Evan Dominick with his dad, Tom Dominick. Evan took first place in the 12-hour standard bike, 15-19 year old division at the Bike Sebring Charitable Ride in Central Florida. Dominick’s finish broke a 2014 division record in the event.

LEWISBURG — Evan Dominick of Lewisburg recently traveled to Central Florida to participate in the Bike Sebring Charitable Ride in which he placed first in the 12-hour standard bike, 15-19 year old division.

He also broke the standing record in that division which was held since 2014 for 187 miles. Dominick surpassed it at 228 miles. The event is held every year in February at the Sebring International Raceway. The event is sponsored by the Rotary Club of Highlands County and all proceeds from the event support local charities.

What began as a shared hobby and opportunity to spend quality time together with his father, Tom, has turned into a passion for Evan. His father has enjoyed a love of cycling that spans more than two decades. For those who know Tom, you might catch a glimpse of him cycling around the valley almost regardless of the season, many times with Evan by his side. While he may have hoped his son might share this sport with him, he never pushed it upon him. He bought Evan his own bike around age 13 and they started by just riding the Rail Trail from Lewisburg, little by little.

It did not take long at all to see that Evan had a real propensity for cycling, including the athletic ability and endurance required for the sport. Between the mentorship of his father, his athletic ability and a desire to continue to grow and push himself to reach his personal best, Evan continued to increase the distance he could cycle, surpassing his previous level. While enjoying a ride with his dad on a beautiful summer day, the pair decided to go for a quick ride, and as they got caught up in the perfect elements of that day, their “quick ride” turned into a 36-mile ride.

Not too long after that they found themselves in Williamsport and had gone 84 miles. Evan really wanted to go the additional 16 miles to complete his first “century” (100-mile) ride with his dad, but it was getting dark, so they decided it best to call mom (Kim) to pick them up. That day’s bike ride solidified to Evan that cycling was more than a hobby, it was a passion and held great meaning to him.

He and his father went onto complete their first “century” ride together a few weeks after that memorable day. Evan continued to push himself athletically as a swimmer and working out daily building strength, endurance and muscle. He sometimes swims for two hours at a time, many times trying to beat his personal best time and duration.

He cycled over 15,000 miles last year and to date has completed five double centuries (200 miles), over the past few years. To understand the magnitude of this accomplishment, most recreational cyclists consider a “century” a benchmark distance, and most typically do one or two a year. Evan did 28 of them including a 227-mile ride last year in the US National, held in Maryland, where he placed eighth in the 18-49 age group.

Races are grueling and require close attention to hydration, nutrition and energy exertion. His dad made him aware of the physical and mental requirements, but when Evan asked his father if it was possible for him to do this, his dad’s reply was a supportive, yet honest, “Anything is possible, but it would be extremely difficult and painful.” Evan was not deterred, and his motivation became personal.His best friend, Brendan Fisher had passed away from cancer and Evan wanted to do something really special to honor his friend. Joining his love of cycling with his desire to create an annual ride in memory of Brendan seemed like an obvious solution.

He organized what is now the Brendan Fisher Memorial Scholarship Fund awarded to a senior at Lewisburg who displays the great qualities of his beloved friend. When the ride gets tough, Evan shared, “we can do 200 miles because when it gets tough, we can think of how Brendan fought cancer and how tough that was.”

There are no signs of Evan slowing down, he has his sights set on continuing to challenge himself and from his discipline and determination, there is no telling how far his cycling journey may take him.

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