English Professor takes biking from hobby to sport
By: ALEX WHITE
“Cyclo-cross started in Europe for a way for road racers to stay in shape on the off season. Fastest growing segment of cycling in the U.S.,” Peraud said.
Peraud competes in the Bubba Cross series hosted by Big Shark Cycling Company. The races are held at local parks from mid-September to mid-January on Saturdays, rain or shine.
The races consist of short laps ranging between 1.5 to 2 miles long with obstacles throughout the course, Peraud said. These races are nowhere near considered easy, but he has a strategy to help him through the tough times.
On the handle bars of his bike is a small caped buffalo that rides along through all his races.
“This totem reminds me of my goddaughter, Bridget, who at the age of 1.5 was diagnosed with cancer. When I want to quit, I think of this little kid going through chemo and it helps me push on to the finish,” Peraud said.
As the youngest of five, cycling for Peraud actually started when he was 11 years old and right then fell in love with biking, he said.
Then from seventh grade to high school he began racing BMX bikes and rode long distances. When he was 16, Peraud and a friend rode 350 miles to an uncle’s house during the summer.
Through the years, he found groups to ride with.
“Big Shark offers Tuesday night worlds, Wednesday time trials and Thursday night rides,” said Peraud.
Besides competing in cyclo-cross, Peraud commutes via bike to school on certain days. Riding either nine to 15 miles each way, depending on the route he decides to take.
“When other people want to be indoors, I like to be outside,” Peraud said.