It’s been a little over a year since I last posted an update which is a bit nuts when I think back to a time when I would update my blog on a daily basis. Times have changed!
After 22 years of racing I’ve decided to “retire” from racing. There are a few reasons behind the decision, but the main ones are that I’ve pretty much achieved everything in cycling that I wanted to. In some instances, I’ve exceeded my own expectations; I’ve won 4 US national champion titles; ~20 state championships; won mountain bike, road, time trial, criterium, hillclimbs, track (grass, concrete, and wood), and BMX races; finished ahead of World Champions, Olympians, and riders that went on to win stages of the Tour de France; held a US national record for a few months; broken a few course records; traveled to places I’d like never have considered if it wasn’t for cycling; beaten riders that I later learned were doped up (Note: You CAN race and win clean!); survived two stage races in Mexico; and survived being hit by cars three times. One of the biggest things for me is that I never resorted to doping yet still achieved everything that I have.
I’ve had asthma since my age was in the single digits. I can recall times when I was barely able to walk as a kid and had to be carried around. Times spent on a ventilator (both as a kid and at a MTB race)… To be leading a race and have to pull out with an asthma attack was pretty frustrating… At least I won the MTB race following that incident. I had some pretty crappy knee problems in the late 90’s which doctors reckoned was Juvenile Chronic Rheumatoid Arthritis. Doctors were doing a great job at writing me off doing any sports seriously. Maybe without those challenges I’d never have pushed myself as hard physically and achieved what I have.
There were a few moments of “That’s it, I’m done!” (Master Track Nationals 2010) followed by “Just one more crack at it” (Elite Nationals 2013… Then Master Track Worlds in Manchester in 2015 where I narrowly missed getting bronze in the individual pursuit… I had serious thoughts of Master Track Worlds in Los Angeles in 2017, but winning the Individual Pursuit at Master Track Nationals (Stage 2 aka Make Up Event) on one of my “home” tracks is a pretty sweet bookend to years of flogging myself in the pursuit of the top step of the podium. Having my 4yr old and wife there to see me win was also about as good as it gets. They were there in 2013 when I got to pull on an elite national champion jersey (Something I never imagined I’d achieve) but my daughter was only 1yr old and the memory is likely limited to photos. Now, hopefully she will remember being on the podium with me on November 19, 2016 as well as her sneaking into the team pursuit podium photo the following day.
If it wasn’t for cycling I’d almost definitely never had flown in a Blue Angels F18, surfed with a world champion (Sunny Garcia), or ridden around O’ahu (Hawaii) with a Formula 1 World Champion (Jenson Button). Cycling can be the source of amazing opportunities!
I’ve had some amazing support over the years from family, friends, coaches, and some fantastic sponsors (too many to list) – Thank you everyone!
To steal and modify a quote I read recently “You come to cycling with dreams, you leave it with lifelong friends, sore legs, and some great memories!” – Mike