Hamburg resident Caleb Pierson was named an Indiana Cross Country Racing Fan Favorite in the adult bike division after supporters voted online in May.
The 15-year-old learned of the honor in early June on its Facebook page. He recalls, “I was actually really surprised because there are over 500 who could have been chosen ... I was shocked.” Fan favorites also were named in four other groups: youth bike, youth quad, adult quad and side by side.
Usually owners select the favorites. This was the first time fans could vote. A racing photo of Pierson along with the favorite youth biker appeared on all plaques that were given to youth and adult bike winners at the June 22-23 Medora competition.
Denean Williams, the mom of a Batesville racing family, reports, “He is truly a great kid. He always helps people out, cheers on the younger kids and places in the top of his class at about every race. He definitely deserves the recognition.” His dad, Ben, describes his son as funny, talkative and “a pretty good kid.” He observes Caleb is “popular at the track and he talks to a lot of people there. He’s nice to the kids and the parents like that.”
The Batesville High School sophomore began racing at 12 in October 2010, so this is his third full season. He will compete in about 10 races between February and November, which are “all spread out” geographically. The farthest he’s traveled has been to Rockville, about three hours west. Closer weekends are in Holton and Rising Sun.
When Pierson competes in the youth division, he rides off-road for 45 minutes, with a computerized bar code in his helmet recording laps. The same method of determining winners is used in the adult division, when he bikes for an hour and a half. After the fastest racer crosses the line, the contest continues for one more lap to determine the top competitors.