|J-Pow! and Hayes!|
My adventuring into cycling was winter of 1988, in a dark living room, sitting by the fire. I was a little boy growing up in Oklahoma and my dad was hatching a plan. We would ride bikes across the state of Iowa and spend the evenings in tents. I was of the age that spending a week in a tent sounded pretty damn cool, so I was in! This was going to be a father and son trip, as my parents were finalizing a divorce, one last adventure before I would move to Illinois with my mom and little brother. One problem, I didn’t really have a bike worthy of such an adventure. I had a single speed but nothing that would hold up for a week of cycling. Dad went to the city and picked up a new Trek and I would be use his old 1975 Sears ten speed with all original parts (and cables). IOW, the bike and I were of the same model year. Our training plan was easy, each weekend we rode from our house to a lake and back home. A spring of riding and we were off to Iowa for RAGBRAI XVII. The highlights were dove bars, pork chops, and my front derailleur cable snapping and riding an entire day in the big ring. I don’t remember the trip being too hard, we covered 479 miles + the bonus day to hit a century. According to the event site, it was dubbed the hardest of the courses at the time, no big deal. Here we are dipping our wheels into the Mississippi river as proof of our finish and proof I’ve always had chicken legs!
That was it for cycling for me until I was working late one weekend afternoon and ended over by the lake to see the 2005 Chicago Triathlon. It seemed pretty cool, I swam through high school and had run a marathon a few years earlier. This seemed to be in my wheelhouse, I went online and bought a triathlon bike a 51cm Ironhorse and started training. I raced my first year on a bike that was crazy small for me and would get crushed on the bike portion of every race. In Miami, I was one of the top amateurs out of the water and listened to “Nice Swim Chicago” for 3hrs while I soft pedaled back to transition. I wisened up and was fitted by Adam at GetaGrip with new bike under me, the rest is history! I have countless triathlons under my belt with 3 Ironman finishes to my name. I’ve gotten into coaching with USAT and USAC and managed to make my girlfriend, Karin, faster than me. My goal for this season, stop getting chicked!
|Kicking ass in triathlon!|
I was friends with Geoff Scott via the Chicago Tri Club and somehow ended up in Jackson park for the Chicago Cross Cup in 2009. I watched a few races and thought this was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I was hooked, I was also completely burned out from a season of Ironman training. The fire was still burning and I showed up in Jackson park a year later to give it a go. I hung out all season with Geoff and Ken and would official join the Spidermonkeys after cross season ended. I just finished my first year with the team/club and love every second of it. You can find me at every cross race suffering like a dog and cowbelling for other Monkeys.
I’ll be around more this season, I’m adding some early road racing to my calendar before Triathlon season gets going and I plan to be a regular on the JJ Peppers ride. Cheap beer and trying to flog each other on the bike?!?! Sweet, I’m in.
So that’s my story and thanks for reading!