Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Shadd Smith Interview

On April 15, Amber got the chance to talk to HRRC Racer Shadd Smith about Great Bend, racing, and how much fun can be had on two wheels.

When did you start riding?
Um, start? I did a lot of BMX growing up. It was all local, a bunch of Great Bend locals from the south side built a course out in the woods. It was maintained and built up and changed by teenagers down to some really young ones. We wanted to have fun. We’d start our own races; it was all pride.

What do you like best about the new Madone?
There is a more direct transfer of power. Some bikes are flexy, and you don’t have the direct power turnover. Especially when climbing you notice if a bike is flexy. I did a race outside Tulsa last weekend and sprinting uphill to the end, it was direct. The bike wasn’t fishing around or anything.

What is your favorite post-ride chow? Drink?
Mexican food- a burrito as a matter of fact.
Chocolate milk.

What’s your favorite KC coffee shop?
The High Hat. It used to be a gas station and they have a photo of it as it used to be. No more than ten people can fit inside at once. It’s also on one of my recovery routes, so it’s a good place to go for a cold coffee or hot coffee, depending on the weather. It’s super laid back and off the beaten path.

Where is it?
It’s on Stateline, near Shawnee Mission Pkwy.

In a recent poll at the Trek Shop you were tied as the best-looking rider on the HRRC team with Josh Crow. What tips the scales in your favor?
That I’m better looking, but the scales tip in his favor because he has control of the team.

What are the new riders (Chris Hall, Derek Gorke, and Joe Schmalz) bringing to the team?
Chris Hall is well rounded; he mountain bikes and he races cross. He showed us last year that he can finish in the top 15 at races like the Quad Cities. Derek is a good sprinter. I think as far as leading out or being led out for a sprint, the two of us will help each other a lot. Joe is young. It’s early to tell for him because he’s just starting in the Cat 1/ 2 field. But what I’ve seen so far is that he climbs well and he can time trial. He seems to have good bike handling skills, which is obviously important. I think one cool thing about him is that he asks questions. He finds ways he can get better. He listens and takes action.

What’s your favorite race? Why?
(Without a pause) The Tour of Kansas City. It’s a local race where we have a big fan base. The crowds are crazy on the hill on Saturday and they’re pretty much all over the downtown Overland Park course on Sunday. On almost every section of the course you hear spectators yelling for someone on the Trek team. That’s cool.
Also, my wife, Trina, has always gotten to come. Having two wild boys and a busy schedule, it’s great that she always gets to attend the race. Since my boys have been born they have always been at that race. It’s the one they’ve never missed, no matter how hot.

How do you balance working full-time at Merck, your family, training, and racing?
Sleep less.

The rumor is that you might be on a Richard Sachs frame next year for Cross. Can you confirm or deny that rumor?
(Smiling) Can’t confirm or deny at this point. I met the guy and he’s super nice. I’ve talked to him on the phone and he builds beautiful steel frames. P.S. he has a six-year wait list if that tells you anything.

What is your favorite cycling discipline?
Pedaling. You know, I like all of them. Just about the time I’m ready to hang up the road bike, I’m ready for cross. At the end of cross I’m ready for my mountain bike. It depends on the season. I like to do it all. I like every discipline.

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