Saturday, December 4, 2010

What does it mean? The Bike Life???

JP's Bike Life.....

If you are reading this, then you know me, have pedaled a bike beside me, or you are family. If you do not know me, then get to know me and the Bike Life! It has been on my mind a lot lately. I have loved those three words for about 10 months now. I have shared those words with a few friends and family, but really have just been trying to LIVE IT and realizing that I have been LIVING IT for most of my life. I have been into riding a bike for many different reason's and disciplines for close to 23 years now. Started doing it as cross training during my Speed Skating days and transitioned into racing a bike. When I line up to race and look down the line these days, sometimes I am racing against people who have not been alive as long as I have enjoyed riding and racing my bike. It makes me smile and set's the stage for my effort! Although most of my racing these day's is done on a Mountain Bike or Cyclocross Bike. Which allow's me to race against the 35 plus crowd, which is not any picnic and can be much more intense and most of the time one of the fastest races of the day. But, it is always fun and not so much about trying to win, but to be as competitive as possible!

As I was warming up for one of the biggest cyclocross races of the 2010 season with one of my teammates and long time local Mountain Bike racing legend, let's just call this person the Hippie. We got into into a discussion about how many different cycling disciplines we have entered over our racing days. We determined that he has raced in all, except for Track. Which I think would be one of his best disciplines if a Velodrome was not an entire state away! I have yet to participate in Track or BMX. But, there is still plenty of time for those disciplines, maybe as my kids get older we can all take to the BMX scene?? I guess where I am going with this thought is no matter what discipline racing has offered, it has been great enjoying each one as they have been attempted! The friends that I have developed from living the Bike Life (Race Life) have been numerous and extend from Coast to Coast. (Yes, I have been in RAAM, only as a Crew Chief for the 3rd place 4 person team in 2003, sponsorship issues caused a last minute cancellation for the team I would have ridden for in 2006) This has all been one aspect of my Bike Life.

Over the last three years, i have been fortunate to have be-friended and brought the joy of The Bike Life to many new riders via my cycling team Shores Sports Racing and business The team has emerged to the point in which my company is going to be one of the sponsors and merging with another Kansas City Based cycling team which will benefit all of the members. The team is called Etho's Racing! Shores Sports has been a sponsor for the last year, but has also supported a seperate racing team which I started in December 2008. The effort to merge will build stronger bonds and relationships for all the members on the team and the local sponsors. It is going to be a great team to be associated with in 2011 and beyond as our goals are lofty, but still focused on the Bike Life.

I have also grown to develop a relationship with SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza. ( Together we have developed local neighborhood rides, that provide a ride guide, a dedicated route, and a competition for riders that builds toward the Tour De BBQ held every October in Kansas City. Last year the SPIN! Rides were held at all 4 SPIN! Pizza locations. Our largest turnout was 96 riders strong on a Monday Night in August. We were fortunate to introduce 600 new riders to our SPIN! rides in 2010. The best part is the discount on food post ride and the numerous relationships that have been developed by this community cycling effort. SPIN! has been an amazing partner in this venture and truly is one of the most exciting times of the year for me! It feels like Summer camp and I am the director teaching people about riding and group rides in a family friendly atmosphere. We have some of the most diverse groups of riders in town. Triathletes, road racers, mountain bikers, you name it they are at our rides enjoying a form of The Bike Life! I am excited to say that Shores Sports will be back for another year of ride guiding for SPIN! in 2011! The planning has begun and the sky is the limit for what we will be able to do in the local cycling community in 2011? You will just have to come out and ride with us to experience the events first hand!

I could write for days about what The Bike Life has meant to me throughout my time on this earth. I have started sharing The Bike Life with my kids and hope to develop my little ones as they begin to express interest. You can continue to read about JP's Bike Life via this Blog. You will see all aspects of the Bike Life. I hope you check back from time to time and it inspires you to bring out that inner child and swing your leg over a bike and feel the wind in your face! Trust me you will be glad you did it, it is good for the Soul!

See you on the Road, Dirt, or wherever my Bike takes me!