By John Marsh, Editor & Publisher
Pro bike racers retire all the time, and many are never heard from again unless they decide to make a second career in the industry (say, running a race team like Jonathan Vaughters, founding an apparel company like George Hincapie).
When given the chance to recount their careers on the way out, most offer the typical platitudes about their career highlights, and such. And they often don’t have a really firm idea of what they’ll do next.
Tyler Farrar differed on both counts in his “exit interview” with Velo News after he retired last month after a 13-year racing career (which started at age 20). He won stages in all three grand tours and had a total of 29 wins during his career.
He plans to be a firefighter or an EMT in his next career, and simply enjoy a “normal” life rooted around his home and growing family.
“It’s a peculiar life you lead as a pro cyclist,” he said in the Velo News interview. “You are six or more months a year on the road, living out of a suitcase, so it’s a bit of a luxury … where I don’t have to do that. I want to see what normal life looks like. We bought a house in Seattle, and we have our first baby due in February. I want to be home for that.”
All that sounds perfectly reasonable, and admirable. But it’s not what caught my eye when reading the interview.
When asked if he would continue riding, he was quick to point to a new hard-and-fast rule for his future time in the saddle:
“The one rule I will have is that I am not going to ever ride again if it’s raining,” he said. “I am passionate about the bike, but right now, I want to do all those things I couldn’t do when I was a pro.”
Like, apparently, choose to stay dry.
See today’s Question of the Week, sparked in part by Farrar’s revelation.
I applaud Tyler’s priorities of choosing to invest in his growing family. One bad combination I did note was that he just bought a house in Seattle and that he doesn’t ever want to ride in the rain again. Unless he gives up cycling, that may be hard to do in Seattle!
I agree that would be difficult to ride in Seattle since it rains a lot so I guess he’s on a trainer a lot. I’m 61 with lower back fusion and I don’t think anything of riding in the rain…of course I’m not trying to see how fast I can go either.
David Frost says
I’ve been living and riding in Seattle for the last 28 years, don’t leave the house (on a bike) if it’s raining, and dislike indoor trainer rides. When I was bike commuting (now retired), I was able to get riding days in during every month of the year. I made it to over 50% of my 45 prostate cancer radiation treatments by bike between February and May last year.
Having a dedicated fender bike for the days after it rains when the roads are still moist has increased my late fall, winter and spring riding time substantially. And the bike stays so much cleaner!
I moved to Portland, OR 3 years ago. It rains a lot! Fenders with a buddy flap are essential (if you are not riding the pro circuit), and add to that a good rain jacket, booties, waterproof gloves, plus some packing tape over your helmet vents and riding in the rain is simply not a problem.
In fact, I’d much rather ride in Portland rain than the 20mph plus winds I rode in for over 25 years in Texas!!!