After 39 years of writing about bikes, I’m riding off into the sunset, retiring from RBR.
I wrote my first cycling article for the now-defunct magazine Bike World in 1977. (I hope my article didn’t hasten its demise.) That was followed by a stint writing for Velonews when it was located in Brattleboro, Vermont. Ed Pavelka was the editor, and my association with Ed continued through my 15 years at Bicycling Magazine in various editorial capacities. In 2001 Ed and I founded RoadBikeRider, and I’ve continued to write for RBR ever since.
That first article in Bike World was about training, a topic I’ve come back to many times in my writing career. In my attempt to become a better rider and racer, I found that sharing my hard-won knowledge with others was at least as much fun as groveling in the peloton.
I have many people to thank for my time in cycling journalism, too many to mention here so I apologize in advance for those I have omitted.
Ed Pavelka has been a mentor, riding companion, teammate on our record-setting 1996 Race Across America team and motivational force for me since the ’70s. Ed took a chance on an unknown young writer, giving me the opportunity to write for Velonews, at the time the foremost racing publication in the U.S., and he also edited my first book. He came up with the idea for RBR and worked tirelessly to turn it into the best source of road riding information on the web.
Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of riding with many pros, including Greg Lemond, Steve Bauer, Davis Phinney, Ron Kiefel, Christian Vande Velde, among others, who were kind enough to slow down so I could keep up. I gleaned much useful training and technique information from them as I panted in their draft.
I’ve also had the opportunity to talk cycling with exercise physiologists and coaches so I could pass their expertise along to readers. Andy Pruitt, founding director of the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine and the father of modern bike fitting, has been a friend and source of inspiration along the way. He also repaired my knee so I could continue to ride!
I’ve had the privilege of coaching at Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo’s PacTour Desert Camps for 21 years. Both are ultra-distance cycling legends and run equally legendary tours and training camps. Their example – and their smoothly run tours – have kept me young in this sport.
Local Montrose, Colorado, bike mechanic and shop owner Alan Ardizone won fame as RBR’s “Uncle Al,” dispensing cutting-edge tips in his inimitable style. He and his cycling wife, Leslie, have been my friends for 18 years during which time Alan has kept my bikes running and built my wheels.
Former Bicycling Magazine technical editor Jim Langley has also helped me with mechanical matters, inspired me with his years-long riding streak and continues to disseminate practical advice every week to RBR readers.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank my wife, Deb, for her unwavering support. She has listened to my article ideas, provided invaluable feedback and proofread my manuscripts all along the way. And she’s an accomplished cyclist in her own right – we have logged nearly 50,000 tandem miles since we got our first long bike 12 years ago.
John Marsh took over RBR when Ed Pavelka decided to ride off into the sunset back in 2010 and has continued the tradition that Ed and I started. John’s passion for the sport shows in the enthusiasm for cycling that RBR continues to spread to readers all over the world.
Most of all, I’d like to thank you, the countless recreational riders who have read my articles and books. It has been fun to share this knowledge, and your feedback has made me a better writer and rider.
I’ve hung up my keyboard but not my bike. I’ll continue to rack up 8-10,000 annual miles – and I hope to see many of you out on the road.
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Coach Fred Matheny is an RBR co-founder who has four decades of road cycling and coaching experience. He has written 14 eBooks and eArticles on cycling training, available in RBR’s eBookstore at Coach Fred Matheny, including the classic Complete Book of Road Bike Training, which includes 4 eBooks comprising 250 pages of timeless, detailed advice and training plans. The Complete Book is one of the many perks of an RBR Premium Membership. Click to read Fred's full bio.