Beatty hard to beat on her bicycle
Alijah Beatty, 14, of Washington, is making her presence felt in a lot of ways.
The freshman at the Iowa Mennonite School in Kalona has been involved in competitive bicycle racing for the past five years. Beatty got her start in bicycle racing due to the fact that her father took it up just about a year prior to her start in the sport.
Beatty races different disciplines of cycling. Those include criterium, road races, gravel road racing, time trials, cyclocross and roller races. Criterium races are timed events that are usually held on a compact, urban course. The race contains many laps of the course at high speed, similar to a NASCAR race.
Cyclocross is a hybrid of road racing and mountain biking. It’s usually held in a park and the track is roped off to 15 feet in width. There are often obstacles that are placed in the track, many of which actually require the athletes to dismount the bicycle to traverse.
Roller races provide the athletes a chance to get on their bikes in the winter. They are held indoors on a stationary bicycle. The bicycle is connected to a computer and the race is held on a virtual, two-mile track. The object is to complete the “track” in the fastest time possible.
Beatty is a member of Mercy-Specialized Iowa City Cycling Woman’s racing team. She trains weekly and joins the team training on Wednesday evenings. She began her racing season in March, winning the women’s race at Kent Park near Tiffin.
Beatty has since been selected to race with a junior development team, the Northstars, in the Twin-Cites. With that team, she will race the Le Tour De La Releve International De Rimouski in Quebec, Canada in July. There Beatty will join 200 junior athletes from around the world and compete in a week-long tour. The tour is a springboard for junior racers wishing to race domestically and abroad.
Her next local race will be the Chris Lillig Memorial Cup and Old Capital Criterium in Kalona and Iowa City. Those races will be held on Saturday, May 24, and Sunday, May 25. The road race will start from the Fairview Mennonite Church near Kalona at 11:45 a.m. on Saturday, with the time trial beginning at 2:30 p.m.. The criterium will be downtown Iowa City, Sunday around the Old Capital beginning at 11:30 a.m.
Beatty also plans to compete in the La Crosse Omnium, the Snake Alley Criterium in Burlington, Melon City Criterium in Muscatine and the Quad Cities Criterium in Davenport. June will bring 10 days of racing in the Tour of American Dairy Land in Wisconsin to Beatty’s schedule. July presents the National Championship road race along with a criterium and time trial in Madison, Wis. followed by her departure for racing in Canada.
Alijah is the daughter of Mark and Susie Beatty of Washington. Outside of school and her cycling, Alijah also swims for the Washington Water Sharks, plays volleyball, is in IMS’ band and choir and is learning to play the violin.