Juggling work and pro racing

Hello everyone and welcome to entry one of my 2011 Cyclingnews blog. I am honored to be featured on such a prestigious website and will do my best to provide at least mildly entertaining content.

Why me, you say? Aren't I just a working stiff from Utah who rides in stage races and other endurance mountain bike events? Well, that's precisely why, I guess: it's because I am a working stiff who is trying to hack it at the pro level. I hope to offer some insight in to what that is like to work full time and race, and to pretend that I know what I am doing enough to offer some tips to those who are in a similar position.

The bottom line is I love to ride, and I have fun racing. I love the experiences that the bike has provided me and the great people and places I have come to know on the way. I hope to share some of that with you this season.

2010 was over before I knew it, and I had a great finish to a season full of ups and downs. La Ruta de Los Conquistadores went better than I could have planned, and I wound up in second place for the second year in a row. I felt like this year's second place resulted from a much stronger performance than in 2009.

My then teammate Ben Sonntag and I both came in ahead of five-time champion Federico Ramirez. Many racers have gone to Costa Rica and come up short against him;, yet Ben and I managed to pull it off. We stuck together and played the team card to our advantage. I think, in the end, that made all the difference and we took first and second.

I was on the new Cannondale Scalpel at La Ruta and was amazed at how well it rode. My team situation was up in the air for a while, and I was worried that I would have to give up my 20-pound full suspension this season, but I am happy to say that I'll be riding a Cannondale again in 2011.

After La Ruta, we relaxed on the Caribbean coast for a couple days. Then it was zero to sixty in a hurry, and I've since had a major transition with work. I've been an independent sales rep for four years, working with a variety of brands in the bicycle and outdoor industries. In December, I was offered a new rep position with Pearl Izumi and Shimano in the Utah and western Wyoming territory. It's been busy getting up to speed on everything, but I can't complain. I eat, sleep, and breathe bikes anyway; so it's easy to get excited about what I am selling. Working in the bike industry and riding and racing as much as I do really tests my love for the sport. I'm still as passionate as ever, though, and burnout seems a long way off. Ask me again in July, and I may have a different answer...

This also puts me in a situation where the old adage "Win on Sunday, sell on Monday" suddenly rings all the more true. The former is more of a goal, something I hope to accomplish a few times a year, while the latter is more of a requirement. If I don't, well, I'll be fired before long!

I'm just getting going on my training for the coming year and am making the transition from backcountry skiing to riding my bike. Check back soon as I gear up for some more cool races this season.

Thanks for reading!

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