hopefully into the future.
Says Trevor, “I would definitely love to be a professional cyclist. No matter what your age is, you can be racing."