Where do you live, what do you do for a living, and how old are you?
I live in Stillwater, N.Y., with my wonderful wife Amanda and dog Sam. I am a high school Spanish teacher and I am 31 years old.
What kind of bike(s) do you ride? What are the features you like about them?
I currently ride a Parlee Altum with full Ultegra and a Trek Stache mountain bike. The Parlee is somehow super stiff and snappy while having a really smooth ride feel, and the Ultegra shifts right every time. The Stache eats the trails alive. It looks a bit goofy, but has allowed me to become a much better mountain biker, giving me a level of confidence I never had before.
How long have you been riding and how did you get into cycling?
I have been riding road bikes for eight years and mountain bikes for six. I became addicted to the Tour in the Armstrong days, but never pulled the trigger on a bike. My father finally bought a road bike and didn’t want to be left out, so I jumped on the bandwagon! Now I am on my second road bike and can’t believe I didn’t get one sooner. For mountain bikes, my buddy pressured me into one and I made a bad purchase. I spent two years crashing a bike that was too small for me until I bought my Stache. I am extremely happy I made the upgrade.
How do you typically put the miles on your bike(s)? Do you keep track of your miles?
I split my time between hard solitary rides, rides with my wife pulling my dog in a dog trailer and mountain bike group rides with the guys I ride with. I keep track of miles with a Garmin 235 watch. I wanted something that I could use on and off the bike and went with the watch instead of a computer. It gives me speed and time ridden and that is enough for me.
Do you have some favorite routes?
I like riding the rolling country hills of Saratoga and Rensselaer counties. I live about five miles from the Saratoga Battlefield, and will link that into my rides as well. The scenery mixed with lack of traffic makes these roads a lot of fun. I also have enjoyed the road to Mount Greylock on the few occasions I have ridden it. As for the mountain bike, I prefer Daniels Road State Forrest, Pittstown State Forrest and Spier Falls.
What are your long-term cycling goals?
Mostly to stay fit, blow off steam, have a fun activity to do with my wife and just have fun! I would like to put more miles on my road bike this year and see some new trails on the mountain bike.
What are your proudest moments as a cyclist?
As I ride, I seem to run into a lot of turtles trying to cross the road these days. So the proudest moments I have are when I get to help the turtles cross so they don’t get hit by cars.
What tips would you offer to less experienced riders?
Just get out there and ride. Build up the leg and lung strength. Ask questions about everything! For me, it was the only way to learn about bikes. Also, don’t under-buy on bike stuff to save a little money in the short term. A few extra hundred on a bike, or even $1,000 can make a world of difference in a year or two. Buy nice shorts with quality chamois and comfortable shoes. It made a big difference for me when I finally made these upgrades.
What’s your favorite cycling product/accessory?
Right now, it is my shoes. My old shoes broke and I begrudgingly went in to buy new shoes. I have wide feet and the only shoes that fit were the carbon sole double boa shoes. Normally I wouldn’t have spent that much on shoes, but I am so happy I did. It totally changed my ride experience.
How do you fuel and hydrate when you’re in the saddle?
For me it’s just water. I drink a lot before I ride, so I typically only go through about one bottle per ride.
Any funny or unusual experiences during your riding/racing career?
One time I had a black bear jump out in front of me on a road ride. I also watched a young kid dump his dirt bike on top of himself, and my wife and I stopped to pick it up off him and get him back on the bike.
Announcements: Join us Wednesday nights at 6:00 pm for our Blue Sky Bicycles group ride! We meet in the Blue Sky Bicycles parking lot 10-15 minutes before the ride. See you there!