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Damian Jackson

 

How I got started riding:  I grew up in Manhattan Beach and the combination of having the Manhattan Beach GP and the 1984 Olympics right there in my back yard had me forever sold on cycling and life was never the same after getting that first bike!

Why I love to ride:  To this day and every time I get on the bike, it feels as great as it did when I was 12 years old.  I am who I am in every aspect of my life because of the bike.  From the beginning while growing up, training and racing as a junior taught me discipline, believing in yourself, pushing yourself beyond what you thought you were capable of, being committed, doing what you say and saying what you do, being honorable and dedicating yourself to a healthy lifestyle of making good decisions.  I like surrounding myself with like-minded cyclists who share that passion.

Bikes that I have: Fuji SST 1.0 Road (Sram Red) and a Felt B14 TT (Dura Ace)

Favorite bike racing idol?:  Sean Kelly; the original, classy hardman of the peloton.

Favorite ride(s): Any ride is a favorite, but you can't beat California's central coast.

My future goals:  While balancing family and work, I'm eager to get back into more racing again - starting over as a Cat 5!

Strava.com profile?:  http://app.strava.com/athletes/73018

Outside of cycling interests?:  My family. Period.  I love my work, but in the end, it pays the bills, but my family and the bike define me.  

Interesting stories/facts about me?:  Not sure how interesting it might be, but I'm respectful and humble and try to be as nice as I can to anyone I ever meet or know.  I'd do just about anything to help out anyone.  Nothing is more of a joke to me than cycling arrogance and people who think they have a license to be an A**hole because they either have better equipment or can ride faster than someone else.  Unless you're a world tour pro, get over yourself and have some class.  No matter who you are (or think you are) on the bike, there are at least 20 other people on any given day that can mop the floor with you.  Chill out and laugh more! Years ago I had the amazing opportunity to train and learn from Greg LeMond, Steve Bauer, Andy Hampsten, Davis Phinney and many others from the 7-11 team as part of a junior development program I was overwhelmingly fortunate to attend and the openness, humility and absolute down-to-earth nature these guys displayed to a knucklehead like me, was something that has stayed with me forever.

Notable Achievements & Results?:  More than 20 years ago, as junior and a Cat 3, I had a good 5 year run and was honored to win and podium in a few races from time to time.  That pro dream just never quite materialized and school, work and family took center stage.  About a year ago, I made the decision that I had been off the bike for far too long and jumped back into it with more fire and passion than I ever had.  With the love and support of an amazing family, I trained more than 6 months for the 2011 World Police and Fire Olympics in New York City, where I raced for a week against some of the most amazing talent I'd ever seen…from all over the world, including a US National Champ and a Belgian National Champ in a field of 76 riders that were unreal.  It was truly a great week.  I managed to squeak out an 11th in the crit, 14th in the TT and 23rd in the RR.  No podiums, but still very satisfying!  

2012 US Police and Fire National National Masters Champion