Below is a snapshot from 2012. I did the pro bike racing thing in Europe and gained some great life experiences but also realized I would never be world champion, and that cycling as a job is different than cycling as a hobby. I gained an insight into the psyche, equipment, and business of bike racing. Then I went and earned an MBA from Bentley University in Boston. Now I am currently applying my cycling knowledge, marketing and advertising experience, and business education to the real world as the marketing manager for Easton Cycling and Race Face Performance Products. I’m still racing and have found a balance between work, life, and racing that works. A reasonable number of commuter miles and a different racing philosophy have allowed me to put together some of my best seasons ever.
Name; Craig Richey
Hometown: Smithers, BC
Disciplines: Cyclocross, Road and Cross Country Mountain Bike
I am originally from Smithers, BC and have been living in Victoria for the last ten years. As a kid I wrestled and cross country skied competitively as well as rode mountain bikes for fun. After high school I moved Victoria to attend the University of Victoria and hopefully get more into cycling. My first year at UVIC I joined the triathlon club that was coached Dan Proulx at the time and contained many future cycling stars such as mountain bike world champion Catharine Pendrel. Through the Triclub I met a bunch of great cyclists and my first cycling coach Keith Wilson. Over the next eight years I progressed as a competitive cyclist while completing my business degree and then while working in advertising. While I continued to get faster my progression seemed to slow and I felt like I was bumping up against the limitations of being a nine to five working man.
On September 8th 2010 I quit my job at Neverblue Media, cashed in my RRSP’s and began living the pro cyclist lifestyle. Based on my strengths and weaknesses I felt that cyclocross was my best opportunity to make it as a professional racer. I had only been racing cyclocross for a couple years but managed to finish sixth at Canadian Nationals in 2009 and finished in the top twelve at a couple North American Cyclocross Trophy series races. Between my savings, sponsor support, and living a frugal lifestyle I have the budget for eighteen months of training and racing. The plan was to race as many UCI Pro Cyclocross races as possible during the 2010/2011 season to gain more racing experience, then train through the spring and summer and crush the 2011/2012 cyclocross season.
Three cross seasons later things didn’t go exactly as planned. the 2010/2011 season was a great learning experience, and being able to train full time allowed me to train hard and I really grew as a racer but raced a ton and was cracked by the end of the season.
I trained super hard over the summer of 2011 and had some great results including the Bastion Square GP the biggest race in Victoria. I entered the 2011/2012 ready to crush soles. I saw some glimmers of my potential and took my first Pro Win at Beacon Cross in New Jersey but came down with Pneumonia after the race and struggled with sickness for the rest of the season.
For the 2012/2013 I again came into the season hungry and motivated and had some great results but still came up a little short of achieving my goals. Guess I need to fight it out for another season.
Do I regret quitting my job? Hell No! It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.