Name: Jered Gruber
DOB: 16 March 1983
Result: 15th U23 Road Race 2005
I was originally born in Oregon, but moved all over during my first 12 years or so: California, Washington, New Jersey, and finally Georgia. I really don't have a hometown, but I consider Athens, Georgia to be my place of residence.
I played golf from about 12 years old to 18 years old - a lot. I really didn't do all that much except for golf, until I went to visit family in Austria the summer of 2001. It was there that I got a chance to go for a little bike ride.
This was my first REAL ride on a bike, we climbed some obscenely large mountain (Mirnock) and I barely made it up. BARELY. I was so horrible. I could barely move the next day, my bell had been rung and I was rocked. So, of course, sucking that bad made me want more.
I started school at the University of Georgia Fall of 2001 and forgot about my desire to ride a bike for awhile, until I stumbled on the deal of deals: a complete GT Rage bike with CXP-12 wheels, pedals, 105 components, and shoes for 400 dollars. I got it, and early 2002 I began my cycling 'career.'
I sucked pretty hardcore for a very long time, not that I'm fast now, but I was embarrassinglybad for a long while, including my year-long expedition to Germany in 2003/2004. I got my head knocked in more times than I care to remember. It took me a good month or two just to FINISH a race. I can count the number of races I finished that year on two hands. I had fun though, lots of it. Germany not only did not discourage me, it oddly encouraged me. It seems I always get more obsessive about bike racing the worse I do.
I returned to America, Fall of 2004, and realized that I still wasn't really any good. Last winter, I finally realized that I trained like an idiot and began training with power, and voila, just like that, I started getting better. I trained reasonably well this season and finally improved to a point where I can say I'm not terrible anymore. I got 15th at the U23 Nationals Road Race, and I finished that race knowing that that was the WORST result I could have done on the day. It was a sort of revelation for me, and after that, I started to do better - mentally.
A few months ago, I was lucky enough to move in with Jacob Fetty (Jacob Fetty is one of Jered's former teammates and a really fast guy- Ed), and that has made the biggest difference in my bike gaming saga. I've never been worked so hard for so long. I couldn't even imagine this kind of work a few months ago. I get my ass kicked day in and day out and somehow get up the next morning and ask for more. It's the good stuff, and I can't say enough how happy I am to have the chance to race my bike full-time for at least this season.