I bought my first road bike when I was living in Denver, CO in 2009 (I was in 11th grade) and, as a clueless cyclist, just enjoyed seeing the scenery and how far I can ride - adding mileage every week. Fast forward to the summer of 2012, I joined a coast-to-coast (Los Angeles to New York) bike ride over 6 weeks and had a blast while building a very solid base and the confidence to ride long distances.
I also heard about sanctioned racing and looked into it. In the fall of 2014, I was ready to start racing regularly, with the goal of becoming a Cat 1/Pro at some point.
I raced that summer on my own to finish my Cat 5 races.
Then, one day at the end of the summer, I was out riding after a short night of sleep and bumped into a group of guys in orange and black kits. I asked them if Matthew Kest was with them, because I missed him earlier and I knew he was on the same team. They said no. Then I asked them where they were riding, and the response was - to Mt. Wilson. I followed that up with 'is it okay if I join?'
And the rest is history…