Justin Michels

Brand Ambassador

What kind of cyclist are you?
What kind of cyclist am I not! If it has two wheels and pedals, I’m on it! To be more specific I grew up a road rider but am beginning to fixate on the off-road scene.

How long has cycling been a part of your life? When did it become more than just “riding a bike”?
From the day I got my training wheels off nobody could keep me away from my bike. As I grew older I found bikes are more than a tool to connect with friends and to jump into ponds with. I started working at a shop after spending all my time and money fixing my ride. This was where my passion really developed. After seeing the impact I can have on others when they get on a bike, I was hooked.

I just want people to experience the feeling I get when I find that perfect trail!

The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
I’ve been in countless races - road, mountain, and cross - but when I think of my proudest moment I think back to when I was 15 years old. I had just gotten my first road bike and I was invited to do my first century. To me, this distance on a bike was unfathomable. Even the idea of doing it by myself in a car, which I couldn’t even drive, yet, was pretty foreign to me. It was hard, I bonked on multiple levels, I wanted to quit, but the moment I stepped off the bike everything changed. I had done something I wasn’t sure I could do. That day changed my perspective on cycling and gave me a real sense of accomplishment.

Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
Not an easy choice, but I’d have to say riding the Smokey Mountains between Tennessee and North Carolina.

Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
Marquette, Michigan has always intrigued me, but it’s always been just outside my reach.

How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
The bicycle is an avenue to meet new people, explore new terrain, and learn your limits.

How will your future as a cyclist unfold?
I want to continue introducing others to the sport I love. All the while, developing myself into a better athlete.

Who inspires you and your riding?
My family and friends are my driving factors. They motivate me to succeed and enjoy myself along the way.

Favorite Salsa model and why?
Cutthroat, I want a bike that can do it all! You never know where the trail will take you.

Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
I’m a fruit and oatmeal kind of guy before I ride. After a ride I eat whatever I can find, and wash it down with a cold one. A beer never tastes as good as it does after a good ride.

When you’re not cycling…
It’s a safe bet that I’m hanging out at my cottage, on my sailboat, or camping.

What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
Garmin, Credit Card, Water, Fix it stick, co2, patches and a sense of adventure.