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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 2:40 pm 
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OK, a couple of questions have found their way to me for Mike to answer so here we are:

1-How many years did you ride as a full time pro for?

2-Seems to be a few notable riders live in the Durango area. Which others do you know?

3-Is there one retro bike you'd consider your holy grail ? Or are you more interested in top end stuff you can still use and abuse without feeling bad?

4-How did you find retrobike and have you told Ned ;-)


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PostPosted: Wed May 16, 2007 3:05 pm 
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I rode as a pro for about three years. There's alot of notable riders here, but I dont want to be a 'name dropper' :D Sorry.

To be honest, I cant really remember how I found retrobike. I just surfed in here one day I guess.

I dont really have a 'holy grail.' Everything was so out of reach when I was young. There's a lot of bikes I'd like to own. I'd really like a Yeti Ultimate. Or a Breezer Cloud 9.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 10:43 am 
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Nice interview. I've got a question... when you were competing to a high level, didm it ever take away some of the enjoyment of MTB'ing?


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 2:49 pm 
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Thats a good question Steve, and I thought about it alot while walking the dog this morning...

I guess the answer is both yes and no. I'll try to not make this too long winded...

Racing juniors in the 'heyday' of mtb'ing was just about the most fun a kid could have had. I was winning a bunch back then, and improving all the time, so there was always something to look forward to. The races were always interesting, mostly because there were no trails where we were, and to get away for the weekend to rip up some buffed out singletrack was always a treat :lol:

When I was 18 (1998), I secured my first real sponsorship for K2/Proflex, and that was the coolest. Showing up to training camp with the team and having your new bike and clothes all ready... Sure, the racing was hard and it was always good to get it over with, but there's so much that goes into bike racing that isn't the 2 hours your out suffering.

Collegiate was by the far the most fun I ever had racing. We'd go out and hammer, and then party like rockstars. We were pretty good too, we won a ton of national titles as a team, and we always partied the hardest :lol:

But then I turned pro, and things changed. The first thing I noticed was the races were longer. The Norba officials wanted the top guys finishing in 2 hours, so that meant I was back there at 2:15-2:30, and sometimes if the conditions were epic, we'd be pushing 3 hours. I'll tell you, thats a long f'n time to be racing a mtn bike, especially when you're full gas the whole time. There was always someone there to take your place too. If you let up for 30 seconds, you'd be passed by five guys, all charging for 47th place.

I guess going to Worlds make it all worth it though. It was a surreal experience being there with the 'best' your country had to offer. Just getting waiting on hand and foot with all the parts and team clothing you could get into a bag. Sweet. On the one hand, you had your emotions all wrapped up in the race, and then people started crashing planes into the World Trade Center, and that changed things. They wanted to cancel the event, people were all upset, it was a mess. In the end, we raced, but people weren't focused anymore. It was a weird time.

So yeah, racing pro pretty much sucked. I've never suffered so hard in my life to be satisfied for top 30. Not very rewarding. Alot of the guys who followed me through the juniors quit and dont mountain bike anymore. :cry: I think mostly because if they weren't winning, then it wasn't worth it for them. I guess thats why I survived. In the end, I still love riding my mtb, and it doesn't matter if I'm racing or not.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:55 pm 
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Great question and top response....

I have one that kind of leads on from that..

What do you think it would have taken for you to get up there with the top 10 ? Was it a question of dedication, natural talent, training, a particular aspect of racing that maybe you needed to work on?? Obviously you're way quicker than the likes of me but what do the Overends/Tomacs have that sets them apart from the rest in your opinion ??


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 3:58 pm 
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ameybrook wrote:
In the end, I still love riding my mtb, and it doesn't matter if I'm racing or not.


Good answer :D , and I'd bet that despite the hard races and pain you wouldn't swap any of the experiences you had. Sounds great.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:04 pm 
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I was pretty young... 20-21-22 for those years, and I just didn't have the hours and hours of training in the legs. The races were always packed into three week blocks... so we'd race in Vermont on Sunday, and then jump into a car and drive 35 hours to race in Utah again on Saturday. The actual XC drains you so much, it should take a full week to recover, but your forcing your body to do it in three days. Not optimal.

By the time I had finally piled on the miles to maybe get my body to a point where it could handle the beating, I had already accrued too much responsibility (mortgage, dog, girlfriend, etc).

To really do it right, you need to have no other responsibility other than riding and racing your bike. You also need full support at the races, which includes a tent, spare parts, a mechanic, etc. And then you need to have it all come together, which means perfect conditions, no flats or broken chains or anything.

I wouldn't wish the life of a working class pro mtb'er on my worst enemy, so it pains me when some of my best friends call with bad race reports.


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PostPosted: Thu May 17, 2007 4:49 pm 
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You've convinced me, i won't ditch the job, sell the house and pack up the family into a combi and go racing....


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 1:07 am 
BoTM Winner / retrobike rider
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Great interview there, really nice to get to know a member a bit more personally :D

Rich


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PostPosted: Fri May 18, 2007 2:32 pm 
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ameybrook wrote:
I wouldn't wish the life of a working class pro mtb'er on my worst enemy, so it pains me when some of my best friends call with bad race reports.


I wonder how it compares to being a Domestique on a road team?


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