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Where did 2010 go?….

Here we are, January has just about come and went, and my head is still spinning.  I am the new guy; my name is Geoff, and I am the lucky bloke on the eastern part of the USA getting to ride and write about all things Specialized.  Well that isn’t entirely true; SBC has pretty much given zero guidance/direction on what to write, they know that mountain bikers have an ultra sensitive BS meter, and if they directed us what to write about, said BS meter would be red lined, and our happy readers would procrastinate elsewhere.  Not true here, full disclosure, I promise you to tell it like it is, and, I encourage a dialogue.  If you have questions, send them my way, if they can benefit others, heck ya, I will post it.  It is going to be that kind of warm, fuzzy, feel good kind of place.  Tan, the man with a plan, Specialized’s very own Community & Social Media Specialist asked that I “flesh out” myself as a Trail Crew member.  Future blogs will be much more exciting I promise, but I think Tan is spot on.  I think it would make for a better read if you knew a little bit about me, where I have come from, and where I am going.

I am a 31 year old mechanical engineer, married, and father of two incredible kids.  I work full time and then some.  The last  decade has been a whirl wind.  I studied engineering at the University of Nebraska.  Growing up I always loved bikes but college was my first introduction to competitive cycling.  I found out I didn’t like to lose, coupled to a work ethic that borderlines obsessive compulsive, a seed was planted.

podium ducktown-bergmark

After graduation I was commissioned into the active duty Army Aviation branch, and subsequently learned to fly helicopters.  In the Army I had a disposable income and most weekends free so I sought races within an 8 hour radius wherever I was, which was AL, NY, and WA.  The discipline didn’t matter, road racing, cyclocross, mountain biking, as long as I was turning myself inside out with a number plate pinned or zip-tied to something.  Racing kept me sane, my eyes always looking forward to the next event.  Mountain biking was hands down my favorite and with all my travels I fell in love with the mountains of North Carolina, fortunate for me, my future wife was from NC, and her grandfather had a vacation home smack-dab in the middle of some of the nation’s best trails.  I knew where I wanted to settle down once my military commitment was completed.  My commitment was cut short when my helicopter engine cut out, smacking the ground at 85 mph in 2006 turned my aircraft and world upside down.  The crew survived, there isn’t a day that passes that I don’t think about it, forever grateful.  I got my bell rung, both legs broke, right ankle nearly torn off, but alive!  Arthritis was my ticket out, two years earlier than planned. I hung up the beret in January 2008 and moved to Western North Carolina. Feb 6, 2006

During my military tenure I coupled my passion for bikes and training with a masters degree in exercise science.  I coached full time with Carmichael Training Systems out of the Asheville, NC office.

A2 Wind Tunnel work

Two years passed, my family grew, and so did our bills, so I went back to engineering.  For the past year I have been the product manager and engineer for a start-up company in the area.  Since last May I have been working with partners in Asia for over four months.  I got rocked in 2010.


Specialized contacted me about the Stumpjumper Trail Crew my life was pretty low.  I was just finishing up some plans and packing my suitcases for another month in China.  I was mentally fried, missed my family dearly, 10 pounds heavier than I have ever been, and frustrated because my training/racing season was on the fritz.  The great news was enough to help me wrap up another 30 days of work overseas, the grass on the side was certainly greener, and I was set up to jump the fence.  In my opinion, you the reader, are getting to chime in during an incredible state of flux for me.  I am switching careers so I can get back to doing the things I like:  working hard, keeping my butt in the USA, spending time with the people I love, and racing my mountain bike.  Specialized hooked me up with a GoBandit camera, www.gobandit.com, and I get to show off the incredible trails in the area.  I have perused the videos made by the other SJTC riders and they have certainly raised the bar.  I may not have the fanciest editing skills, but you will probably get to see me eat it sometime soon.

I am going to wait until the next entry to share my new bike with you.  I have about 7 hours on it so far and I LOVE IT.  I will pause for effect, staying perfectly ambiguous, so you have to check back in to see what I got.  There is a short track race this weekend in Charlotte, NC.  My goal is to get some footage with the new camera toy thing and let you see the bike and me at work.  Talking about myself is hard, so I am really pumped to get this one out of the way so we can get to the good stuff soon.  This blog is like my new bike, I am going to have to settle in, carry the multi-tool and shock pump for a while, make adjustments as I go.  The end goal is to have something that is an extension of myself, not just something I am on.

Pisgah the wonder mutt with my Camber Pro 29er

Pisgah says go out and pedal.

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