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Anne Photograp News 2024

North Point Senior has an eye on the 2028 Olympic Games
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North Point Senior has an eye on the 2028 Olympic Games

Maize Wimbush, second from left, loves cycling and credits the sport for introducing her to a diverse group of people who taught her about life and herself.
Maize Wimbush, second from left, loves cycling and credits the sport for introducing her to a diverse group of people who taught her about life and herself.

LA PLATA, MD. – For Maize Wimbush, the wheels started turning early in her life. Almost literally.

“I don’t know if I can take credit for it,” said her father, Mark Wimbush. “I was cycling and she kept wanting to ride with me. She was so persistent about it.”

Wimbush was only about six years old at the time; her father was a cyclist. He rode the kind of bikes best suited for long distances and racing, not the kind of bikes suited for cycling around the neighborhood like a small child was used to.

But Wimbush didn’t give up and her father finally relented. She received her first racing bike for her seventh birthday. By the time Wimbush was eight, she rode twenty to thirty miles with her father every time they went out. “If she goes out now, it’s nothing for her to travel 100 miles,” Mark said.

Wimbush was introduced to road racing by a fellow rider. She won her first race, the Dawg Days of Summer in Crofton, when she was 9. At age 10, she won the Mid-Atlantic Bicycle Racing Association (MABRA) BAR for 9 and 10 year old girls and placed third in the MABRA the following year. BAR. At the age of 13, she was recruited by the Twenty20 women’s cycling team to participate in the junior development program and began racing with adult women. In 2021, Wimbush made history when she became the first Black woman to win the junior women’s category at the USA Cycling Amateur Road National Championships in Florida.

She’s known in some circles as “aMAIZEn,” and now that she’s 18, Wimbush is set to graduate from North Point High School on May 31 and move on to even bigger goals.

Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, has been cycling since she was about 7 years old, after being introduced to the sport by her father Mark.  Two years later she started racing.  She has set her sights on participating in the Olympic Games.
Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, has been cycling since she was about 7 years old, after being introduced to the sport by her father Mark. Two years later she started racing. She has set her sights on participating in the Olympic Games.

Wimbush is a member of Twenty24 Pro Cycling, one of the top women’s cycling teams in the US. Twenty24 is known for developing and supporting female cyclists who have their sights set on reaching one of – if not the biggest – international stages.

“The goal is the Olympics,” Wimbush said of the 2028 Summer Games in LA. “Who wouldn’t want to qualify for the Olympic Games?”

To get there, Wimbush keeps training, and training, and then training even harder. “Race faster than you train,” she hears her father’s voice telling her. “You should train harder than race.”

She cycles every chance she gets, which helps with her fitness goals, and gets up every morning well before school starts at 8:05 a.m. to exercise.

Cycling has given her more than a pastime or an active outlet. The sport offers a sense of community. “The community is great, it’s diverse. There are people from different backgrounds,” Wimbush said. “I always learn so many different things about life and about myself that I might not have learned in other sports.”

There is also the traveling. Wimbush has been to 17 states for races. Her teammates at Twenty24 spread across the country. She has been to Spain three times, mainly to the bike-friendly city of Girona, where she hopes to move. About 60 miles outside Barcelona, ​​Girona is home to many professional and amateur cyclists who train there. It would be a perfect place for an aspiring Olympian to settle down.

Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, and a competitive cyclist, contributed to the book
Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, will graduate May 31 with the Class of 2024.

The cycling season in Maryland usually stretches from early February to August, said Wimbush, who has cited Nelson Vails, Justin and Cory Williams and Ayesha McGowan as some of her inspirations and heroes in the cycling community. She trains all year round, except in October, when she takes a month off. Wimbush would like to see drivers and cyclists take safety more seriously when it comes to sharing the road. It’s something she, her father and other cyclists will continue to advocate for, she said. There are too many accidents that could be prevented just by paying attention to the road.

And she’s still a high school student. In addition to cycling, she was involved in dancing for a while. She hangs out with her friends and goes to concerts and parties with them. She loves painting and trying new dishes. She is a member of the National Honor Society and the Academic Eagles at North Point. Wimbush is a positive force at the school, Principal Dan Kaple said.

Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, and a competitive cyclist, contributed to the book
Maize Wimbush, a senior at North Point High School, and a competitive cyclist, contributed to the book “Dear Rebel,” a copy of which is in the North Point High School library.

“She brings a lot of energy to our building,” he said. “Her positive attitude and kindness are traits of her personality that shine brightly.”

Wimbush was recently asked to contribute to the book ‘Dear Rebel, 145 Women Share Their Best Advice for Today’s Girls’, a compilation of stories, letters, poems and essays from teens and women on topics such as overcoming obstacles, discovering passions and realizing dreams. Wimbush wrote about her journey as a young black cyclist. A copy of the book is now in the North Point library.