It’s time to get this out in the wild and give everyone a heads up on what’s going on with me! A lot of you have asked me about comments I made at cyclocross nationals, when I said, “this might be my last nationals.” That statement is in fact true, that very well could of been my last nationals, racing. I’ve been thinking for some time that I need to refocus, reset, and start some new goals, for a bunch of different reasons.
If you’re reading this, you know my journey. To this day, I feel a need to work tirelessly to build and support American cyclocross: The JAM Fund, Aspire Racing, events, camps, talks, rides, videos, BTB / BTBtv… Over the years I’ve had a lot of energy and I wanted to create, and in the process, push the sport up as high as possible. I know that I operate best when I have multiple things going on at the same time. So that meant family, training, racing, and business all at once. That’s been the status quo for me since the beginning and I wouldn’t want it any other way.
With every one of these projects, I felt extreme passion to put these ideas into motion and I learned a lot along the way from each of them. In my training, racing and spending time with all of you, I feel like I know our community very well and I did what I could to fill any gaps I saw or personally felt.
We created our own “privateer” professional racing team with Aspire Racing, and have been fortunate enough to partner with amazing brands in and out of the sport of cycling. Their support and backing has meant so much to me, that they believed in what we were doing on a grass roots and on a professional level. We built a community and a development formula for developing the next generation of professional cyclocross racers with the JAM Fund and the Grand FUNdo. We showcased the sport through BTB and BTBTV because I still believe, to this day, that coverage, access and media are the key to health in our sport.
I also strived for my own personal best results as an athlete, which I believe I’ve reached. I always promised myself that once I wasn’t improving any longer that I would stop my racing ambitions and stay true to myself by just having fun with it.
My intention was not to stop running Aspire Racing if the sponsorship would allow for a well funded program and things were moving in a good direction, but I didn’t find that to be the case when we started to seek partnership renewals for 2018. I take some blame for that, my personal results aren’t as good as they were in my peak, but I was truly doing the best I could and I have zero regrets. I also have to say that I’m not bitter, upset or disappointed about any loss of sponsorship, I feel exactly the opposite. I’m extremely grateful to the brands who helped us build these programs and enabled all of us to be a part of something so cool and impactful for so many years in our small discipline of this sport. Please do me the biggest favor and thank those brands for supporting us for so long for their energy and support.
At nationals in Reno, the Aspire Racing team hugged it out for one last time: Ellen, Spencer, Molly (our manager), Tom, Brandon,Peter (our mechanics) and Doug who shoots Behind THE Barriers. We told some stories, took some pictures, and laughed at dinner on Sunday night, it was our final event as that cyclocross team. We’ve shared some incredible memories together, so to recount some of them was special. A team, big or small, is a significant thing to me because it’s people helping other people be their best, that’s something that I’ve tried to build my life around. Seeing this impending change for Aspire Racing unfold over the past months has been tough for me because change is hard, and it’s a process to let go of something you built.
For the 2018 racing season, I’m going to be slowing things down. I can’t say exactly what’s happening because, as of right now, I don’t fully know. Many of my sponsors have said they would like to continue to work together, for which I am incredibly grateful. I don’t know if I’m going to be racing full time and I’m currently considering my options and deciding what my next challenge will be. I do know I’m going to be riding my bike, because I love riding and it keeps me grounded and helps me be the best version of who I am. I would be perfectly happy to continue to do any of those projects that I wrote about above. My dream is that my next step presents an exciting challenge, an opportunity to keep supporting, impacting, and giving back to the sport and community where I’ve spent my career. That goal can be accomplished in many different ways. I’m open, and I’m excited to see it all come together. Stay tuned.