About Me

Short Version:

I’ve spent the past 10 years as a road cyclists, steadily chipping away in the North American pro circuit. I’ve raced with over a dozen different teams and lived in Belgium, Sweden, and all across the US while racing and training. It’s been an amazing journey and has essentially been my life’s work, so far anyways. While I plan to continuing racing bikes, my focus will transition towards triathlon over the coming years. I completed my first tri in May of 2015 at the St. George 70.3 North American Championships, came in 1st amateur, and qualified for my pro card. The result came as a bit of a shock since I had no experience in triathlon and almost no training, aside from the bike of course. I’m looking forward to a new challenge, as well as having two new sports to practice. Riding bikes is fun but after 10 years of only riding bikes, doing other things might be fun too.

I currently live in Boulder, Colorado with my wife Adelaide and our hound Maybellene.

Age: 29
Height: 6′ 1″
Weight: 160
Day job: copy writer in the cycling industry (SmartEtailing)
Education: BA Journalism from the University of Oregon

Long Version:

I started this blog in 2008 as a means to document my cycling career and life. Occasionally I’ll read a post from years past and realize how shitty of a writer I was back then. And probably still am. I’ve re-written this About Me section about ten times now. I bet if I read it in a week I’ll decided that it’s utter garbage and waste another hour re-doing it. Anyways, this blog has helped keep me in touch with my family and friends while pursuing my dream of not ever having to get a real job and being an endurance athlete into my 90s. Unfortunately, I recently realized that I do have a real job. That makes me sad.

I currently live in Boulder, Colorado with my wife Adelaide, our dog Maybellene, my Brother Galen, and his girlfriend Joslynn. To support my penniless pro cycling career, I work in the cycling industry as a copy writer/content producer at SmartEtailing. I’ve been competing on the NRC circuit for the past seven years, which takes me from coast to coast throughout the spring and summer. Here’s a little bit about how I got here:

When I was a baby my dad packed me in a backpack during mountain-bike rides in the hills of Corvallis, Oregon.  When I was a toddler the backpack became a bike trailer. Eventually I rode alongside him, many times tearfully angry due to the steep and muddy gradient. We’d moved, and now our terrain was the mountain-bike trails in the hills of Sherwood, which were inevitably paved-over for suburbs years later.

My first true bonk came at the age of 12 when I completed my first long road ride, a 60-something miler on a mountain-bike with no prior training, no ride food, and no drafting. The hunger knock came half way through the five hour ride, so my dad and I stopped at Taco Bell for bean and tortilla nourishment. My instant rejuvenation stuck so vividly in my mind that to this day, mid-ride junk food stops remain one of my favorite aspects about cycling.

I bounced around from sport to sport during my youth: soccer, track, martial arts, rock climbing, and white water kayaking to name my favorites. In college I picked up rowing, which eventually led me to bike racing. I injured my back doing one too many 3-hour erg days, and I had to take time away from rowing to let it heal. For some reason during that time off I read <em>It’s Not About the Bike</em> (every noob’s shameful start), and began scanning OBRA’s (Oregon Bike Racing Association’s) race schedule. I got a bike and within two weeks of owning that bright red new Trek I won my first race and was immediately hooked on cycling.

I got more serious about racing in 2008 and upgraded to cat 2 under the coaching of Gilad Gozlan, the owner of Life Cycle Bike Shop in Eugene. At the time, my dreams of racing professionally seemed close and ripe enough to reach out and pluck. It turned out the fruit tree was a mirage. Had I known how long of a road it would be to race in the professional ranks, I’m not sure I would have undertaken the immense task. I graduated from the University of Oregon that year in the spring and went to Belgium to race and live with an Israeli team. I got my ass kicked in many Kermesses that summer.

The next year, 2009, became my first year as a true cycling low-life: a mostly jobless, lonely drifter training too much and reading too little. I thought nothing about the world other than how it would be benefited by an extra few watts on my threshold. I grew stronger under the guidance of my then coach, Jeannette Rose, and competed in my first couple NRC events: Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Cascade Classic Cycling Classic.

In 2010 I was handed one of cycling’s few life gifts in the form of a spot on Hagens Berman, an elite amateur team based out of Seattle. At the time it was one of the best amateur teams in the country. I didn’t realize how lucky I’d been to get a chance to race for that team. My results certainly hadn’t warranted a spot on the squad.

That was my first year racing a full season of NRC and UCI events. I mainly just got my ass kicked and finished 100th. I trained hard and did some good work for my team but the breakthrough I thought would come never did.

2011 was somewhat of a repeat of 2010. I still didn’t have any amazing results, though I did better than the prior year and continued to improve in terms of fitness as well. After racing in the States for the majority of the season with Hagens Berman, I traveled to Belgium again to race for the rest of the summer in kermesses and interclubs with the ASFRA Flanders team. I did a lot better this time around in Europe and realized that my strengths were better suited to the go-all-out kermesses of Belgium, and less to the demands of the sustained climbs at Cascade and Gila back in the States. I contemplated staying in Belgium, but decided against it and accepted a spot on Hagens Berman for the next year.

The previous years I’d drifted around from Oregon, California, Arizona, and race host houses. I needed a break from that, and some sort of a more stable job. I moved to Boulder and finally started to spread some roots, and 2012 proved to be my best season to date. After Cascade, I took off to Belgium once again. This time I spent the majority of the trip being sick. I was miserable for three and a half months, since every time I was about to get better I’d race and get sick again.

The return home was a relief, as was the contract with another good team, Rio Grande. 2013 was my breakthrough year and my potential was finally realized with some amazing form. I signed a pro contract with Firefighters Upsalla CK, an upstart Swedish/American continental team at the end of the season.

I entered 2014 with high hopes and dreams, only to see absolutely nothing come true. The pro team was all smoke and mirrors and there ended up being no title sponsor. The team was completely disorganized and fell apart mid-season. Luckily when I returned home from Sweden, Horizon p/b Einstein Bagels was there to pick up the pieces and gave me a home for the remainder of the year. My legs never bounced back to where they’d been earlier that year before I went to Sweden, but I enjoyed the final few months of racing regardless and signed a contract to race with them for 2015.

While out on a training ride for an upcoming full distance triathlon, my wife (then girlfriend) Adelaide was hit by a careless, belligerent driver in October of 2014. Our lives were drastically uprooted. Her face was literally peeled off when she went through the window of the driver’s car. She barely survived, and likely would have bled to death had it not been for the extra blood volume endurance athletes poses.

I proposed to her while she was in a coma, and a few more times throughout her recovery in the ICU until she finally remembered saying yes. The following months were incredibly difficult, and needless to say, training for the upcoming race season was far down on my list of priorities.

So far, 2015 has been the worst season of my cycling career and the first time I’ve taken a large step backwards in my results and fitness. I’ve had very little motivation and desire to race or even ride my bike. The one big takeaway is that it has inspired me to make a change in my life and try something new: triathlon. I signed up for one on a whim and after a few months of doing two whole new sports (running and swimming) I completed the St. George 70.3 North American Championships, and somehow came in 1st amateur and qualified for my pro license right off the bat. The result came as a bit of a shock since I had no experience in triathlon and almost no training, aside from the bike fitness of course. While I plan on finishing out the year with my cycling team, I’ve also drawn out a good schedule of 70.3s to compete in, and will be focusing on triathlon in future years.

 

 

13 thoughts on “About Me

  1. Paula McFarland

    Good and exciting writing, Kennett. I’m following you as you write and ride.

    Grandma

  2. Kurt Kristensen

    Kennett:

    Your skills are awesome, your persistence is beyond compare and your dreams are clearer than the NorthPole Star.

    It’s been great to watch you visualize your dreams and doing something about it.

    I am currently reading ‘What The Bleep Do We know;’ it’s abook that might make good sense to you at this stage.

    Europe is the place I sharpened my teeth on when young, and all the things you learn there will fit into the puzzle as you continue riding and writing.

    Each race you bike this summer will, perhaps, leave the proverbial ‘foreign object’ that, proberly nurtured will, one day be ‘the pearl in your oyser.’

    Your poem, by the way is great.

    Thanks for listening, young man.

    :)Kurt

    P.S. My youngest son, Ian, just visited Barcelona this summer and he siad it was a neat city for young people.

  3. katrina overcash

    Hi, I see you are looking for temporary housing in April. Are you offering anything for rent? I have room attached to garage with its own bath and separate entrance. Bike bath right in front of house. Cable TV, full size bed, a inflatable air mattress. Shed to look up bikes. If interested you can email me. K.overcash@att.net

  4. carol peterson

    I look up Kennettron5000 every day and am disappointed when there is nothing from you. I wonder if your Grandma Paula and I, are the only two people who read your every blog. I know your Dad doesn’t and I am not sure about your Mom. I have a hunch brother Galen does if he has time during his college studies and work. I do wonder if you think more about food then bicycle riding. I really enjoyed reading about your team mates. Love and good racing this season. Grandma Carol

  5. kennettron Post author

    I’ll get another one out shortly. I haven’t had a lot of ideas to write on except about training, and I assume most people don’t want to hear about that. Plus I spent so long on that last one trying to get the photos in there and the right size, and then my computer crashed and didn’t save it so I had to do a large part of it over so I got fed up with wordpress for a few days.

  6. Pingback: Paula mcfarland | Myequipmentren

  7. Myles

    Hi Kennett. What a fantastic blog! This is such a refreshingly different perspective than most self-serving tri blogs. Your writing is witty and entertaining! You and Adelaide seem like such humble and fun people! I wish you both the best and hope her recovery is going well!

  8. Sam Hudson

    Hi Kennett – great blog!
    Do you create content for other cycling based blogs?

    Drop me an email :)

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