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Experience the Blue Sky Difference

Eric Abbale

Eric Abbale

Where do you live, what do you do for a living, and how old are you?

I live in Saratoga Springs, I work in the Medical Device Industry and I am 39 years old.

 

What kind of bike(s) do you ride? What are the features you like about them?

Trek Stache 9: I can sum this mid-fat hardtail bike up by saying it is the most fun I have ever had on a bike.  The geometry of the Stache in terms of handling and the 3.0″ tires make this bike confidence inspiring.

Parlee Z-Zero: This bike rides exactly how I envisioned when I decided to go the custom route.  It is stiff exactly where I want it to be stiff, but it is also extremely comfortable and a joy to ride all day long.  The bike feels like it turns on a rail and quite honestly, is much more capable than its rider!

Trek Crockett:  I decided to get into Cyclocross racing this past season and went with the Trek Crockett.  This bike has really inspired confidence as I feel like I learned the bike and how far I can push it quite quickly.  Not that it is inexpensive, but you do get a lot of value for your money.  The bike is really fun to ride, and I love that it can easily be converted to a single speed, as that is something I am interested in doing down the line.

Electra Townie: My wife, Abbie, and I spend a lot of time towing our son, Wyatt, around town on our Townies.  We joke that of all our bikes, these are probably used the most.  The bike is very comfortable and fun to ride as a commuter or as a cruiser around town.

Trek Farley 5:  I wanted to ride all year long, so I got a fat bike a couple of years ago.  For me, this bike is perfect.  I like that it is rigid, so that if I want a change of pace during mountain biking season I have that option as well.  It handles the snow great and has been a blast.

 

How long have you been riding, and how did you get into cycling? 

I grew up always riding my BMX bike as a kid, but I never considered myself to be a “cyclist.”  In my adult life, I have been riding for 11 years.  In 2006 I decided to do the 100K route of the Tour de Cure in Connecticut, where I was living at the time.  I did not have my own bike, so I decided to borrow a friend’s who was the same height as me.  Not really knowing anything about a proper bike fit or gear, I did the ride and I was hooked from there.

 

How do you typically put the miles on your bike(s)?

Do you keep track of your miles?  Most of my riding these days is mountain biking, primarily on the trails off Daniels Road in Saratoga Springs.  I do still put some miles on my road bike, and this past year, training for Cyclocross.  I don’t tend to keep track of miles anymore.  Aside from the couple of months training for CX races, I just want to ride as much as I can whenever I can and have fun doing so.

 

Do you have some favorite routes or races? 

On the road I like to head out toward Saratoga Lake then break off into some of the farm country that is out that way.  I also like to seek out climbs out toward Greenfield.  On the mountain bike I primarily ride at Daniels Road; some of my favorite trails would be: Bee, Ridge Line and Sybil (yes, Sybil!).  I have also ridden at Gurney Lane in Queensbury a couple of times recently.  This trail system is very well engineered and is a lot of fun.  It’s less technical than Daniels Road, so it is a nice change of pace.  I very much enjoyed the Saratoga Cyclocross race this past year.  The route was great and they did a tremendous job organizing the event.

 

What are your long-term cycling goals? 

Pretty simple: keep riding as long as I can.  Cycling has added a lot to my life, and I hope that my son develops the same interest as he gets older so that we can do some riding together.  I do aspire to become stronger and more competitive in Cyclocross.

 

What are your proudest moments as a cyclist? 

My proudest moment was completing the Pan Mass Challenge in 2010.  The Pan Mass Challenge is one of the single largest fundraising events in the United States, and raises in excess of $30 million annually for The Jimmy Fund and Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston.  I rode with a close friend of mine whose 10-year-old daughter had been diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer.  She is now 17 and cancer- free.

 

What tips would you offer to less experienced riders? 

Well, I am certainly no coach, but my advice is to simply get out, ride, and have fun.  If you can do that with a friend who has more experience, that is very helpful.  I have been fortunate in many ways, cycling aside, to have become very good friends with Caleb from Blue Sky.  I have learned a tremendous amount from him on the bike, in all disciplines.  Stay within yourself, but don’t be afraid to push yourself to get better.

 

What’s your favorite cycling product/accessory? 

Hmm, this is a tough one, but I have to go with my Bontrager Old Man Winter cycling boots.  I look forward to it being cold enough to wear these every season because they are so comfortable.

 

How do you fuel and hydrate when you’re in the saddle? 

Primarily water, but having a hockey background, I have been using Biosteel recently.  I don’t believe it is popular in the cycling community yet, but it certainly is in hockey.

 

Any funny or unusual experiences during your riding/racing career? 

I am not sure if this is unusual or not but I am grateful for my cycling experience primarily because I have met so many tremendous people and have developed a couple of great friendships as a result.  A funny experience that comes to mind occurred last summer. Caleb and I were mountain biking, we came to rest at the intersection of Ridge Line, Here to There, etc. We were standing still talking to another rider who came up to the intersection and in the middle of the conversation I just fell over.  I almost took Caleb with me!  It was probably far funnier in person than I can articulate here but it was a good laugh.

Announcements: Join us Saturday morning at 8:30 am for our weekend Intermediate group ride! Rain at the start cancels. We will keep you updated!