I was born at a commune (or was that a cult…) in 1974 where I lived under the impression it was a normal lifestyle until I was 10, at which point we left and I found out the outside world was a tad different. I went to middle school and a few years of high school in Colorado before moving to TX with some friends for I-don’t-really-recall what reason. I worked on a number of dairies and a veal farm where I decided I was no farmer. So I moved to some nefarious places and lived with some nefarious people for a while until I could get my shit together and eventually started going back to school. It was there in Temple, TX where I started riding the Huffy road bike my music teacher sold me so I could commute without hitch-hiking. In the middle of the night after I’d finished my work, I rode up and down the streets of Temple as fast as I could. The thick hot southern air pushing against my face like warm water, the orange light of street lamps changing to dark as I raced along the empty streets at night made a rhythm I could pedal to. It was a revelation and I wanted to go faster, push harder, escape the shity life of hand-to-mouth, farm labor, and hot factories. I soon traded up to a Schwinn road bike a friend said I could have if I got it out of hawk from the pawn shop. I thought it was the greatest bike ever and I rode it everywhere. It was a 56cm. I am 6’4″ and thought it was awesome…
After getting laughed at by the owner of the local bike shop when I came in asking for a longer seat post, I soon found myself working there. Not getting paid, but in trade for parts as a shop rat. It was the salad days of mountain biking and I immersed myself in it as much as possible. I read Mountain Bike Action as if it were the bible. I saved my tips from the the restaurant I was working at (I had to get paid from somewhere) and bought a real mountain bike in ’92.
Racing was my life for the next few years and I met a whole new group of people in the process. People that helped me understand there were opportunities in life and more importantly, they helped me understand a new perspective on how to see the world around me.
Aside from the two jobs which eventually became just one at the bike shop, I was back in school at night, picking away at credit hours for a college degree. I eventually got enough credits from the junior college to transfer to a real university in ’98 and received my degree in chemistry a few years later from UT in Austin.
Got a real job on the east coast, won a few expert mountain bike races, moved up to Semi-Pro. Got a little burned out. Took a few years off and learned to rock climb, surf, stay up late… It gave me the time and the impetuous to try a whole lot of things and meet a lot of amazing people. But riding a bicycle creates a unique set of experiences that were hard to replace. Time does heal a few things, or at least blurs the parts you didn’t like and romanticizes the bits you did like. So here I am on a bike again. Only this time there’s a bike, a house, a kid, a wife, a little more perspective. It gets pretty hectic around here, I might be a little less consistent, but I’m still a kid in a candy store.