Friday, February 25, 2011

Last Team Mate - ME

I'm not sure how much of an introduction that I need to or should offer. I have been regularly blathering on for the last two years so you probably know as much about me as you need to, or want to, or even more than that, but because one of my team mates will make stuff up about me if I don't offer this up myself, I am going to fess up to a few things in a similar format as the others.

Personal bio - I was a Navy brat as a kid; born in Salt Lake City, Utah, with subsequent short stops in New York City, New York; Waukegan, Illinois (near Chicago); Bremerton, Washington; Boise, Idaho; Moscow, Idaho; Spokane, Washington (where I moved right before my senior year of high school (at G. Prep)); Seattle, Washington (UW for four years); and then back to Spokane (GU law school and beyond). I have been happily married for almost 22 years (to the same, very understanding woman - a teacher at North Central High School) and have two boys, currently 15 and 13, each going on 22 or 7 depending on when you check. I describe myself as a recovering lawyer, having practiced law, but also with excursions into managing construction crews, real estate development, restaurant and brewery ownership, and having finally settled on a pension consulting business where we do the administrative and compliance work for 401k plans and various kinds of retirement plans. I am proud to have also participated in a number of civic groups, including helping to start both Mobius (Fun Fact - Rider One came up with the name "Mobius" for the group, which is how we met) and SpokeFest.

Cycling bio - My only claim to athletic prowess was my participation in UW crew for four years. Starting with some exhibition races post-season as a sophomore, I was the stroke oar for the varsity boat for most of the rest of my tenure. My experience including winning a lot of races and, as is the tradition of the sport, collecting the jerseys of teams we beat, which eventually included every rowing university in the West and a few in the Mid-West and East, along with some Canadian and British schools. I don't think my teams achieved what they could have, which is a story long enough for a book, so it's better to not ask. My defining moment as a rower was my freshman year at the first big rowing test. I finished 3rd overall and was 2nd of the Port oars. Afterwards my coach came up to me and said, "S______, when this year started, I didn't give you a pencil leads worth of pigeon shit of a chance of making this team, but you certainly have." I didn't know whether to be happy or insulted, but I think I was an over-achiever for the rest of my career, which I don't think is a compliment. To me, it meant that I achieved over my lack of ability. Maybe it's a good thing to get out of your DNA given talent what you can, but that's what it was.

What's this got to do with cycling? I started cycling in the summer to be fit for the crew season and started a lifelong love affair. If I lived next to a river or lake, I might row again, but I would ride my bike no matter where I lived.

Bike racing - The best I have achieved is "being the tallest midget in the circus". I mean this as no disrespect to the people I ride with, but I have been an occasional C-pack winner and B-pack contender, but not ever more since I didn't turn to racing until I was aged and overweight. In theory I can do something about one of those, but haven't in order to be an over-achiever in cycling yet. Other than that, my primary claim is to thriving at endurance events - the longer the better. I have done a few 200+ mile/1 day rides (including one 10 hour/206 mile ride with Rider One) and finished the Leadville 100 in under 12 hours (barely).

Which leads to the "favorite ride" question. I am going to cheat on this question because I don't have a ride that is my "favorite" except that I love getting on my bike and going for a ride with friends and my kids and certainly with my team mates. I love the BS'ing, exertion and talking about everything under the sun (or rain). It is just a great sport and a lot of fun, whether I am on the road or dirt and where ever I am going.

I feel privileged to be a part of Team Two Wheel, because I am the lone C-Pack rider in a group of A-Pack folks. Thanks for letting me come out and play.
Rider Three

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