This month’s installment for the Cascade Courier.
Occupation: cycling coach, Cycle University
Hometown: Bellevue, WA
Alma Mater: Comparative History of Ideas, University of Washington
Commute Distance: 3 days per week, ~50 miles round trip
Do you recall your first riding experience?
There’s a picture of me when I was two years old, riding a tricycle in Chicago – where I was born. By the time I was four or five, the training wheels were off.
My earliest memory about riding was when I was about seven years old. On an early Sunday morning, I left a note for the family that I went riding. I took off to ride around the block, even though I still could not really ride the neighborhood hills. I returned to the house with my parents freaking out.
What’s your choice of bike?
My first bike was a Raleigh mountain bike. Raleigh is now our team sponsor [Recycled Cycles/Raleigh], so I ride a Raleigh Prestige. For the track, I race a Tiemeyer Cycles track bike; it’s a Colorado-based custom frame builder that Cycle U now sells, and we use the bike as a demo at trade shows.
Any victories that we should know about?
Last year, I medaled three times at the National Track Championships in Los Angeles at the new indoor track [the ADT Event Center was built in 2004 – 2005]. I finished 5th place in the Under 23 category for the points race, 3rd place for the 4km pursuit, and also placed in the team pursuit.
Earlier in June, I won the King of the Mountains at the Mount Hood Stage Race – part of the NRC [National Race Calendar] series, which is essentially the pro circuit. It’s a six-stage race with about 20,000 feet of climbing. It’s like the Tour’s polka dot jersey.
Describe points racing and pursuits for the uninitiated.
A points race is a 30 km group race with up to 25 people racing simultaneously (depending on the size of the track). The ADT is a small track, 250 meters, so participants were limited to 24. Every 2 km, there’s a sprint where the top four placing finishers earn points (5, 3, 2, 1); you can also earn points by lapping the field.
The pursuit is a 4km time trial with a standing start; in the team pursuit, it’s the same thing but you start with four riders and at least three must finish.
What’s your role at Cycle University?
In winter, I teach a structured indoor spinning class. Spring and summer, I teach outdoor clinics on cornering, climbing, descending and introductory racing. I also offer private lessons focusing on skills development and private coaching to help riders with training and fitness. In the fall, I lead cyclocross clinics.
I’m also the Operations Director, so I do some office work, help organize events, work the bike expo, etc. Last year I even took care of our Trademark application.
What are your career goals?
I’m still figuring that out. In 2002, I went to South Africa for four months to work for the Bicycle Empowerment Network (BEN) and the Ministry of Social Services. I worked a community outreach program for BEN that brought together high school students from different social groups in Cape Town for a bike ride through the Langa township. For the Ministry of Social Services, I did a cost-benefit analysis of a youth criminal justice initiative designed to expedite children’s movement through the trial process.
That chunk of time abroad was significant in framing the rest of my time at UW, and it was after that when I decided to really start racing. I took the LSAT in June. At some point, I may return to school, possibly move into academics.
What’s the immediate future hold for you?
Since my dad is Hungarian, I have dual citizenship; I recently learned that I can represent the Hungarian National Track Team. I was an alternate this past March for the World Championships in Bordeaux, France.
I’m traveling to Hungary in August to race with the National Team through October. The international track season is November through April, including four World Cups, plus the World Championships in Mallorca, Spain.
If the fall racing works out, I’ll stay through spring in Budapest or move to Aigle, Switzerland – home of the World Cycling Center.
The World Cycling Center? Sounds impressive.
The World Cycling Center is part of the UCI [International Cycling Union]. It was established about five years ago for countries, like those in Eastern Europe and South America, without their own cycling development program. The facility is similar to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado, but it’s not affiliated with any particular country.
When you are not racing, what’s your favorite ride?
I like riding the Cherry Valley area of the Snoqualmie Valley – the Flying Wheels route.
Send comments and nominations for cyclist of the month to: firstname.lastname@example.org