A CYCLING SEA STORY
A CYCLING SEA STORY
As a United States Navy Submarine Veteran who served 4 years on the USS GREENEVILLE (SSN 772), I have plenty of Sea Stories. From diving the crystal clear waters of Guam, intense moments during my two deployments, and a period in the Pearl Harbor Shipyard, I have plenty of memories that I love to share and many more that I will take to the grave. There are a number of moments from my time spent stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but I am most fond of my time spent on my bike.
Before the Navy I grew up in Simi Valley, CA. Growing up in Southern California it’s almost a guarantee that you will try your hand at an extreme sport at some point growing up. For me it was all about two wheels. I quickly learned that mountain biking was a full blown sport with its own publications and racing stars, and I became immersed in the cycling world as a kid going into high school.
After two years of not riding my bike when I began my enlistment, to getting through my first 6 month deployment, I realized how much I missed riding. Following my first deployment I finally had the money to get on a modern, full suspension mountain bike. If you are looking to save up some cash I recommend going underwater for months at a time, it’s pretty easy to save money floating around the middle of the Pacific.
Two of the longest months of my life went by while I waited for my new bike to arrive in Hawaii. Those months might as well have been another mission. When it finally arrived I was in love. Something that I had serious passion for and had let slip away had found it’s way back into my life and I was again fully stoked! Riding gave so much more to me than what I previously thought it did. It introduced me to an entire community of people from Oahu that got me off base and quickly showed me the best trails and lines. They let me join their campsites at the local races and I even began to test my skill against my new friends! I joined the weekly night rides as often as my military schedule allowed.
Cycling gave me a way to balance all the stress from the military workload and made it easy to maintain my physical requirements. I never thought that throwing my leg over a new bike would lead me to meet so many great people and ride such beautiful terrain. I saw parts of the island that I know some sailors missed out on. I am forever grateful to all the men and women that I had the pleasure of riding with while on the island, and how I went from feeling like an out of place sailor to a welcome face on the trails. I even began working part time at the shop I purchased my bike from.
When I decided to leave the Navy I knew that I wanted to continue following my cycling passion. I eventually became a United Bicycle Institute Certified Mechanic and found my way to KTM Bike Industries where I am currently a leader of the Sales and Support team doing what I love; Talking about bikes all day! I could not be happier transitioning from the military to the cycling industry. Now I am in a unique position to help others who have served their country get on a bike as well.
Now through the end of the year I am excited to provide 15% off any bike purchase through the KTM website for veterans and active duty military.
Simply email us a photo of you in uniform to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you decide on your new bicycle!
Special thanks to: Luke, Devin and everyone from http://www.bikeshophawaii.com/. Mike Solis from http://www.mtbhawaii.com/. Brett Watts and the R. S. crew. United Bicycle Institute http://www.bikeschool.com/. The United States Navy, the brave that keep us safe and sacrifice everything for us, and especially the USS GREENEVILLE (SSN 772). Hoo-Yah Subs!