I grew up on a bike. Doing everything from delivering newspapers, to going to friends houses, to building jumps and trails in the woods to play on. It was how I got to work in my high school years. I remember challenging myself all the time trying to get to a previous destination quicker than the time before. After college I discovered mountain biking through some motocross friends. At that point I quickly realized this was something I wanted to do a lot of, and I did. I found a real hobby, passion, that I still get the same feelings from I got on day one.
The bicycle is my crutch. It's where I develop my best ideas, go and think, get away, have fun, solve world problems...it is the one thing I do where I don't do 10 other things. It allows me to clear my head but also focus. When it comes to my racing, I often make analogies and relate it to things in life and or business. The things I do in my racing are the same basic things you must do to be successful. So, I learn a lot of life lessons from the bike.Read More
What kind of cyclist are you?
I describe myself as an Ultra Endurance Cyclist. At this point in my life the longer and the more challenging the better. I concentrate and look for routes / events that are 500+ miles long and now a days am fortunate that there are plenty to choose from. I am really passionate about the bike packing, gravel, snow and adventure categories. Racing and competition drives me but I am equally happy riding just for fun.
How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
I grew up on a bike. Doing everything from delivering newspapers, to going to friends houses, to building jumps and trails in the woods to play on. It was how I got to work in my high school years. I remember challenging myself all the time trying to get to a previous destination quickier then the time before. After college I discovered mountain biking through some motocross friends. At that point I quickly realized this was something I wanted to do a lot of, pursue, and did. I found a real hobby, passion, that I still get the same feelings from, from day one (I get goose bumps just typing that). Since then the rides have never stopped.
The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
Gosh, honestly, there are so many as I look back but there was one ride that has truly changed my life. The first time I did the Tour Divide, 07’, I was not sure what I was getting in to. It was more less my first bike packing event and I defintly thought it was going to be my only chance at doing this. A one and done and then back on to my construction life. I was very nervous, unsure of the unknown. In reality it was one of the best times I ever had on a trail. So much new for me but it came very naturally and I loved every minute of it. Since then I have turned this into a profession and that is something that I am very proud of!
Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
Italy, not just for the terrain but the people and culture live a way of life that I totally get and try to do myself. Bike is embedded in the culture as well as ‘living’ life.
Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
I often find myself day dreaming of the BIG mountain’s of Nepal and the surrounding countries of China, India and Thailand. I just imagine myself as this little thing surrounded by big peaks and then I also imagine myself navigating amongst a lot of people trying to get out of towns to the undeveloped countrysides and farm lands.
How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
The bicycle is my crutch. It’s where I develop my best ideas, go and think, get away, have fun, spend time thinking, solve World problems…it is the one thing I do where I don’t do 10 other things. It allows me to clear my head but also focus. When it comes to my racing I often make analogies and relate things to life and or business. The things I do in my racing are the same basic things you must do to be successful in business. So, I learn a lot of life lessons from the bike.
How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
Teaching, educating and providing others with experiences and my knowledge is something I really enjoy doing and look forward to doing more of. Both in terms of being a Race Director as well as growing an experience driven touring business.
As I have built many relationships in the cycling industry I also hope to continue growing those relationships and have more influence on product development and improvement.
Lastly, I hope to continue to compete as long as possible at a high level. I always had great respect for the older then me folks that would kick ass and I hope to be one of them too. I am no longer the young guy on the start line.
Who inspires you and your riding?
No one person inspires me. The people that inspire me most are the ones living life on a bike with big smiles not wrapped up in the gossup of the world or how big there bank accounts are. People who have created a job through there passion also give me great inspiration as I try and do the same.
Favorite Salsa model and why?
Why do you have to ask such a tough question!!! IF I had to choose one it would be the Fargo or new Cutthroat. I have more miles on my TI Fargo then any of my bikes. I have raced many bike packing races on it, riddin many training miles, put skinny tires on it and done a handful of gravel races and even ripped a fair amount of single track on it. It has to be one the most versatile steeds out there capable of doing anything.
EDIT: 7/6/15 I just got done logging 2800 miles on my Cutthroat and I may have to say it is now my favorite :)!
Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
I love to eat and drink! Some of my favs are as simple as oatmeal or a T-race burrito pre-ride which turns into eating half of it putting the rest in my jersey pocket. As for during, if it’s short, like 2-4 hours, I use GU Energy products, as it gets longer I love PB and J and chocolate for a mood change. Post race, well, since beer is kind of like bread it acts as both food and beverage. I typically crave a little grease and some meat, like an all amercian bacon, cheese burger. Bevvie choice - I am more of a Pale Ale to IPA type of guy but I don’t mind all day beer like PBR either.
When you’re not cycling…
I am biking. I really enjoy spending time with my Lady - Tracey, and Boyz - Rippin and Chillin. Working around the house doing construction projects is fulfilling to me as well as I like to work with my hands and was in construction most my life. Discovering new places and people via traveling and camping is something Tracey and I both enjoy. And I like beer.
What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
Umm, ahh, my bike…