I like riding my bike fast-as much as I can…sometimes more than my coach thinks I should. I really like riding in the rain, and pretty much love the mud. I hate DNF-ing out of races and try hard to keep that from happening. I aim to be consistent and give it 100% every time I toe the start line. I’m not afraid of hard work, or failure as long as I know I gave it everything. I know that I am lucky to be able to race my bike as a profession and am eternally thankful to all the people, and all the sponsors who have helped me get here. I enjoy the journey
What got you into riding bikes?
I actually grew up in Maplecrest NY, which is right next door to Windham NY and has now played host to both national level level and World Cup level races, but growing up riding bikes was pretty much just for fun and transportation. When I was about 15 I had the great fortune of getting hooked up with Nick Bove who owns Windham Mountain Outfitters and has always had a pretty awesome junior development program for mountain biking, and I really fell in love with riding and racing. It’s pretty much been one adventure after another from that point on, but I still enjoy just getting out on my bike and ripping for the fun of it…especially when I get to go home and ride my hometown trails.
How has riding changed from then to now?
Things have changed in so many ways since then…The technology has come a really long way with the advent of disc brakes (first for mtn and now for cross), carbon fiber, electronic shifting. The advances are really amazing. Training too has changed so much since then. I used to just go out and ride my bike hard sometimes and call it good- I think a lot of people rode like that. Now heart rate monitors and power meters are completely ubiquitous not just in thee pro ranks, but on your weekly group rides. It’s cool in a lot of respects, but it’s important to remember the reason we all got into this is because riding a bike is simple and fun. Sometimes I take all the computers off and just go for a ride and remember when there was no “agenda”; And it’s still awesome.
What’s the best place racing has taken you?
I’ve had the great honor of having this sport take me to so many awesome places over the past years. Sometimes it’s just as simple as being on a mountain bike ride in the middle of nowhere and catching the perfect sunset as you finish up your ride. That being said though, this year Redline sent me to the first ever UCI cyclocross race in China and that has to be one of the most amazing and improbable trips of my riding life. To be somewhere so foreign and getting to race my bike there was a remarkable opportunity. Getting to check out the Great Wall is something I will never forget!
What are your hobbies outside of racing?
I really love to fly fish and try to get out as much as my schedule allows me. I grew up on a farm and really miss it, so I always try to have as much of a garden as I can- one day I’d love to have a small farm again. I enjoy writing when I can buckle down and commit the time to it…which I need to do more often! Most of all though, when I’m home I just enjoy spending time with my wife Jess and keeping it pretty low key- sometimes a movie and a couch is all you need you know?
People seem to have nicknamed me the Honey Badger….what can you do?