Racer defeats injury to take title
STEVENSVILLE — Fifteen-year-old Logan Pringle of Stevensville has been riding a whirlwind tour of bike races this summer before returning to school at Kent Island High in just a few, short weeks.
Logan competes in Downhill Mountain Biking and Dual Slalom competitions, both regionally and nationally and is currently ranked nationally as the No. 1 16-year-old Category 1 (expert/semi-pro) Men’s Dual Slalom racer in the U.S. He is No. 4 in the 15- to 18-year-old Jr. Men Categor y 1.
He is also the No. 1 nationally ranked 16-year-old in Men’s Downhill Category 2, and is No. 3 in the 15- to 18-yearold Jr. Men rankings. The rankings are issued via USA Cycling — the governing body of cycling sport in the United States. Logan’s racing age is 16 — however, all season he is actually 15, since racing age is based on age as of Dec. 31 of the current year.
All of this would be an impressive feat on its own, but Logan’s story took a hard turn the summer he was 10 years old.
Logan began racing Bicycle Motocross (BMX) in the National Bicycle League at 7 years old, while living in Traverse City, MI. His mother, Michelle Pringle, said Logan took to the sport immediately.
When he was 8, Pringle said their family temporarily relocated to Northern Virginia, and Logan continued to be a competitive NBL Novice racer, finishing 4th in the State of Virginia, after having won the State Finals Competition.
Logan was asked at that time to join the non-factor y Powers Bike Shop racing team and moved up in class to the NBL Intermediate level. During his 9-year-old season, Pringle said they once again relocated, this time to Severn, MD.
Logan set goals to be the No. 1 Intermediate rider in the state, region and nation within the NBL that year, she said. Riding at the local track, Chesapeake BMX, every chance he could, Logan had a very busy competitive schedule. He was able to accomplish all but one of his goals, as he brought home the No. 1 plate for the NBL State and National series, having finished third in the NBL Regional Series. He also rode a second bike that year, in the Cruiser class, and was NBL State No. 1 (MD) and NBL National No. 8.
After having won the National title, he was asked to join a forming Factory race team, Doublecross Bikes, out of Oklahoma. He also moved on to Expert Level. He had a respectable year, in a newly merged bicycle league now known as USA BMX. Although, never able to capture the magic in class, on a 20 inch bike, he was able to garner a USA BMX National Age Group #10 on his cruiser bike.
The summer Logan was 10, he sustained a severe traumatic brain injury, while racing in Delaware. Pringle said Logan was given mandatory time off riding and racing, until just before the USA BMX Grand National Championships, held in Tulsa, OK.
Logan was unable to ride or train in any way for the weeks leading up to the race, as he recovered and started physical and vestibular therapy, and eye exercises for the malfunctioning left eye that had sustained nerve damage. He begged the doctors and the therapists to allow him to attend USA BMX Grands, happening over the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, said his mother.
“He had promised the team owner he would bring the team a NAG title,” she said. Three weeks before leaving for Tulsa, OK for the race, Logan was granted permission to ride his bike, but not to race. One week before leaving, he was given permission to go to the race, with the express agreement he would have to do his eye exercises on the trip. So, he did them on the plane, in the hotel, and anywhere he could, Pringle said.
He competed, was fith in the semis and secured his National Age Group No. 10 title.
The following year presented on and off the bike challenges Logan was unable to overcome, and in the summer of 2013, at Hagerstown during a State Qualifier, Logan experienced yet another crash, where he hit his head, broke his wrist, and sustained a hematoma on his hip.
At the time of the initial crash, Logan checked out fine cognitively and his other injuries were more acute, said Pringle. That was Logan’s last ever BMX race.
Despite his injuries, Logan was able to secure the MD State Cruiser Champion age group title. He had a commanding lead for the season, and he won the title by “bumping the gate” — which, Pringle explained, means he didn’t race, but got in the start gate
Logan Pringle competes this season in Downhill Mountain Biking and Dual Slalom competitions, both regionally and nationally and is currently ranked nationally as the No. 1, 16-year-old Category 1 (expert/semi-pro) Men’s Dual Slalom racer in the U.S. He is No. 4 in the Category 1, 15- to 18-year-old Jr. Men’s age group.