Well hello, friends! Welcome back to another Happy Hour chat with Graham. It's Friday, and because its Friday, whether you're thriving or surviving, it means you have made it another week of quarantine. Go you!
We're stoked you're back tuning in to read more about the awesome athletes we're privileged to chat with. This week we had on Trevor Lien and got to chat with him about his past running and current cycling career. So be sure to have a drink in hand, no matter what time it may be for you, sit back and sip while you read about Trevor's athletic endeavors.
"There's not a lot of people I look up too, but you're one of them, Graham, because you're about 5 inches taller than me. Not many tall people out here in the cycling world."
*Cheers, Graham cracks open a fresh cold kombucha*
G: Let's take it back to where your fitness started to grow and talk about your running background a bit
T: Yeah sure man, I'm happy to go into that. So my running background goes pretty far back. I started in club track & field as a young kid, not too tall, I didn't hit my growths spurge. It wasn't till high school that it really took off. I got into hurdles and jumping over things I found to be a little more interesting than just running straight. So as if running wasn't hard enough already, you've got to throw things in front of you to make it harder, that was for me. I started excelling with hurdles, did it all throughout high school. I raced the 1/10 meter and 300 meters. I went undefeated in the 300 and won lead champ twice, sophomore, and senior year. I got recognition by some coaches and was recruited by Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
G: And they're D1 in all the big sports correct?
T: It was D1 big west, so not the big hitters but enough to have some umphf. So up there I did the 400-meter hurdles, so a true sprinter. Middle distance to short-distance sprinting was my specialty.
G: Now you said you were undefeated in your last couple years of high school, is that correct?
T: Yeah I never lost any races those last couple of years. Except for my very last race, it was kind of bittersweet because I hit a hurdle, stumbled and some people passed me there at the end. But its all water under the bridge, there are bigger and better things to move onto now.
G: We can forget about that one, stuff happens. So considering your dominance at the high school level, then heading up to the college level to compete with a smaller pool of more elite runners, did you continue to go undefeated there?
T: Absolutely not. Rude awakening got hit real hard. I love to train and work hard. There's just talent dude, there always somebody faster than you. You'll see that in any sport or anything you do. I guess unless you're Usain Bolt. But its cool, it keeps you driven and excelling to do better. I really enjoyed that. I loved working out with my buddies; hitting the weight room, doing hill workouts, and just working hard. That's what I enjoyed most about athletics in college.
G: Yeah and it definitely shows in your cycling now. We've had a lot of guests on here that started out as runners and transitioned into strong cyclists. Seems to be a trend.
T: Yeah honestly I was thinking about it. After you've done running, there nothing that hard in cycling. Running is just always so much harder because you can never just coast. You're always having to turn your feet over, keep the legs up, and keep going. And in cycling, if you get really tired, you do a hard interval you can literally just put your head down and coast to recover. There's none of that in running. That's why that transition from running to cycling is so easy because once you've done running you've done everything that's hard in sports, it seems like, in my opinion, and cycling is just fun, so enjoyable.
G: I think there are a lot of people that would technically disagree with that cause they think endurance sports junkies are all crazy but I think it makes a lot of sense. In cycling, you get to go out and see so much on the bike, and in those long rides, you can get distracted from a hard effort by what you're passing by as you ride. That's something that's so beautiful about cycling.
T: Yeah I mean you spend one hour running you go 4 or 5 miles depending on your pace but cycling that time you'll hit 20 miles and you'll see way more. Like this morning I was out there at sunrise, and I already got all the way to the coast, saw beautiful sights, watched the sunrise, and I came back. Running I would have just been sweating and having a terrible time but I don't want to knock running too much.
G: Yeah we have a lot of viewers who are runners and might be saying I love running, don't talk about my running like that. But I love your morning rides, I need to get out earlier, I rode today at 11:30 and it was about 100 degrees out. Anyway, you transitioned from running at the college level into cycling and you also started working right after. Tell us about what you do outside of sports?
T: Its an interesting story and I feel blessed to be apart of it. These are the stepping stones. So I go into college, dealt with an injury and someone helped me, so naturally, in return, you want to give back and so I sought out kinesiology which is basically the study of the human body and how it moves and functions. I went in thinking I was going to be a physical therapist and so all 4 years I was just thinking about being a PT. Then my final year a pretty traumatic event happened to me which shifted my focus on life and the pursuit of what I was going to do.
My buddy and I were riding our bikes, no helmets, feeling reckless and invincible. So we're riding down the street, my buddy pops up his wheel to do a wheelie and his front tire just falls out. Still don't know how, but he comes down, broke his whole face, got a concussion. So from there, I took on the research on how we can improve bike structure and safety; looking into more city planning and bike infrastructure.
G: So for those listening in, Trevor is based out of Orange County and I was blown away by the bike path network up there! They are doing exactly what you should be trying to do as a city planner. The paths are safe and they make sense. You can get around the entire city without hardly touching a street because the layout of these paths connects everything.
T: Absolutely, I feel fortunate to live here. It's the hotbed for bike infrastructure. I know some people geek out about it, and others don't but when you can get on a bike for over an hour and not be on the street at all, its a luxury. A lot of communities don't have that so I feel fortunate to have that while I'm riding out here and help design more bike infrastructure. The greatest reward is getting to ride something that you've designed or planned for, that's something I'm always chasing.
G: San Diego could use a call from you! Now we've already given away that you transitioned from running into riding bikes, let's get into how you got into racing?
T: Yeah I told myself after I retired from running collegiately that I was never going to race again, everything was just going to be for fun. I stuck to that promise for about a year and a half. I moved home back with my parents and had zero responsibility again. I got back on the bike and eventually began racing for a local club called CBS Cycling, just riding and riding; slowly starting to build my fitness. By this time I was living in Orange County where everyone is a racer telling me you got to do it and I kept saying no, till finally, I was feeling pretty fast so I signed up for Dana Point Grand Prix. I had no idea the danger level that's associated with this race and this is my first race. Granted I'm racing at the lowest level category, so it's not like racing at the Pro 1/2 level. So I signed up and just went for it. In this race, there are two SDBC(San Diego Bike Club) guys and we're getting to the last lap, with no tactic, but I have this innate understanding of where to be and when to be there from my track days. So we're coming into these last few turns and this SDBC racer comes up and just goes for a hard sprint and I'm like hey I like to sprint so I get on his wheel and were getting to the closing finish and I pass him at the end and I won my first race. I caught the bug pretty hard and made it through cat 5 without crashing. I think that's a pretty big achievement.
G: Wow yeah! Winning doesn't come that naturally to a lot of people. It's really exciting. In the time I've known you, Trevor, since you came to SDBC last year, it seems like you've won everything. Talk about training and the quick ascent all the way up to cat 2
T: Yeah it was actually over the course of 3 years, it may have seemed a little faster but I raced on CBS cycling for a while. So the race director for SDBC approached me after that first race and said hey we have to have you on our team but I had already committed to another team, CBS Cycling for 2018. So I was looking for something more looking for more support; then I realized that SDBC had that and they helped me to get to where I am racing today.
G: Well it's been really fun watching you race for our club. Now you've recently added a new adventure to your life, a company called Leadout Gear where you make handlebar bags. Let's talk about why you started the company and who Leadout Gear is.
T: So Leadout comes from this idea that we're supporting cyclists and have a product that mimics that while you're riding. Much like when a teammate on a bike race team, leads you out for a finish line sprint. No matter what you're doing; training hard for racing, gravel rides, mountain back rides, our bags are able to go with you anywhere. So yeah Leadout is pretty awesome, were just amped to be part of the community and get to do things like have you out there as one of our supermodels sliding down gravel roads on your monster bike and shooting some cool footage.
G: Yeah our guest last week said that 2020 is the year for bikes & I think he's so right. I'm seeing so many more people out which is so great but so many of them don't know what to bring out there with them. You also said something that's stuck with me about Leadout when we were shooting footage last week. There's a bunch of brands out there making bags, some that are custom-designed to fit your bike others that are high end because they have a big name brand stitched on the side and you can spend a ton of money. Or you can go with a quality, small, durable bag that suits your everyday need and you don't have to worry about getting it dirty or scuffed up. That's what Leadout is. I didn't think about that but it makes so much sense. You want something that's going to hold up and not traumatize you if you ruin it.
T: Yeah dude our bags are meant to be put through the wringer. You can get them muddy or dirty and just wipe it off. You can get a boutique bag but you'll be nervous about getting them dirty. We just want you guys to run them and run them hard. Take them on your adventures and don't look back. We don't want you to have to worry about anything, they're quality and durable.
G: Well if you haven't checked out Leadout Bags, be sure to do it and give them a follow on their socials for special offers and great photos sometimes featuring me! What's next Trevor, anything our fans can look forward to?
T: I would say just follow us on Instagram @leadoutgear you'll see all of our updates there in due time. Lots of new colors and new products. Really excited to expand our inventory and continue to support our community. We're really proud to be apart of it.
G: Very cool Trevor, well thanks for coming on. I just want to reiterate, that his bags are really great. Not just because he's my friend but because they're a really good product.
By the way, what type of shades are you wearing these days?
T: Well off the bike I have a pair of 100% lifestyle shades and on the bike, I've got a pair of Jawbreaker Oakley's. Ever since I got into cycling it's always been Jawbreakers for me, staying true to my roots.
Be sure to follow @sportrx on Instagram as well. Tune into these live Happy Hours, like and share and you'll get some free SPORTRX schwagggggg (t-shirts, water bottles, etc.)