It's late December and I have been doing 4 hour rides in the Chicago
area. My motivation? Being hired as a professional cyclist, my dream.
I have received a contract with Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada for the
'07 season. I see it as an opportunity to continue using my talent,
desire and drive to succeed in this sport. Not simply being satisfied
with a "Pro" status on my cycling license. I feel that my career to
date has prepared me well, giving me the confidence to meet the
challenges with riding on a professional cycling team.
I would like to express gratitude to the ABD club as to my
development as a road cyclist. I started my racing career on the
mountain bike. As a junior, I raced with the Schwinn national team
where I was introduced to Mike Farrell as a coach. I remember
vividly, meeting with him and Mike Ebert one night at his old shop
for a heart-rate zone test. I straddled an awkward bike (a "road
bike") set on a Computrainer, perhaps my first time on a road bike.
Shortly after, Farrell supported me with my first road bike and began
persuading me to ride more and more on it. With his vast experience,
I feel he had an inkling that I would enjoy it. He was right. Ebert
and I soon bonded as new teammates on an early ABD cycling team. He
guided me during my start as a roadie, as well as Farrell, who mainly
focused on me not being a "Fred".
The years have quickly past. I've spent some of the years going back
and forth to Europe and Latin America but continuously racing my bike
and being adventurous at the same time. ABD has grown and Prairie
Path Cycles has expanded, but their fundamentals on developing young
cyclists have not. It's been proved just recently with Reid and Bryce
both signing as well. It's a phenomenal club to be involved with and
for those looking to grow in this sport and who live in the Chicago
area, ABD is the cycling team to start with and begin growth as a
I am off to Boulder, Colorado at the beginning of the year. My wife
and I will treat it as our base for next season. There have been some
small changes with Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada and they wanted to use
Boulder as a center for some of their riders in addition to
California. I may have to put a small plow on the front of my bike
for the first few months, but perhaps just living at altitude will
get me in shape and I won't have to worry about riding in the snow.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,