Thursday, December 29, 2005

A&F/ Inferno rider profile; Jered Gruber

Meet Jered Gruber. Rock star good looks, fast legs, good sense of humor... ladies; start your purring!
Name: Jered Gruber
Age: 22
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.

You can read more about Jered on his website and also on PezCycling News, since he is one of the writers for them. Obviously, you'll be hearing more about him and more from him throughout the year.


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