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The Three B's

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Great day of skiing during "man-cation" ski adventure at Big Sky, Montana

Great day of skiing during "man-cation" ski adventure at Big Sky, Montana
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Singletrack, mountains, and ocean

Singletrack, mountains, and ocean
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Big fall ride with a mangy crew of Montana folks

Big fall ride with a mangy crew of Montana folks
(Image credit: Matt Butterfield)
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Just about every day in December was a powder day

Just about every day in December was a powder day
(Image credit: Nathan Jensen)
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Going "huge" during a snowy day at Lolo Pass

Going "huge" during a snowy day at Lolo Pass
(Image credit: Nathan Jensen)
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First beach day with the roommates, it wasn't super warm but coming from -10 degree temps in Montana it felt good

First beach day with the roommates, it wasn't super warm but coming from -10 degree temps in Montana it felt good
(Image credit: Kristina Seley)
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Exploring the endless gravel roads around SLO

Exploring the endless gravel roads around SLO
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Subaru Outback loaded with everything I own, ready to chase the three B's

Subaru Outback loaded with everything I own, ready to chase the three B's
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Had to clock-in at the office now and again to justify all of my skiing

Had to clock-in at the office now and again to justify all of my skiing
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Taking a break to enjoy the view on top of Stuart Peak

Taking a break to enjoy the view on top of Stuart Peak
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Top of Mt. Borah, highest point in Idaho

Top of Mt. Borah, highest point in Idaho
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Major exploring around our campsite while backpacking in the Bitterroot mountains

Major exploring around our campsite while backpacking in the Bitterroot mountains
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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The view from Gray Wolf Peak during one of my peak bagging excursions

The view from Gray Wolf Peak during one of my peak bagging excursions
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)
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Not a bad spot to relax after riding

Not a bad spot to relax after riding
(Image credit: Andrew Shepherd)

Recently, while chatting at dinner, a California babe asked me, "So, like, what do you do?" It took me a while to come up with an answer...

I just migrated to San Luis Obispo, California, in pursuit of the three B's: bikes, babes, and beaches. Alright, so I am actually here to focus on gearing up for what I hope to be a successful 2011 racing campaign. This year will be my fifth season riding for the Subaru-Trek mountain bike team (formerly Subaru-Gary Fisher).

The plan is to hit both the World Cup and the domestic US Pro XCT series. I am hoping to step up my results in both the international and domestic scene, with the major goal of landing a spot on the 2012 Olympic team ringing at the front of my mind.

The bulk of my off-season was spent in my hometown of Missoula, Montana, fitting in more than my fair share of amazing hikes, backpacking trips, and exploratory mountain bike rides. I also enjoyed one of the snowiest (read, best) Decembers that I can remember. A majority of my training consisted of backcountry skiing, racking up 25 days on the planks. With morning and/or evening trainer sessions between all of the skiing, I built up a pretty solid fitness base. Once I scratched my skiing itch, it was time to make my annual pilgrimage to a warmer climate, trading the skis for bikes.

This year I took a bit of a risk and decided to check out a new town. From two prior visits to San Luis Obispo I knew that the riding is rad, the town is cool, and there is plenty of potential for the perfect combination of the three B's. I didn't know many people here, but I lucked out in finding ideal roommates. They are fellow riders, great cooks, and have quickly become good friends. It didn't take long for this place to feel like home. It's hard to go wrong with rolling hills through wine country, epic climbs up isolated canyons, trails with amazing ocean views, seemingly endless summer weather--and, just for a bonus, plenty of beaches and more babes than you can shake a stick at. I am happy here.

So, to jump back to the question, "What do I do?" Well, I pretty much ride my bike; a lot. I also do plenty of eating, core work, stretching, throw in some yoga, focus on recovering, cook, take naps, read books, hit the beach, hang in coffee shops, wander the farmer's market... Shit, I basically live the dream.

My goal is to ride a bike as fast as I can while trying to fit in as much fun as possible. Once March rolls around, I start flying around the world, racing most weekends. I still have to pinch myself on a regular basis to make sure I'm not dreaming.

I'm excited to keep you posted on stories from my races, travels, and general experiences on the racing circuit this year. My above description might make it sound like it's the easiest job around, but things aren't always as idyllic as they sound. There are plenty of trials and tribulations that come along with the territory and I'm sure I'll have a chance to fill you in on some in future posts.

Until next time...