This is the first entry of Jeremiah Bishop’s regular column. As a professional mountain biker and coach he knows the tricks to get faster and more efficient — and he had to learn most of them the hard way. He will be sharing his knowledge, experience, mishaps, lessons and tips, so check back regularly for his thoughts.
When I was asked to write a column for Singletrack.com, I knew it would be a great opportunity to share my unique experiences and some amazing stories as an adventure mountain biker and full-time paid professional racer with the Cannondale Factory Racing team. I’m living my dream-come-true: competing in legendary races and exploring some spectacular trails.
The following is a glimpse of where I am and where I’m going with it:
I came up from scratchy background as an East Coast mountain biker with little more than a borrowed bike, and I received a lot of help from a big community that loves to ride. My odds of becoming one of the top racers were pretty slim; but here I am.
So, this column is an exceptional chance to share some insight and sweet tricks-of-the-trade I’ve learned from some of the best in the ‘biz.’
My racing background is firmly rooted in UCI World Cup and national-level cross country events. I have dabbled in disciplines ranging from road to enduro, and Super-D to cyclocross; though I spent half of the past 20 years toiling in the semi-pro zone, tackling mountain bike races of every type. The long and short of it is that I’ve survived more failures than wins, but I never gave up because I’m simply crazy about racing bikes!
I have been lucky enough to win over 100 races (of the 1,000 or so I have endured in many disciplines). I have two national titles, in short track and marathon mountain biking, but during the past year my focus has been on racing the cross country World Cups in attempt to qualify for the USA Olympic team. Though I was just short of my main goal, the quest pushed me to some fantastic results and great adventures in their own right. Over the year I had some great experiences: representing the U.S. and earning fourth place at the Olympic test event; double wins in the season-opening short track and XC races at Bonelli Park PRO XCT; and claiming a pair of medals — bronze and silver — at the Pan American Games and the UCI Pan American Championships, respectively.
As cool as all that short-course sprint racing is, my real passion and natural riding mode is about going big. If I’m a little nervous about surviving the ride, then it gets my stoke meter to 11!
Endurance racing is taking off and I’ve been lucky enough to try quite a few iconic races, from the nasty ones like the 24-Hours of Moab and La Ruta de los Conquistadores, almost countless 100-milers, even the famed Cape Epic and TransAlp. But, I have the most fun racing the backcountry singletrack stage races like Breck Epic, Trans-Sylvania and Pisgah mountain bike stage races.
As beginner coach and student of the latest in training science (thanks to my coach, Hunter Allen) I look forward to sharing some fun tips on how I and other professionals gear up for some of the toughest and fastest races on the planet earth.
I stay true to my adventurer roots in my spare time with off-road motor pacing, fishing, science, backcountry skiing, and burning chairs and shootin’ guns with road racers… but more on that good stuff later.
I hope you’ll enjoy this column. And if ever you don’t, come back the next time: each week will be something completely different as I have some good ground to cover! I hope to leave it better than I found it, but I’ll also tell it like it is. if I piss anyone off, please see the complaint depart – it’s headed by Mark Weir.
There are a lot of mountains out there; Enjoy the ride!
Jeremiah Bishop’s occupation has always been Adventurer/Explorer, which led him to his career as a pro mountain biker. He races full-time for Cannondale Factory Racing, has over 100 race wins, including eighth place at worlds, and is a two-time U.S. national champion in short track and marathon. Jeremiah is an ace stage racer and a star of the ultra endurance race scene. He is also a cycling coach (on pavement as well as dirt) and stays true to his adventurer roots by fishing, hosting the Alpine Loop Gran Fondo Charity event and getting in extra time outdoors with his family.