What kind of cyclist are you?
I ride to be outside…preferably in the woods. I typically ride by myself because it is simpler and I enjoy being able to look around, stop when I want to stop, go where I want to go, think about what I choose to or about nothing at all. I like my bike rides to provide something that I need at that time, mentally or physically, emotionally or spiritually.
How long has cycling been a part of your life?
Bike riding started as a kid, and like many people dwindled off as a teen, though I did a couple weeklong bike tours while in high school. My college years took place during the “birth of the mountain bike” and I can remember first seeing a mountain bike in a magazine in 1987. I immediately wanted one, and within a year had saved up some money to buy my first MTB. A year later I bought my second. Knee injuries made other sports impossible, and pushed cycling to the top of the list. Mountain biking led eventually to some road cycling, but my heart lies in riding on dirt, away from people and cars, and surrounded more closely by nature. Like many, I did some time as a racer and enjoyed it but was never “good” at it. It brought me a wealth of friends for life however, so that was a great thing about that time in my life.
The cycling accomplishment you’re proudest of to date?
The cycling accomplishment I’m most proud of is teaching my son how to ride a bike. I didn’t come into his life until he was 6-1/2 years old and he was a really big kid. He was so big that his mom couldn’t hold him up on a bike so he’d never learned to ride without training wheels. It took a couple days, and there were a few gnarly crashes, and he wanted to give up at times, but he and I were able to push through and make it happen. It might not sound like much, but the ability to ride a bike really is a big deal if you think about it.
Favorite place you’ve been on a bike so far?
My favorite place to ride remains the Chequamegon area of Wisconsin. I love the woods and the trails really are world class. There are endless route options and the trails aren’t over the top, but are entertaining and designed well.
Favorite place to daydream about that you haven’t yet ridden?
New Zealand, Iceland and Swedish Lapland both come to mind. New Zealand and Iceland look magical, and Swedish Lapland reminds me of northern Minnesota and its boreal forests.
How do you describe what the bicycle means to you?
While bicycling was once just something I did, the bicycle now really is a massive part of my life. Of course, some of this is about riding bikes, but even more so, my life involves helping to inspire others as to what the bicycle can do to improve their lives. That sort of improvement is far more than just physical. We often speak of how the bike can lead toward life-changing experiences. That isn’t BS. I know it to be true and am quite grateful that I am in a position where I can do some good for the world and hopefully help others grow, entertain and enjoy new experiences, learn about places and themselves, and potentially become better people.
How will your future as a cyclist unfold? What are the next steps in your evolution?
I don’t get after it the way I used to. Things like downhill racing and trips to Whistler just aren’t part of my life anymore, but I don’t mind. I’m interested in doing more bikepacking and touring, but off-road or on gravel, as riding on pavement with vehicles just doesn’t interest me much anymore.
Who inspires you and your riding?
Riding is really a personal thing for me. So, while I am amazed at what some folks can do on bicycles in terms of how far and how fast, it is not a motivator for me. I understand that ridiculous/amazing things are popular but I don’t want to be like those people. I simply want to enjoy riding bikes for me.
Favorite Salsa model and why?
Living here in Minnesota, if I could only have one bike it would have to be a fat bike…let’s go with Mukluk. Fat bikes make it possible to enjoy trail riding in winter, and the fact of the matter is that sometimes winter riding blows the riding during other seasons out of the water.
Favorite pre, during, and post ride/race food and bevvies?
I like food…pretty much all food. And I enjoy many liquid beverages as well. Why it bothers some I do not know, but I do enjoy a nice cold Bud Light Lime. It is the quickest most delicious way to take a quick trip to the beach in landlocked Minnesota!
When you’re not cycling…
I am a fly fisherman. Glass is not dead.
What don’t you leave home without on a ride?
My desire to be outside.