Born and raised in suburban Massachusetts, the outdoors began as something to lust after, rather than as a way of life. While joining the teeming hoards on Mt. Monadnock, I realized at an early age that trails were the place to be. This realization developed in parallel to my love of bikes, which at the time was limited to tearing around the neighborhood on BMX bikes.
Left in need of a mode of two-wheeled transportation after some jerk stole my beloved Robinson SST, a gracious cousin loaned me an early 90’s Univega Alpina mountain bike. The Univega was touted by my cousin as being virtually indestructible, a theory which I disproved in a competition to see who could ride up the most stairs (file under: “stupid things I did in high school”).
But that Univega impacted my life in two important ways: first, it was the genesis of my love of mountain biking. Second, its constant state of disrepair—and the expensive proposition of paying someone else to fix it—led me to the conclusion that I might as well get paid for my frequent trips to the bike shop. And thus began a ten year stint as a shop monkey.
I worked in shops throughout high school, and I continued my habit of working for low wages and pro-deals during college in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
After arriving in Colorado, my suspicions were proven true: big mountains hold all kinds of fun for a kid on a bike. I dabbled in racing bikes, and while I wasn’t much of a climber, I was able to make a bike go downhill. I embraced this fact, and Colorado’s chairlifts and trails with massive vert helped me find my happy place.
Living in Colorado also forced me to find something to do with myself during the winter, which gradually developed into an expensive ski habit.
After a brief period working as a “lab supervisor” at the Barnett Bicycle Institute, I decided to leave Colorado and my job in the bike industry to pursue higher education. I ended up in Montana, primarily because of the university’s proximity to a ski hill. Turns out that Montana is a nice place to live, so my wife and I decided to stick around.
We now live in Whitefish, which has a fantastic diversity of bike trails—everything from buffed out flowiness to freeride contraptions to all-day, high alpine adventures. And while I don’t get to tinker with bikes all day anymore, I still spend a disproportionate amount of time on all things bike related. I enter a few cross country races every summer just to make sure I’m still slow (I am), and I still make a decent showing at local downhill races.
Racing aside, I spend a good amount of my time looking for steep, rocky chunder and things to jump off, preferences that I largely attribute to cutting my teeth on the rocky trails of the east coast.
Some Favorite Bike Equipment:
SRAM drivetrains; Avid brakes; Canfield Bros. Yelli Screamy; Maxxis tires