HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Other 4-year-olds may just be getting the hang of their training wheels, but Zaedyn Moniz is already flying down dirt hills with ease on his electric blue bicycle.
Dressed in his protective padded jersey, black gloves and white helmet, the pint-sized preschooler is one of the youngest racers at Sandbox BMX, the only bicycle motocross track on Oahu.
But age doesn’t stop him from doing what he loves.
This month, Zaedyn won first place in the 5 and under category at the American Bicycle Association Las Vegas national competition.
Spanned across three days, he competed in multiple rounds of races against bikers his age from all over the country.
His prize: A shiny purple trophy that stands a few inches taller than him.
“It didn’t seem like he was nervous, but you could see the excitement in him as he was getting into it and was about to race,” said mother Amber Ching.
Ching said she teared up and let out a “crazy mom yell” when Zaedyn was announced the winner. But Zaedyn was focused on something else.
“He was really excited about the trophy. He was like, ‘Wow, my trophy is bigger than I am!’” Ching said.
Zaedyn will be adding his prize to a collection of smaller trophies and medals he’s won from the weekly races at the track where he practices.
He attends practices every Monday and Wednesday from 4 p.m. to sunset, pushing himself to keep up with the older kids each time he hits the track.
“The hardest thing is getting the 5-year-olds when they race with me,” Zaedyn said.
Zaedyn especially looks up to his 17-year-old cousin, Ethan, who also participates in the sport. He sees his speed and the jumps that he can do on the track and tries to emulate him, Ching said.
“He has grown tremendously,” Ching said. “He just loves to follow the older boys, so seeing him chase after the older kids and compete with them is amazing.”
As with any 4-year-old, Zaedyn has days where he’s tired. But once he gets going on the track, he doesn’t want to stop, Ching said.
According to his mom, Zaedyn has just picked up his bike and kept going ever since they started him on a beginner-level bicycle at the age of 2.
When Zaedyn isn’t perfecting his speed on the track, he enjoys playing with his toy cars at home or catching sand crabs at the beach.
Although he will be starting kindergarten this fall, he hopes to continue to learn more on the track as well to reach his goal of becoming a dirt biker when he grows up.
“I hope he just continues to love this sport and excel in the different levels,” Ching said. “And hopefully one day, he’ll be a pro.”