SIDNEY — Between responding to calls and keeping the community safe, the Sidney Police Department is eager to highlight achievements of their staff.
Sergeant Sean Martin, who runs the bike program within the Sidney Police Department, is an amateur cyclist who has competed in time trials and other cycling competitions for over a decade. This past May, he competed in the world qualifer in Alabama and qualified in the top three in his age group, cementing his chance to compete in the 2021 UCI Granfondo World Championships, held 4,933 miles from the Sidney Police Department.
“He’s actually one of the best in the United States in amateur bike riding,” Sidney Police Chief Will Balling said. “He’s in charge of our bike program. He’s been doing it for Sidney, was instrumental in getting our electronic bikes with us and upgrading our program, and now he’s going off to a foreign country to ride his bike.”
Martin first began competing in cycling races and duathlons in 2008, and his interest in cycling stemmed from an interest in fitness. His brother and sister were involved in triathalons at the time, and while Martin wasn’t partial to the running or swimming portions of the competitions, he found great enjoyment and skill in the cycling. He developed his skills over the years and joined a cycling club in 2013, where things really started to take off.
“I was looking for a competitive way to stay fit, and running’s not the greatest for people in general who are bigger. Any time someone gets injured, the doctor tells them, ‘you can ride a bike’. It just turned out that I enjoyed it, and as I learned more and more I got a little bit better, and now here we are,” Martin said.
In 2019, Martin met a group of cyclists from Fort Wayne, Indiana who asked him to join their cycling club. Their primary focus for the team is time trialing, and Martin was keen to learn everything he could from them. He’s raced in many states, and in October, he will be heading to Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovnia to compete against the top amateur cyclists in the world in a time trial.
“I was honestly shocked. I felt that I could be competitive, but some days you’re not one hundred percent. Some days you have a good day, some days you have a bad day, but I was in complete shock, especially after learning who the guys were who were actually there,” Martin said.
With the worlds less than a month away, Martin has been looking up information on the altitude, elevation and terrain he’ll be biking on during the race. He said there’s more elevation on the course than he would like, but altitude shouldn’t affect him too much due to his experience cycling along mountains in Colorado and New Mexico.
“My goal is just to give it everything I’ve got and not have any feelings that I’ve left anything on the table. I don’t want to go there and get destroyed or embarrassed, and I don’t want to have regrets, so I’m trying to make sure my diet and training is where it needs to be with my current level of knowledge so that I won’t look back and say, ‘well I should’ve done this’ or ‘I should’ve done that’. So far, everything’s on track,” Martin said.
Bike racing has provided Martin with an outlet for competition and has helped him stay in shape, and he’s proud to be representing Sidney and Shelby County when he travels to Sarajevo to compete.
“If the guys that work for me, or anybody else for that matter, can say ‘look at this guy, he can do this and so can I’, if it motivates anybody to try and improve themselves, I consider that a success,” Martin said.
The Sidney Daily News conducts a periodic interview to update readers with news from the Sidney Police Department, 234 W. Court St., Sidney.