Name: Christopher Stricklen
Hometown: Fairfield, CA
Bike(s): Fuji SST
Age: Forever 31
How’d you get into cycling?
Cycling had been a lingering thing for a while. I lived in Miami for a short while and I would see cyclist go by on Country Club Dr. I always thought it looked like a cool sport to get into. I wasn’t very successful at finding a soccer community which I played in college so it had always sat in the back of my mind.
Then a couple of years later I moved to Houston, also for a short while, my coworker was a cyclist and he always said that I should try the sport. Once again, the seed that was planted in the back of my head was watered. But still, I didn’t get into the sport until I moved back home to the Bay Area and met up with an old friend/classmate/teammate. He had been cycling for a year by then and that was the tipping point. I bought a bike several months later and didn’t look back.
How do you organize your life around it?
I’ve always been active. I played competitive sports from five years old until I was 24. Being competitive and active at this point is an absolute necessity. So, there’s Maslov’s hierarchy of needs: Shelter, Food, Water, Safety, Family/Friends and etc. Mine is very similar: Shelter, Peanut Butter, Cycling and Family/Friends. So cycling is right in the sweet spot. Sometimes things get shuffled around but it’s always a top priority.
Favorite place you’ve ridden?
This is embarrassing. I’ve only ridden in California and only in Northern California at that. I have travel anxiety. But I rode local (near Napa wine country) for a long time when I first started riding. Then I finally took my bike to Marin, where I worked, my mind exploded! That will probably always be my favorite place to ride. Anywhere in the Marin/Sonoma County coastal region is World Class in my opinion and for all I know for that matter haha.
Place you’d like to ride?
SoCal, Utah and Spain. That’s what sticks out immediately. I’m rolling the dice and choosing Spain!
The most important hero is the person that has directly helped you in real life. I would have to give that to Dana Williams. He’s a cycling coach and he is the previous Master’s National Champion and he has really helped me grow as a cyclist ever since I met him. Literally, since day one, he has give me something to absorb so I can grow in the sport and he never had to do that.
Olivia Dillon as well and I’m truly not just saying that. I wouldn’t be answering this Q&A right now if it wasn’t for her being such an amazing person! But there’s so many people within my cycling network that I admire so much so it’s hard to not name everyone that I know. They all mean a lot to me. If I had to go the conventional route of naming someone famous I would say Geraint Thomas. I love someone who can bust their tail that hard for someone else no matter what which lends to the two heroes that I mentioned already. And come on, Sagan is just, #MUAH, right now! Killing it!
Goals for riding in the future?
Since I’m also in the racing community I would love to race as a Cat 2 in the future. That has been the bottom line since I started racing. I didn’t have the success that I needed last year to really make that dream come true. My goal was to be upgraded by the end of this year (2017). But I’ve also learned, very stubbornly, to be focused on the process not the results. I want to ride for the rest of my life. I also don’t want to be 45 and just breaking into the 2s but I think I have a good work ethic there’s just more to gain before I get there. That is the main goal. That and drop Ted King on a ride one day. But I’m screwed now because he’s going to read this and then he’s going to drop me.
Favorite Velocio pieces?
LUXE BIB! DONE! NEXT QUESTION! No, really… The first time I put them on I almost took my girlfriend on a date in them. People think I’m kidding when I respond that way but they just look so good and they are absurdly comfortable! I’m also all about color combos so: Black signature jersey, navy signature bibs, celeste wind vest and either Breton socks or black wool. #Slay #Gameover
Best riding story:
That’s a hard one! I haven’t dropped Ted King yet so wait for that one, coming soon in 2000-never. It’s really really hard to pick one story. I will say that the best day(s) on the bike for me are Wednesdays and Fridays. That’s when a majority of my cycling community all comes together. And, that is truly the foundation of this sport, community. I love all of those people! If you can’t tell I love making people laugh and smile. And the people that I ride with always make me laugh and smile. They’re all top notch athletes and we just hammer away together on the pave every week! Those two days have stories to last a lifetime!