As a daily commuter and recreational cyclist, I can talk about all things bicycle all day. What I’d like readers to get out of this blog is a place to talk about bike happenings, any tips and tricks I’ve discovered, stories, and hopefully some real world cyclist interviews.
A bit about me
Cycling has been a large part of my life since the beginning. I grew up riding my bitchin’ Huffy with a coaster brake – shredding tires in the alley behind my house. I started commuting by bike in 2010 during my sophomore year in college when I sold my car and bought my first road bike. When I moved to Des Moines in 2012, I started commuting every day to my new job and have been ever since. Iowa weather is an interesting beast. Over the course of a year, I’ll encounter 100+ degree days in 90% humidity all the way down to the negative double digits with ice and snow. My current trusty steed for all weather is a 2013 Raleigh RX cyclcoross bike with fenders and rotating tires (knobby vs slick) depending on the weather. Aside from commuting, I spent a few years racing cyclocross (ok, “racing” is a strong word) and I’ve done one official mountain bike race — that’s a funny story that I’ll dive into below. When not commuting, I spend most of my recreational riding time on my mountain bike – a 2007 Gary Fisher Rig with an Origin 8 carbon fork.
I hope that you find something on this blog somewhat useful or, at the very least, amusing.
Oh yeah, I promised a story about mountain biking. I’ll caution you ahead of time – I’ll be including pictures that are not for the faint of heart. Scroll at your own risk.
My first, and only, mountain bike race was held in Boone, IA at Seven Oaks. I had raced bikes before, and I ride my mountain bike enough that I decided to give mountain bike racing a go. It was kind of a rainy morning, but the event had already been postponed a couple of times so they decided to hold it anyway. If you’ve never been to the Seven Oaks course, it’s not what one would call “single speed friendly”. Perfect day for me to bring mine.
By about the second lap, I was already gassed and the course was getting sloppy. I was taking the switchback corners and downhill sections slow and easy, just trying to stay vertical on the bike. There was one section, however, that was flat, flowy, and fast. I was drilling it through this section, feeling more confident than I’d ever felt on a bike at that point in my life.
Then my rear tire slipped on a wet root. Before I could turn my handlebars, I was already face deep in a tree. After brushing off my body and my pride, I continued onward. On the next lap around, I took it easier in the section, but noticed something weird and fuzzy was attached to the tree I was pretty sure I had hit (foreshadowing). Not thinking much of it, I went ahead and finished the race – complete with a bloody jersey.
After the race (and a few bandages and hydrogen peroxide later), I decided to go check out the tree. Mistake.
My friends and I had a good laugh, and I always enjoy sharing the story and picture with people. It also gave me a reason to rock a sweet mustache for a while. Maybe one day I’ll get a full face helmet. Probably not.
Maybe one day I’ll get a full face helmet. Probably not.