Photo from konaworld.com.
There’s something of an adoration–occasionally bordering on idolatry–for the working men and women of professional bike racing. We hold high racers such as Erik Tonkin, Tristan Schouten, and Mo Bruno-Roy who put in a full week’s work and still make it to the podium on the weekends. That esteem is, in part, a recognition of their serious dedication to the sports we love and their willingness to sacrifice time to compete at the highest levels. But it is also that we can see ourselves in working pros, unrealistic as that is. Few of us will actually spend the time training to compete at that level and even fewer have the genetics to do so. But their success feels just a little more within our grasp, a little more aspirational to those of us finding time to train and race in between all of life’s other commitments.
And though he eschews the notion that his full time job is a badge of honor or an excuse, Spencer Paxson falls squarely among that top tier of American working pros. He routinely places in the top 10 at national-level professional cross-country mountain bike races, placed 5th at the 2012 cross-country nationals, has made the US World Championships selection, and was on the 2012 Olympics long team. I spoke to Paxson about the challenges of balancing his office job with his bike racing job, what it means to have a career as a cross country racer in the ever evolving world of mountain bike racing, coming up under the mentorship of Erik Tonkin, and much more.
Posted in Interviews, Cyclocross, Bike Industry, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged Cyclocross, barry wicks, erik tonkin, spencer paxson, kona bicycles, cross country mountain biking, world cup, bellingham mountain biking
If the Internet (or perhaps all of human history) has taught us anything, it’s that trends are very important to follow. And there is no more prevalent year-end trend than Top 10 lists. Newspapers give you their most popular stories of the year. Buzzfeed gives you the 40 most influential corgis of 2012 (it was probably difficult to narrow it to 10 influential pups). And on the final day of 2012, The Bicycle Story gives you its top 10 most read posts of 2012.
The Most Popular Stories of 2012
1) Jacquie Phelan: The Godmother of Women’s Mountain Biking: Given her important role in both mountain bike history and introducing women to mountain biking, it is unsurprising that Jacquie tops the list. If you read just one interview from these 10, make it this one.
2) Tom Hopper: Rapha-Focus’ Master Mechanic: Tom is personal mechanic to America’s best cyclocross racer. Learn about his road to the professional pits and what it takes to succeed at the highest level of the job.
3) Presidents on Bicycles: A collection of photos from Presidents Day 2012 highlighting the long history of our Commanders in Chief riding (or at least posing) on bikes!
4) Ted King: Racing with the PROs, Advocating for Bikes: Ted King is an international pro tour domestique with the Liquigas-Cannondale squad. In addition to being one of the fastest American racers, he’s a proud advocate for cycling and the environment.
5) Steve Garro: Arizona’s Mountain Biking, Trouble Making, Frame Building Legend: Steve is another important figure in mountain bike history. The insightful interview covers the days of riding with his mountain bike crew The Mutants, his frame building, the accident that nearly took his life, and a whole lot more.
Posted in Everything Else
Tagged rapha focus, women and cycling, barry wicks, jacquie phelan, cross results, reveal the path review, steve garro, ted king, max kullaway, tom hopper, presidents and bikes, presidents on bicycles, frame builders
Barry at Starcrossed 2010. Photo via flickr user MFGcyclocross.
Barry Wicks is a professional mountain biker, cyclocross racer, and, as of last year, Kona’s race team manager. He cut his teeth racing in Oregon as a junior and rose to the highest levels of World Cup cross and mountain bike racing. His palmarés prove he’s a serious racer, but he remains laid back and affable through it all–a fact that’s made him one of the fan favorites in racing. I spoke to Barry while he took a break from his team manager duties, supporting his riders at Crankworx in Whistler, British Columbia. Part one of this two-part interview covered Barry’s introduction to racing as a junior, growth to his professional career, endurance mountain biking, and more. Part two picks up with Barry’s experiences racing in Mongolia, Europe, and Japan; the United State’s first cyclocross World Championship; the future of U.S. cross; and his own plans for the remainder of his racing career.
Posted in Interviews, Cyclocross, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged barry wicks, mountain biking, japanese cyclocross, mongolia bike challenge, cylcocross, kona bikes, cyclocross world championships, louisville cyclocross world championships
Tall guys require tall photos. Photo via thebonebell.com
Barry Wicks is a professional mountain biker, cyclocross racer, and, as of last year, Kona’s race team manager. He cut his teeth racing in Oregon as a junior and rose to the highest levels of World Cup cross and mountain bike racing. His palmarés prove he’s a serious racer, but he remains laid back and affable through it all–a fact that’s made him one of the fan favorites in racing. I spoke to Barry while he took a break from his team manager duties, supporting his riders at Crankworx in Whistler, British Columbia. Part one of this two-part interview covers Barry’s introduction to racing as a junior, Erik Tonkin’s mentorship, his recent experiment with endurance mountain bike racing, his Chicago slump, and more.
Posted in Interviews, Cyclocross, Mountain Biking, Racing
Tagged Cyclocross, barry wicks, obra, kona, erik tonkin, team S&M, ryan trebon, endurance mountain biking, mongolia bike challenge
Three teammates and I loaded up our bikes, piled into the car, and headed out from Seattle last Friday headed for Bend, Oregon for the last stop of the US Grand Prix of Cyclocross. Saturday’s pro races were spectacular. Katerina Nash took an early and decisive lead in the women’s race, but the battle for second between Nicole Duke, Meredith Miller, and Teal Stetson-Lee was fierce to the last corner. In the men’s race, Tim Johnson raced Jeremy Powers way off the front with a form he hasn’t shown all season long. Third place was a toss up between a chase group filled with people like Geoff Kabush, Chris Jones, Danny Summerhill and Ben Berden.
Posted in Everything Else, Cyclocross, Racing
Tagged Cyclocross, usgp bend, us grand prix, tim johnson, barry wicks, jeremy powers, katerina nash, nicole duke, teal stetson-lee