Age: 29er | Vitals: 6’1″, 185 lbs. | Years Riding: 10 | Current Residence: Whitefish, Montana
I grew up in the Pacific Northwest on Lake Sammamish, about 20 minutes east of Seattle, where I was lucky enough to be raised by parents who wanted me to spend an inordinate amount of time in the outdoors partaking in various forms of outdoor rec. I’ve held on to most of those pastimes, with the exception of those 38-degree weekend backpacking trips that I’m still trying to strike from my memory….
As a cyclist, my story is probably similar to that of many folks in the U.S. We biked as kids, maybe fell away from the sport when it was “uncool” during high school before realizing how much fun we were missing out on.
My second go-round with the bicycle came about early in my college years out of an intense need to procure late night (think early morning) food supplies. Like an internal start whistle, the 1:45 a.m. bell would strike and my friends and I would somehow know we had better get ourselves across the U-District to Dick’s Cheeseburgers—ASAP!
Fun as these times were (and sometimes still are), Dick’s was not the only place that the bicycle would end up taking me. On the advice of a childhood friend—and the cancellation of previously guaranteed UW transfer acceptance—I found myself in Missoula, MT around 2005 to study rec management and race my bike with the U of M collegiate cycling club. Surrounded by an amazing group of riders, I quickly became hooked on all aspects of racing—especially the allure of the Road Trip.
While this foray into road racing (thankfully) only lasted a couple of years, our team jaunt to Angel Fire, NM in 2006 for the Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships started my addiction to off-road riding and racing. I placed 2nd in the Omnium competition (short track, XC, 4x, DH) for Division II that year—a huge accomplishment for me since it was my first year racing on dirt.
I still enjoy riding and racing cross-country bikes (and cyclocross), but at some point along the line (probably at the Missoula XC race against some Olympians), I realized there is another level of sacrifice that I wasn’t ready to pursue. I’ve always ridden bicycles because it’s fun, and for me, doing repeats on a 20 percent grade staring at a stopwatch is not much fun at all (by lavante at dresshead.com). I prefer riding with friends in the woods.
I currently live and ride in Whitefish, MT, where we have awesome trails, a summer weeknight XC series on the mountain, a new lift-serviced bike park, and a freeride trail system that was saved by our local trail club. And it’s been known to snow a bit here in the winter.
Some bike stuff I’m stoked on:
Shimano Brakes, ROCKSHOX Suspension, ESI Chunky Grips, Oakley Eyewear