by Palmira Henriquez
Records are meant to be broken, and that’s exactly what five amazing seniors accomplished on Wednesday, Nov. 13. Seniors Aaron Kuzdal, Janice Salazar, Leonard Parra, Joel Bustamante and Reannah Rodriguez cycled for a city record of 17 hours, a record previously held by a Desert View student several years ago.
A sixth senior, Danielle Rojas, attempted to break the record, but she only rode for 12 hours, which is still considered to be quite a physical accomplishment!
According to Kuzdal, Bicycle Club sponsor Mr. Ernesto Somoza announced to the club the city record and challenged any of his cyclist team members to break it.
“Sometimes you wake up one morning and want to break records,” he said. “Once Mr. Somoza told us about this challenge, it was like, ‘Heck, yeah!’”
Kuzdal and Parra decided to commit to the record-breaking challenge just two days before the event; the other four members committed just the day before!
At 6 a.m., in Somoza’s classroom, the six cyclists began their challenge.
“The only break students received was five minutes per hour to drink water, go to the bathroom and eat a quick snack,” Somoza said.
After two or three hours, all of the bicyclists admitted that they were beginning to experience excruciating physical pain.
Salazar said, “My legs, back and butt hurt horribly, and the pain was even worse after we had our five-minute break to go to the restroom and stretch.”
Another cyclist, Rodriguez, said, “Not only were we in great pain, we were being watched like zoo animals! Student Council came in to visit us, and a lot of them just stared at us like we were freaks.”
Parra echoed Rodriguez; he said, “It was difficult [cycling in the classroom] with other students because it was like we were on stage being observed.”
Unfortunately, Rojas couldn’t bare the pain any longer.
“We must all suffer from one or two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret,” she said.
To help ease the indescribable pain from hours of cycling, students said that they sang—including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Christmas songs and John Legend tunes to keep their mind off of their agonizing body parts.
This record-breaking event was hardly ignored by local media. Channel 4 (KVOA) and Channel 13 (KOLD) were on campus, and they covered the story for television; also, reporters from The Arizona Daily Star were present.
“Having a few local media channels here boosted morale,” Somoza said. “This [media coverage] really helped students complete their goal knowing that their school and entire community was behind them one hundred percent.”
The five cyclists completed their 17-hour event, breaking the old record by an hour.
“Way down inside of me, I really believed that we would be up for this challenge,” Bustamante said.
“I’m proud to have been part of this record-breaking experience, but I really wish—and I think we all wish—that we could have sat on a bigger, softer seat,” Kuzdal said.