Hawkesville native Scott Brubacher has taken the Ontario cycling scene by storm. He has been on the podium for more than one race in his first year on the circuit and, in May, won gold in Niagara.
Last week on home turf, he took gold again at the KW Classic.
It’s been a quick ascent for the newcomer to competitive racing.
Brubacher started cycling when he was young, and he loved it from the very beginning.
“I grew up in the country just outside of Hawkesville and my older brothers biked everywhere so I tried to get on a bike as soon as I could, and just fell in love with it. We had woods behind our place and every day after school I would be biking back there,” he shared. “I biked to school, and then when I was 14 I got my first road bike to bike to my Uncle’s place to help on the farm and then I just fell in love with the road biking. The sounds of the tires, the smooth pavement, it was just great. I would bike for fun too.”
His naturally competitive nature has helped in his freshman year on the cycling circuit.
“All through school and when I was young, playing baseball and hockey, I was always competitive,” he said, adding that it is part of his drive to succeed and train alongside his team mates. “When I joined the club last May, I wasn’t very strong compared to the other guys, but they kept pushing me and motivating me. You want to stay with the pack, and I got stronger. As you get more confident you start pushing the front, and they told me I should apply for a sponsored position on the race team, and I didn’t think I was going to get it, but then I got it, and I thought, ‘what is going on here.’ That is when I started training with a trainer and I have come a long way.”
The Steaming Nostril was his first race as part of the club, followed by a second-place win in the Good Friday Road Race in Ancaster in April. He followed that up with a gold medal finish at the Steve Bauer Classic in Niagara in May. He realized this past weekend, however, that he still has a bit of work to do.
“I am surprised at how fast I have moved up. I don’t know why I am so successful. I found out at Sunday’s race that I am not very strong. I was racing against a different category than I race here, so it was s tougher category,” he said.“Those guys were strong and it was a tough course. We were climbing for maybe 15 minutes, and it was steep and there were guys that were just going away from me, and they were dancing away on me and I was maxed out just clawing my way up there. It showed me there is still a long way for me to go.”
His friends and family have been more than supportive of his cycling career, but there was a bit of skepticism at first.
“At first, they were like, ‘yeah, whatever, he is joining a team, great.’ Then when they found out that I got second at my first road race and I won in Niagara, and my dad and cousins came down, because I was pretty sure I would win, and now they have changed their attitudes,” he said with a laugh. “My friends were always supportive, even though I was the weirdo that biked everywhere.”
With the KW Classic starting and finishing at the Hawkesville Community Centre, it was easy for friends and family to be on hand. In what was a very close finish, Brubacher edged out Charles Kent (silver) and Darren De Ruiter (bronze) for top spot.