I began racing bikes when a friend in High School told me about the State Mountain Bike Championships the next weekend. I made sure to get my bike ready, cleaned it and installed a new chain. Turns out my old chain had been stretched and much to my dismay I spent the entire race with my chain skipping over the gears. I don’t even know where I placed anymore, but I was hooked.
I spent the winter after High School locked in my bedroom at my Mom’s house after work riding my used (new to me) $40 trainer, sometimes for hours at a time. With the guidance of the Cyclists Training Bible (2nd ed) and as a groupie of the CU Cycling team, I went out and won my first race (Cat 5, Stazio Criterium). Again hooked, I took cycling far too seriously and rode my bike enough to earn myself a spot on the Nationals Team for CU.
While I finished 14th at the 2001 Collegiate Mountain Bike National Championships Short Track XC, I also earned myself academic probation from school. After that I met my future wife who did not ride a bike. These were my dark days of cycling.
I drove to work. I got fat.
Then in 2009 I got my road bike out again. I raced a Cat 4 road race in April 2009 on a one-day license and was dropped less than 10 miles in. At the end of last road season I earned the points to re-upgrade to Cat 3. At the end of Cyclocross season, I upgraded to Cat 2 for Cyclocross.
I had a tremendous start to 2010 in Cat 3 and after many podium finishes and two wins I was upgraded to Cat 2. My goal going into the 2011 season, my first full season as a Cat 2, was to work my way toward a Cat 1 upgrade.
2011’s road season has been a complete success and I earned my Cat 1 in July 2011!
Contact / Email: hardingr at cunap dot com