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...
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Sam Schultz, 25, is a regular at US National Series mountain bike events and on the World Cup cross country circuit. The Subaru-Trek racer is back at it again for the 2011 season.
In 2010, he had a break out performance - winning the Subaru Cup, a US Pro XCT series event in Mt. Morris, Wisconsin. It was Schultz's first national series event.
"I am really hoping to step it up another level in international competition," said Schultz of his 2011 ambitions.
Schultz hails from Missoula, Montana, where he lives for most of the year although he can be found from January through April based in San Luis Obispo, California, where the climate is more hospitable to gaining pre-season on the bike fitness.
When not on his bike, the good humored Schultz enjoys skiing, hiking and cooking and eating good food.