Austin Scott and Jake Singleton became interested in bicycle riding when they attended a church bicycle camp together three years ago — and they’ve been pedaling ever since.

After realizing they shared a passion for cycling, the boys began entering a few small races in the area, participating in several 10-mile races, and saving their money to upgrade their bikes.

Today, the boys, both 14, and getting ready to begin their freshman year of high school, race competitively and so far this summer have racked up about 3,000 miles.

To prepare their bodies for the long and grueling races, the boys train together, riding anywhere from 15-20 miles daily.

Austin and Jake recently rode in their first 72-mile race in Cleburne. Jake finished in about 3 1/2 hours and Austin finished shortly after, in just over four.

Austin’s mom, Robyn, said she is proud of her son’s dedication to the sport and is encouraging him to stick with it.

“We are just really proud that he has shown such self-discipline in his training,” she said. “He has not been afraid to take risks and has been willing to compete against older riders in an effort to get better.”

Austin is currently ranked No. 8 in the state in his age group.

This summer, both boys are participating in the Team Bicycles, Inc. Wednesday Night Racing Series in Fort Worth, where every week they ride in a 10-mile race.

Because they have done so well in the series, race officials recently made the decision to move them up and now they compete against the adults.

Jake’s mom, Kim, said the family supports his interest in bicycle racing and has even joined him on a few races.

“His dad has ridden in some big races with Jake,” Kim said. “But Will (Jake’s younger brother) and I do the shorter ones.”

Jake said the best thing about racing is that he “gets to travel to different places and meet new people.”

The boys say they are looking forward to starting high school soon, and both plan on staying involved in Yellow Jacket sports. Austin said he will play football and basketball, while Jake will run cross-country and continue playing soccer.

But both say they will not give up riding any time soon.

“I like competing with other kids who are as good as I am,” Austin said. “I like the challenge.”

Sara Vanden Berge covers courts, law enforcement, and business and political issues for the Empire-Tribune. She can be reached at sara.vandenberge@empiretribune.com. Her work number is 968-2379, ext. 240.