About 15 years ago, I hopped on a bike for the first time with the intent to have fun. Since that day my life has become fully immersed into a two-wheeled world, taking me places I never would have dreamed of. Before I knew it, I was racing MTB World Championships in Italy as a junior in 2008. I sure did learn a lot from that experience, but mostly humility and an even greater desire and drive to better myself. I realize how lucky I am to have been supported as heavily and enthusiastically as I have been throughout my career. As a result, I have always had a lot of motivation, though I don't take myself too seriously. I rarely pass up an opportunity to take in an expansive vista, I love the opportunity to get out for a big ride and explore new places, and I can't imagine a world without tight, bench cut, single track to get pinned on.
RIDER NEWSMORE FROM THE COG
DISCIPLINES / RIDING OR RACING FOCUSCyclocross and Mountain Bike
KONAS IN YOUR QUIVERSuper Jake and Hei Hei Race DL
DATE OF BIRTHMarch 27, 1991
RIDING WITH KONA SINCE2016
PERSONAL TOUCHES ON YOUR BIKES
Pink Crank Brothers pedals to match my Super Jake frame, light blue Lizard Skins DSP bar tape to match my Kona head badge on the Super Jake.
Two things. I eat white sushi rice with peanut butter and honey before every race. Also, before “call up” I do these leg swings to loosen up my hips but they often look ridiculous and I get called out for doing yoga/calisthenics before the race.
FAVORITE PLACE TO RIDE
I got to experience Squamish in all its glory last year at the Kona launch. I am hooked after a ride on some lesser traveled trails with Barry Wicks, Geoff Kabush, Kris Sneddon, and some locals.
WHERE ARE YOU FROM AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
I am from Birdsboro, Pennsylvania, where I spent the first 18 years of my life. I went to college at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, North Carolina, where I met my fiancé, Emily Shields. I fell in love with her, as well as the western NC mountains, and now live in the Winston-Salem area. Whenever I can, though, I get to Asheville or Brevard for the most epic Pisgah mountain bike adventures ever. Also, great beer.
GOALS FOR THE 2018 SEASON
There are two European CX World Cups on the horizon: Nommay France and Hoogerhiede, NL. The World Championships follow these two races and for all of them I would like to place low to mid 20’s. I like to set very realistic goals for myself.
On a more general note, I want to have a more adventurous 2018. The first step in accomplishing this goal is a bike packing trip in Baja Mexico with some friends of mine in February. Then, after the Pisgah Mountain Bike Stage Race I want to organize some local NC backroads bike packing with friends. Emily and I are getting married in June, and to kick off our honeymoon we’re embarking on an adventure trip to the PNW and hopefully tie in the BC Bike Race to our honeymoon agenda. In between these highlights plenty of adventure can be had. Then CX starts in September.
THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU
I am hard pressed to wear jeans that aren’t skinny jeans.
I brew my own Kombucha and have had my S.C.O.B.Y. mother going for 2+ years.
I aspire to live in my RV for an entire summer, traveling to new places and being totally off the grid.
FAVORITE MOMENT OF 2017
The first week of August as a whole was quite a magical experience for me. I was flown out to the 2017 Kona launch where I met the Kona family who welcomed me with open arms. That was unbelievably humbling. Not long after the launch, I asked my lovely lady to marry me on top of Mount Massive, a 14,000+ foot mountain in Colorado, and she said yes!
THIS OR THAT?
NETFLIX OR YOUTUBE?
Netflix. Netflix is better quality though I don’t know what I would do without YouTube how-to videos. You can get help on everything from how to rebuild an engine to how to get stains out of your undies.
FLIP-FLOPS / SANDALS?
Sneakers. I can’t imagine hiking or doing anything remotely close to “extreme” in sandals without stubbing my toe.
LAUNDRY OR DISHES?
Dishes. I don’t separate my colors with laundry, which makes that super easy to do. Dishes require the washer to touch each individual dish instead of just piling them into the dishwasher into a heap. Then you have to put each dish away individually. Also, there is something comforting about putting on a nice clean wool base layer and fresh puffy chamois.
WOULD YOU RATHER BECOME A NINJA OR A PIRATE?
Ninja. Pirates care too little about their hygiene. Also, I would go stir crazy on a boat.
PHONE CALL OR TEXT?
Phone calls for important things. I hate the back and forth about text messaging. Text messaging is preferred for one word responses or funny meme’s/hilarious videos within a group text.