Hello, and thanks for visiting! I decided to start up this site (and blog) as a way to document my journey as I embark on the world of ultra endurance cycling, with some bikepacking adventures thrown in. While there are already a fair amount of useful resources on the sport, I'm hoping my first hand learning experiences as a beginner can be a useful contribution to that collective knowledge, especially for those looking to jump in to the sport as well!
I grew up as a competitive athlete, with running being my sport of choice. My primary focus was on cross country, along with the track 5k and 10k. As the distances became longer, I found myself becoming more competitive. In light of this, I figured I'd start focusing on competing in the marathon after college. A good friend of mine happened to moved to Corvallis, OR to run for a post-collegiate development team (Team Strands, more info here). He knew I was already considering moving to the west coast - Flagstaff, AZ was my initial thought, so he gave me a call one day and made the suggestion I move to Corvallis instead. It didn't take much to convince me, so with that suggestion I moved a couple months later (in Nov. 2011) without having ever stepped foot in Oregon. My primary focus of the move was to explore a new state, and train alongside a group of incredibly talented athletes, with hopes of finding my way on to the team.
Unfortunately, training wasn't going well for me due to a nagging long term injury (past running blog here), and the teams sponsorship dissipated a few months after I made the move. This caused a lot of the athletes to relocate, so I found myself unable to run consistently (due to the injury) and rather uninspired, which led to a long bout of losing fitness and motivation.
Rewinding a little bit, I've always been riding bikes for fun (BMX, but not well) or for commuting (old Raleighs, Univegas, etc.), but my first official road bike was a red 2006 Cannondale CAAD 8 (R700), AKA "Rover", I got this bike as a way to supplement my training during college (SUNY Cortland) because I was rather injury prone and didn't want my cross training to be in the pool or inside on a bike trainer. I had done a bunch of hour to two hour long rides with the bike, and finally decided to embark on a 70 mile loop around Skaneateles Lake near Syracuse, NY. That was my first long distance ride, and I was hooked on the freedom it allowed me; to have the ability to explore such a large distance under my own power. I didn't do much long cycling after that ride, but that feeling of adventure never left.
Going back to my Oregon move, unfortunately I had to sell the Cannondale when I relocated to Corvallis as a means to cover bills (too bad I couldn't courier there!), and finally found myself in Portland (in 2015) where I became immersed in the phenomenal cycling culture of PDX. I finally decided to enter a race in August, 2017 (Swift Summit NW 200mi), which coincidentally was one of most difficult athletic events I've ever completed due to lack of nutrition knowledge (note: food is your friend when riding that long!). However, after the 200 mile race my friend suggested I sign up for the Steens Mazama 1000mi, I had heard about the race previously and was intrigued, so I figured I might as well give it a shot (granted, I signed up only after I had mentally recovered from that brutal 200 mile learning lesson). So here we are! I'm writing this bio on May 18th, 2018 and I have 49 days until my first self supported ultra endurance cycling race.