Men on Bikes: Darin Peterson

Biking brings many people together and you find yourself immersed in a beautiful community of people. I had met Darin before I started dating Travis; just selling him a sandwich here and there at the Co-Op.

He always had a smile on his face and a friendly manner about him. He's a guy that can go a mile a minute and you can't help but smile at that!

Eventually when I started dating Travis, I found myself crossing paths with Darin a little more. I won't forget the afternoon when Travis and our friends went to have supper at Mabe's. We all rolled up on our bikes and here Darin came out saying "Bikesbikesbikesbikes!" Then promptly took Travis' bike and started riding away! It was hilarious and we all had a good laugh over that.
I'd hear from Travis how proud he was of what Darin had accomplished with riding bikes. It resonated with me and I thought it would be great to get some of Darin's story on how riding bikes changed his life.

When did you first start riding a bike?
I started riding at age 4. I did a lot of BMX Riding and dirt jumping. Eventually I had to transition from BMX to mountain biking because there wasn’t anywhere nearby to ride dirt jumps. Decorah has amazing mountain bike trails so I started to ride them more and more.

What motivated you to ride as much as you have over the years?
I have a deep appreciation for biking and it always puts a smile on my face. However for the last 4 years I have been riding hard to clear my mind over the death of my sister. I ride for her.

Have you competed in events? If so, what were your reasons for competing?
I have done the night race and this will be my 5th time racing in the time trails! Racing with some hard core bikers is great motivation and inspires me to keep at it!

What would be your favorite competitive biking event?
Time Trails for sure! The time trials are a 6-8 mile race where racers are let go in 1 minute intervals. The goal is to have the fastest time.

What kind of riding is your favorite? (paved, gravel, mountain, etc.)
I also love riding the train tunnels in Sparta Wisconsin the total ride is like 85 miles! It’s my favorite place to ride because it’s so peaceful.

Do you remember how you felt on your first mountain bike ride? (If not a mountain biker, how about first commuter ride, paved trail ride, gravel, etc.)
I felt nervous and pumped at the same time! Biking has changed my life.
My first race I was not prepared for…my bike was amazing, BUT I was so not in shape. I puked, got a flat tire, and was driven out of the woods on a 4weeler. I said “The Time Trials are no joke!" and was a wake-up call for me to train more.

If you had nervousness at all, what do you do or think to overcome it?
Well, just keep at it! Giving up is not an option.

Do you use clipless pedals? If yes, what are some tips/suggestions for beginners that you would share? If no, are you thinking of trying it out at all?
I ride clipless it's the best for our dirt trails. I would practice on flat ground clipping in and out.

If you are a commuter what are some of the challenges you face and how do you overcome them?
I do commute to work some days but I am not really a commuter.

Do you commute even if the weather isn’t ideal? Why or why not? If yes, what do you do to make it more tolerable?
The worse the weather is the better you bike! You learn how to handle your bike better in different situations.  Make it fun because you can't change the weather.

Have you had a bike biff? If so, how did you recover on a physical/mental/emotional level?
 No. Not anything really bad!

What do you love about riding your bike?
Biking has changed my life in so many ways! It gives me confidence and willingness to observe how my body and mind change as I become a better biker. I’ve lost a lot of weight from biking and also strengthened my heart and mind…biking is self-care for my body, mind, and soul.