Ronan Weber will depart Aussie shores to chase his BMX dream in the USA next year…and he’ll be advancing his education at the same time
Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. So Ronan Weber is jumping into the deep end.
In 2018 the Cairns BMX Club rider will farewell the city that he has called home for his entire life, and move to the USA to take up a position on the Marian University Cycling Team – the Knights – based in Indianapolis, the capital of Indiana.
So far, Weber’s career has been highlighted by winning the 15-years-boy’s Australian title in 2015. Since then he has found himself battling with the likes of Nathaniel Rodway, Kye Affoo and a quickly rising crop of young, fast Australian bike riders.
But it isn’t just the opportunity to train and race in the USA that has led Weber to the Midwest of the USA, it’s also the lure of being able to further his education and begin the chase of a professional career as a graphic designer.
“Racing in the USA at a professional level has always been a dream of mine,” Weber enthused.
“But my dad always impressed on me that I needed a plan B, so being at Marian means I can get the best of both worlds. I can study for my future after BMX, while also riding.”
Weber will be adding the colours for Marian University Knights to his 2018 racing roster, and will do so for the next four years. (PIC: Supplied)
Weber’s approach bucks the trend of Aussie riders who chase the elite BMX dream. Some remain in Australia and crisscross the globe travelling to international competitions. Other’s relocate. But the majority of those riders place all their eggs in the BMX basket, blinkers on, one sole focus.
When it comes to doing the best for your career, there is no right or wrong way. Just riding or riding and juggling other life pursuits are the choice of each individual.
Weber will traverse the road of the latter option, going into 2018 with a two-pronged attack on his future. It’s a plan that has been in place since he won that national title at the Sleeman Sports Complex, Brisbane in 2015.
“I actually found the university when I saw a few American riders wearing a jersey with ‘Marian’ on it,” he said.
“So I Googled the name and found out exactly what it was. I looked further into it come grade 10 at school and realised they had a collegiate cycling program, so I decided I wanted to attend this school to further my education and ride my bike in the USA.
“I’m not nervous about leaving home, but excited. I visited the university late last year and it was awesome. Everyone I saw was nice, welcoming and the college has amazing facilities. I’m looking forward to starting there in August.”
As it happens, Weber won’t be joining just any collegiate cycling program. Marian University, as it has been known since a name change from Marian College in 2009, is the top ranked team in the USA Cycling Collegiate Varsity Division I Team Rankings.
The ranking of the university isn’t the only bonus. BMX is a burgeoning program at the Indianapolis tertiary institution, and under the guidance of head coach Dean Peterson – who has held that role for 12 seasons – a BMX track has been developed at the Indy Cycloplex, which has seen an “explosion in the program”.
If Peterson has his way, a strategy to develop a team that will be strong across all cycling disciplines will come to fruition sooner, rather than later. Fortunately for him, he’s signed a hard charging Aussie named Ronan Weber, who knows that this is an opportunity of a lifetime.