We are pleased to introduce our 3rd Salsa Team rider for 2010: Gerry Pflug. Folks taking part in the NUE series are probably quite familiar with Gerry, as he is the reigning NUE Singlespeed Champion.
This year Gerry will be ripping things up on a Selma, Podio, and something else that we’re not going to talk about right now. Gerry will be contributing to the Salsa Amigos blog from time to time, and he also maintains his own blog at Pfun With Pflug.
With that, please introduce yourself to the class Gerry.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Well, I would describe myself as just being an average ?Joe? for the most part. Like most middle age men, I am busy working full time and spending time with my wife and teenage daughter. In addition to life?s typical demands, I am also an avid competitive cyclist. I started racing early in life and 2010 will be my 30th consecutive year of racing. Now I split my racing season between road, MTB and cylocross; however, most people categorize me as a mountain bike racer. I enjoy all three styles of racing and it certainly keeps things interesting and busy for me all year. During the off season, I like to participate in outdoor winter sports along with riding my bike. I enjoy downhill skiing, XC skate skiing and taking backcounty treks on skis or snowshoes. Basically, I love the outdoors, staying active and keeping fit. I feel lucky every time I jump on my bike for a ride, or get to spend time outdoors. It is a struggle at times to fit riding into my busy schedule, but the struggle is almost always well worth the reward of the ride.
What do your fellow State Troopers think of your bike racing antics?
I have been a Trooper now for ten years and yes it is true that most think I am a bit nuts when it comes to the amount of racing and riding I do. But, I don?t think colleagues in my current occupation view me any differently than any other of my occupations has viewed me or how society in general views competitive cyclists. At pretty much every job I have had, people seem to have a hard time understanding why I spend so much time riding my bike. I can’t say that I don’t enjoy seeing the look of amazement on people when they discover I often commute by bike into work. To most people, a 20-mile ride is not something one does immediately before or after work. I guess over the years I have come to accept that most people view me as being a little eccentric when it comes to my bike riding. Even though most consider my bicycle riding to not be quite normal, I think they can appreciate my dedication and recognize the high level of fitness required to do what I do.
What made you decide to run singlespeed in the 2009 NUE series?
My decision to do the singlespeed class for the NUE Series was based on a couple of different things. First, I discovered during the winter of 2009 that I really enjoyed not having to do much maintenance on my bike after riding on horrible trails or roads. I could go out and ride it in the nastiest of conditions and it was pretty much good to go again the next day. This made me think that running a singlespeed in a 100-mile race might be a good option because there is much less that could possibly go wrong with it. Doing repairs during any race is never fun, but breakdowns during a 100-mile, single-loop race can be a killer. In addition to the mechanical simplicity of the singlespeed, I also like how smooth and quiet the drivetrain is. It is a pretty awesome feeling to just focus on doing pedal strokes and not having to worry about shifting as I almost float through the woods. But, I think the main reason I chose to race on a singlespeed last year was for a new challenge. Mixing things up a bit is always good for me and the extreme test of doing 100 miles with only one gear was a very exciting prospect.
Goals for 2010?
My main goal for 2010 is to repeat as the NUE Singlespeed Series Champion. I really enjoy how hard these 100-mile races are and how they test racers in so many ways. It would be difficult for me to not do the series again. I also plan to compete in many other MTB, road and cyclocross races. I am a true competitor and enjoy the thrill of racing. Racing is an addiction to me and I don?t think I will ever get my fill of doing it. I did about 50 races in 2009 and plan on doing just as many, if not more, in 2010.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about doing a 100-miler but feels a bit intimidated?
The first thing I would say is that it is absolutely natural to feel nervous about doing a 100-mile race. I was totally nervous about the first 100-mile MTB race I did and still get nervous about doing them. The biggest factor in doing well, or even just completing a 100-mile MTB race, is preparing for it. Of course, by preparation I mean training, but it is also important to learn what to pack for nutrition, bike repairs and riding comfort. I learn a little something from each 100-mile race I do and try to use what I have learned to better prepare for the next one. So, with that said, don?t let the anxiety of doing a 100-mile race hold you back. Do a little preparation and get out and do one. I am sure you will be hooked on them just like me.
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I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.