Homebase: Sheffield, VT
Age: Neck deep in mid-life crisis
Sponsors: Free agent at MTBVT
So how’d you get into two-wheeled shenanigans?
As a kid, I was always out on a BMX bike either jumping, riding on old log roads or exploring any other trail around. That was back before anyone had labelled trail riding as “mountain biking”. In the process, I managed to destroy nearly every part on my Huffy at one point or another. When I grew up, I got into racing road bikes for a short time. I ended up buying a mountain bike because it just looked like a lot of fun. Once I spent a little time on that first mountain bike, I was 110% hooked. There was no turning back. It was just like going back to riding around in the woods like I did as a kid. It still has that feel to me every time I ride.
Who or what influences your style?
I don’t think I’ve ever had any specific individual who inspired me. I’ve always liked to ride hard just because I could. I think some people train and ride fast so they can race. I race because it’s a good excuse to ride hard more often. There’s an inherent satisfaction in cleaning a long technical climb or just plain ripping a section of trail as fast as I can. I see racing is just a natural extension of that same mindset. I can also be obnoxiously competitive.
Moving to single-speed riding was another natural fit. I was intrigued by the idea of going with just one gear after seeing another rider on a single-speed many years back. I tend to attack climbs and try to work my momentum which is a big part of riding a one geared rig. I converted the bike I had at the time with a Surly tensioner and loved the ride. There’s a certain simplicity and focus gained by removing the option to shift. When riding, I’m thinking less about my gear and more about the trail, traction and power… and going faster.
Whatcha got cookin’ for the future?
I’ve done a lot of traditional XC racing over the years with some decent results. I’m leaning towards doing more with longer distances next season. I’d like to do more “marathon” length races like the NH100 as well as some 12 hour races. There’s so many good events going on in the region I’ll be focusing more on races in Vermont instead of all the traveling I’ve done in the past.
Who’s behind the scenes supporting your cycling habit?
My parents were very supportive of my riding and racing when I was younger. Now, the bulk of the credit has to go to my wife. She’s the enabler for my addiction. In addition to all that she does, she’s always doing something to help with my riding – even if it’s just helping me find my gloves as I’m trying to get out the door for a ride. We travel to most of my races as a family – especially since my daughter has gotten into racing as well.