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Jacob Tung

 

How I got started riding: I never had a reliable car all throughout high school and college. I ended up riding my bike almost as often as I drove my car. Eventually, I started to realize that I preferred riding to driving, and here I am today!

 Why I love to ride: When I ride a bike, I am free.

 Bikes that I have: 1. '08 Ibis Silk SL road bike with Sram Red drivetrain

2. '03 Trek XO-1 cyclocross bike with Shimano Ultegra drivetrain

3. '98 Kona Caldera hardtail mountain bike with Sram X0 drivetrain

4. '06 Ellsworth Truth full-suspension mountain bike with Sram X9 drivetrain

5. '09 Specialized Langster S-Works track bike with Truvativ and Sram drivetrain

6. '03 Trek 5200 road bike with Shimano Ultegra drivetrain (converted to a time trial bike)

7. An early '90s Bridgestone aluminum road bike converted to a single-speed town bike

Favorite bike racing idol?: Marty Nothstien. His thighs are as big around as my waist!

 Favorite ride(s): My favorite road ride would have to be the Davis Mountains Loop in far west Texas. The 75-mile ride starts in the high desert town of Fort Davis and takes you through the heart of the Davis Mountains, the second highest range in Texas. Along the way, you pedal past a surreal, lonely wind generator farm on a giant ridge followed by an easy descent into an expansive open plain with views almost all the way into Mexico to the south. Then you start a long, tough climb into the actual mountains where you continue to climb and descend past the Nature Conservancy's Davis Mountains Preserve, the Eppenauer Ranch, and the University of Texas McDonald Observatory. Eventually, you top out at a maximum elevation of 6250 feet before dropping down a screaming, sweeping descent into a beautiful valley past the the Prude Ranch and Davis Mountains State Park. Then you ride under giant cottonwood trees alongside beautiful Limpia Creek and pass Fort Davis National Historic Site on your way back into town. The Davis Mountains are so unique that the National Park Service once considered them for a new National Park before the local land owners gathered together and politely said no to the proposed buy-out.

 

If I had to pick a favorite mountain bike ride, I would have to go with Chutes and Ladders outside of Fruita, Colorado. The name is apt. That's pretty much all I can say. Any other words don't really do the trail justice. Unless those words are "whee!" and "woohoo!"

 And while we're on the topic, I might as well mention my favorite velodrome, the 7-11 Velodrome in Colorado Springs, Colorado. That's just a classy operation and a well-maintained facility with the backdrop of the magnificent Rocky Mountains looming on the horizon.

My future goals: I want to still be racing bikes when I'm an old fart, and preferably not finishing in last place, despite my age.

Strava.com profile?:

Outside of cycling interests?: I enjoy hiking and backpacking, with the occasional canyoneering trip thrown in for variety. I like taking motorcycle road trips. Once I figure out how to bring a bicycle with me on the motorcycle, I'll really be happy. I enjoy target shooting with guns. I play folk guitar. I play the tuba. I'm learning to play the mandolin. I am an amateur astronomer.

 Interesting stories/facts about me?: In 2003, a 10-minute documentary about a weekly pirate bike race called "The Tuesday Nighter" premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, Texas. The film was made by riders with cameras strapped to their handlebars, saddles, and helmets (this was years before GoPro and Contour cameras were around). The final shot of the film features yours truly sprinting to a decisive victory!

I'm probably the farthest-flung Celo Pacific member. I'm a Park Ranger living in Death Valley National Park.

Notable Achievements & Results?:
I can't ever forget the first race I ever won. It was a collegiate road race hosted by Texas Tech University outside of beautiful (that's sarcasm, for those who can't tell) Lubbock, Texas.It was truly ghetto. The weather was cold, and I couldn't afford any warm clothing other than arm warmers. I took to covering the mesh vents on my cycling shoes with duct tape before the race started. I was uncomfortably cold during the entire race. Early on I got dropped on a climb during the first of two laps. I managed to bridge back to the pack and eventually went with a five-man break. I then got dropped again on our second time up the same climb. After a lot of solo chasing, I eventually caught back up to the breakaway. We then shed a couple of riders on our way to the finish where I sprinted to take the win. There were literally only four people at the finish line, two of whom were race officials. My teammates didn't even know I had won until I told them later in the day. Still, despite everything, that win is one of my favorite cycling memories.