Shimano LIVE: The Colin Strickland Interview

07/20/2020

 

Photos by Andy Chasteen and Jordan Clark Haggard

 

“There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow...Cycling is the rainbow!”

While there might not be untold riches for most of us in the world of bike racing, Colin Strickland offers up plenty of gems during an interview from his home in Lockhart, Texas. 

 

The 33-year-old Austin native came to bike racing late, but that has done little to slow his ambition. Instead of chasing upgrade points and scrapping for a spot on a professional road team, Strickland made a name for himself on the dark streets of Redhook fixed-gear crits before making his way to the budding world of gravel. 

 

His gravel rides, which initially began as a way to escape the booming traffic congestion around Austin, became Strickland’s ride into the limelight. His win at DK200 in 2019 became the stuff of legend, after a massive solo attack surprised not only the WorldTour favorites in attendance, but captivated US cycling fans. 

 

Even WorldTour teams took notice. EF-Education First offered Strickland a contract to race on the fabled roads of Europe. It is a dream for so many racers, but it was an offer that Strickland ultimately turned down. Instead, he opted to continue riding his own path through the sport, mashing huge gears on the dirty expanses of America’s heartland, strumming his guitar, rebuilding a Spartan trailer, and planning for whatever may come next in a post COVID world. 

 

Colin Strickland riding gravel back roads
Gravel roads in all directions outside Strickland's home in Lockhart, Texas. Andy Chasteen.

                

Colin Strickland Gavel MAN
The Gravel Man. Photo: Andy Chasteen.

               

Colin Strickland
Man and Machine. Photo: Andy Chasteen.

               

Colin Strickland and Peter Stetina Mid Sout Gravl
Strickland and Peter Stetina, deep in the pain freezer during the Mid-South. Temps hovered in the high 30s for much of the race.

                

Colin STrickland Mid South Gravel
Precipitation just above freezing led Strickland to recall, "I don't think I could feel my hands or feet for most of the race."

                  

Colin Strickland Mid South Gravel
Strickland finished 2nd in what is currently referred to as "The Last Gravel Race on Earth," the 2020 Mid-South in Okahoma. Photo: Jordan Clark Haggard.