We are pleased to welcome Tim Ek to the Salsa Team for 2010. Tim is a local Minnesota boy who has proven he can suffer in the saddle with the best of them. He'll be spending some quality time on a Big Mama and a Chili Con Crosso this year. And you'll be seeing him post to the blog periodically as well. In fact, you'll see his first blog post this coming Monday.
Tim, meet everyone. Everyone, meet Tim.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Duluth, Minnesota has been my home all my life. I live with my wife and two cats who think they are our kids. My wife is an avid runner and we try to live in a way where fitness and activity are a way of life. I've commuted to work by bike for over 7 years through all seasons as we feel one car is all we really need. I love travel and being outside in general. I've been to several different countries which includes 8 trips to Jamaica (I really like it there) and some pretty amazing places in the U.S. When I'm not on the bike, I'm snow boarding, hiking or enjoying a cold brew.
What do you do for a living?
I am a case manager at a day treatment school for emotionally and behaviorally disturbed youth. I've worked for the same agency for 17 years and really love what I do. Working with kids for all this time as allowed me to stay a kid myself and I get paid for it, I can't complain about that.
How did you first get into riding or racing bikes?
I used to be a runner until an injury forced me into cycling. I always enjoyed riding bikes, but never thought about competing in it. I entered my first race wearing running shoes and shorts, with a t-shirt for a jersey. I placed fairly well and my eyes were opened instantly to how much fun it was. I never stopped and it just kept growing and growing. I've been addicted to it ever since.
What got you interested in doing longer endurance rides?
I decided to enter a 12 hour mtn bike race just to see if I could do it. I ended up finishing 8th in a large field of riders. I was so excited by this that I immediately started thinking about the next one and what I would do differently. Also, over the years I've come to find that training for endurance events leads to adventures on a bike. Adventures on bikes are so much more fun than doing hill repeats and intervals. I'll take a 9 hour ride any day!
Goals for 2010?
I'd really love to win the Wisconsin Endurance Mountain Bike Series -12 Hour Solo. I was close in 2009 and now I can taste it. A top three finish in both the Trans Iowa and the Dirty Kanza 200 are a must as well. Of course a podium spot in the Salsa Two Four (solo) would sit pretty nicely.
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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.