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Introducing Matt Gersib: Salsa Sponsored Rider for 2010

We're pleased to introduce Matt Gersib as a Salsa sponsored rider for 2010.

Matt hails from Lincoln, Nebraska and is pretty darn passionate about bicycles. He's also got some mad skills on the bike to match up with that passion. You'll get a chance to hear from him from time to time on our blog, but he also maintains his own: The Dirtblog

Matt had already put together an impressive collection of Salsa's before this sponsorship was put together so he'll have an impressive arsenal to choose from this season. With that, here's a bit more about Matt.

Tell us a bit about yourself, Matt.

I guess if I was going to define myself in three words, I'd say that 'I like dirt.' My beautiful wife Laura and I live in Lincoln, Nebraska with our two pets (a beautiful Shar Pei/Lab mutt named Amy and a big, red longhair cat named Lucky that I found on a ride in 2004). I guess you could say I have a 'normal job' too, if you call working as the public relations manager at an advertising agency 'normal.' 2010 will be my 20th consecutive season racing a mountain bike. When I started racing, I wasn't even 20 years old! And when we moved back from Boulder at the end of 2000, I was actually thinking about 'retiring' from racing at the tender age of 28. My wife still occasionally asks me how I'm doing on my retirement.


What keeps bringing you back to the start line?

I love adventure and long, hard bike rides and I'm fortunate to have a great group of friends who are similarly inclined. The rising popularity of gravel grinders has definitely helped keep my head in the game during the past four or five years. Since we don't have a ton of singletrack that stretches on for vast distances, our gravel roads are the hot ticket. That's why I'm so fired up for the new Salsa Vaya. That bike is perfect for the type of riding a lot of riders around here do day-in and day-out.


What do you have on tap for 2010?

Similar to the past couple of seasons, I'll split my time between endurance mountain bike and gravel grinder events, mostly based in the Midwest. Some key gravel events I'll be focusing on include TransIowa v.6 in late-April, the Dirty Kanza 200-mile gravel grinder in May, and the Gravel Worlds/Good Life Gravel Adventure here in Lincoln on August 21. I'll once again be going after the Enduro crown in Nebraska's Psycowpath series, and hopefully I'll be able to ascend to the top step of the podium this season. I'd also really like to try my hand at the Chequamegon 40 this year. I haven't ever toed the line at the 40, but love the riding up there.

Do you have any thoughts for a rider that wants to get out and try racing, perhaps for the first time?

It's funny you ask, because I was just talking about this last night to a friend who wants to get out and give racing a try, and my advice is very simple ? just do it! Racing bicycles is a fun, unique, and yes, at times gut wrenchingly hard experience, but the satisfaction you get from a race well-ridden is one of the things in life that is truly priceless. I have experienced the highest highs as well as the lowest lows imaginable, both due to the events and circumstances at bicycle races. It's these experiences that make me who I am today - a stronger, more persistent, more compassionate and overall better person than I would have been without bicycles or bicycle racing. That's why I'm an advocate for bicycle racing. A little pain is good for the soul.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mike Riemer

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.

COMMENTS (8)

 Steve Fuller |

I am glad to see that Salsa is sponsoring Matt this year. He's a quality individual on and off the bike and I think he's the perfect ambassador for Salsa's bikes as well as all of the things Salsa stands for.

 MG |

Thanks Steve, and thanks to Kid, Jason and everyone at Salsa Cycles for the opportunity to do what I love - riding bicycles - in support of their awesome bicycles and brand.  To say I've found a brand that truly syncs with my ideals in riding and life is an understatement and I'm excited and inspired for the events and rides we have planned for the season ahead.  2010 is shaping up to be a great season already!

I also want to take a moment to thank my beautiful wife Laura, because without her none of this would have been possible.  She's stood beside me, and held me up through some really tough stuff.  I didn't mention it before, but there are 34 screws and four plates in my body—all from cycling—and Laura's been around for the installation of them all.  Not many wives have the fortitude to stay around for all of that and come back and say "I'm still here for you" the next day.  I'm a lucky man… on a lot of levels.

Thanks again for the opportunity, guys.  It's gonna' be a great season.

 EB |

Very nice MG! Stoked to see this atop mu Twitter feed. You're a ambassador for the sport & someone who truly lives for turning the cranks. Here's to 2010,may the wind be at our back my friend.

 Guitar Ted |

Congrats to Salsa and Matt! I am proud to know Matt and I can vouch that he will be an awesome ambassador for Salsa products and an awesome competitor on the race courses across the Mid-West.

 redstone |

Good on you Matty!

 Tim Ek |

MG, I know that I'm in good company.  I'm looking forward to formally meeting you.  See you on the gravel this spring.

Tim

 MG |

Thanks Tim, I was just thinking about T.I. a moment ago, then I came out and read your comment.  Funny how that goes.  I'm definitely looking forward to riding with you this season.  Hopefully I'll bring the legs to keep up this year! LOL…

Davey and EB… Thanks a million too.  I know I'll have some awesome rides with both of you guys this season too.  EB, hopefully you're on the roster for T.I., but honestly I can't remember right off the top of my head…

Guitar Ted, my Brother… Speaking of T.I. You are T.I.  Thank you for all you do for the sport, both gravel cycling and big wheel mountain bikes.  I often talk about "difference makers" and you my friend, are a DIFFERENCE MAKER. You're the type of person who studies everything and figures out how to make things better… I love going for long drives with you because you're like an incredible brainstorming session.  It feels like anything is possible… And it's with bikes.  I love that.  That's what I love about you Guitar Ted.  So THANK YOU for being my friend, and for being an advocate for me.  Because I'm the lucky one.

Thanks again guys…

 C-Hog |

I just want to echo everything that has already been said about Matt.  What a quality guy!!!  I am honored to know him, to have banged bars with him, to be able to call him my friend.  Congratulations, Matt.  And Congratulations, Salsa.  You have a Winner here.

Jim C.

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