Hometown: Berlin Heights, OH
Current Residence: Indianapolis, IN
Discipline: XC & Enduro MTB
Team: RideBiker p/b Sho-Air
Career Highlights: 11x USA Cycling National Champion
1. Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Berlin Heights, Ohio. A small town about 20 minutes from Cedar Point in Sandusky.
2. Did you play other sports?
Growing up I played basketball, baseball, and football through high school.
3. When you did you first start riding? What kind of bike was it?
I first started racing bmx bikes when I was 5 years old and transitioned into road and mountain bikes early on in high school.
Photo: Patrick Gordon - www.brothertaysphotography.com
4. At Marian University they had you ride various disciplines, did you have experience riding all of them before going to school there?
Marian University gave me the opportunity to try many disciplines and openly encouraged my growth, not only as a rider but off the bike as well. Before Marian I hadn't raced much downhill or cyclocross. After my freshman year, I knew that off-road racing is what suited my skill set the best.
5. When did you start competing in MTB? Are there a lot of races available for kids/teenagers?
I started racing MTB my sophomore and junior years in high school in the Northern Ohio area.
Right now is the best time to be a young MTB racer! Many states have high school leagues that are growing rapidly. I'd like to thank all of the people who are putting their efforts into the high school leagues. It's an amazing opportunity for the students, their parents, and the future of our sport.
6. Favorite food(s)?
7. Where do you live?
I'm currently leaving on the west side of Indianapolis in Danville.
8. Do you ride every day?
I usually ride six days a week with a rest day on Mondays. I started working with a new coach this year, Adam Pulford, and it's been a night-and-day difference. Thanks to Adam and Carmichael Training Systems for helping me become the rider I am today.
9. Tell us what you do working for SRAM. What is your favorite part of your job?
I am currently working for SRAM in the Technical Marketing Group. TMG helps educate dealers on the SRAM product line that includes; SRAM, Truvativ, Rockshox, Zipp, and Quarq products. Before working with TMG I was an Intern in Aftermarket Sales while still taking classes at Marian.
My favorite part of the job is getting people excited about SRAM products. Eagle and eTap have people more stoked than ever to own SRAM products.
10. You are very involved in RideBiker Alliance. Can you explain what that is, your role and why you got involved?
RideBiker Alliance is something that I am very passionate about! It's given me the opportunity of a lifetime to race my bike on a professional level while creating a group of like-minded people who are passionate about cycling on many different levels. My role is to promote RideBiker through the form of racing at a professional level, social media exposure, and face-to-face interaction. RideBiker was created by Scott Tedro, the CEO of Sho-Air, as a more sustainable model for clubs/teams.
I got involved after I heard that Scott Tedro and Colt McElwaine were heading up the program and explained the potential of RideBiker and the importance of not only being an elite athlete, but being an even better person off the bike. That's something I believe we can all get behind and support.
11. What are some of your goals for the upcoming year?
2017 is going to be a fun year! I am starting to nail down my schedule and goals for next season currently. The big goal is always the same for me, just have fun! I want to continue to enjoy racing and riding my bike as much as possible.
I plan on doing a bunch of different racing; XC Racing, Enduro Racing, CX Racing, Gravel Racing, and even some Road Racing.
12. What's your favorite MTB trick?
I don't have too many tricks up my sleeve, but I do enjoy finding the craziest/most technical line and trying to ride it faster than anyone else.
13. What are some of your favorite things to do/hobbies off the bike?
Off the bike, I'm a very easy-going person and I love sports. I still enjoy basketball and get too competitive nearly every time I play. I'm also a huge Cleveland sports fan, Go Cavs!
As crazy as it sounds to some of my friends who know me best, I've started running with my roommates a couple times a week. Both of my current roommates were runners at Marian and one is a three-time All-American. Needless to say, I am not winning any races up the hill back home!
14. Out of all the different types of riding you do, what is your favorite and the one you have the most fun doing?
I enjoy every type of riding for different reasons. I will have to say that any type of mountain biking is my favorite. Nothing puts a bigger smile on my face than ripping a corner at full speed, hitting 40ft jumps, or blasting through rocks for 3 hours.