Race Mill's 10 Q's w/ Erick Sobey

On and Off the Bike

On the eve of the 2014 Manhattan Beach Grand Prix we were able to catch up with Spy team rider Erick Sobey to get his take on all things past and present as he prepares for the MBGP.  

RM:  Athlete that inspires you?
ES:  Every Athlete that dedicates his or herself to their craft is inspiring. I've learned that it takes so many other aspects of my life to get better at cycling and when I see athletes competing at the highest levels, I know how much they've sacrificed to get there. I don't have one particular athlete that I can turn to for inspiration. What I really turn to are sports, in general, for my competitive inspiration - any sport will do.

RM: How many years have you been competing?

ES:  This will be my fourth season racing. It's flown by.

RM:  What fuels your competitiveness?

ES:  Humility. When I race above my level and am competing with those who can beat me nine times out of ten, it gives me motivation, for one thing, but also a clear idea of where my game is at. Sometimes fitness is different and I can see a better rider's relative speed. Sometimes it's more strategic or tactical in which case I can see what I can do to be smarter in the future. Getting beat also keeps the ego in check. Failing urges me to take a step back and see what there is to be learned, as there is usually more than the face value of simply losing.

RM:  Weekend trip... where to? what do you bring? Your car, your gear. Itemize it!
ES:  Where? Usually about an hour and a half away, on average, to the local SoCal bike race. I have learned that keeping everything in bins helps to keep the organization modular - everything is one place.

List is always the same:
Bike with wheelbag (2 sets total) and a cleaning rag
Spray bottle with a little Windex solution
Bin 1: Apparel
  • Skin Suit or Kit
  • 2 pairs of socks
  • SPY Sunglasses case with extra lenses and rims of choice
  • Eye Glass cleaner within soft case
  • Number pin surplus also in soft case
  • Lake Shoes
  • Gripp Gloves
  • Large and small towel
Bin 2: Everything else
  • Pre/During/Post nutrition powder
  • 3-4 full bottles-ish for Crits
  • Bundle of Gels
  • Bag of fruit
I hope that's it

RM:  Lone wolf or training companion? why?
ES:  Lone Wolf.  My training and race type is pretty unique - as is everyone's - and thus I don't expect someone else to have the same training needs. Also, I don't want to be glued to another rider's pace nor them to mine. If I'm doing sprint training, for example, I will pretty much be at a crawling pace after each set, in which it would be annoying to be riding with me. Too much inconsistent pace for companion riding. Also, I can be easily distracted by chit chat.

RM:  Pinnacle racing moment so far?
ES:  Up to this point it's been the most difficult moments that have been the best - that I remember the most. There are two road races, small, that I've done where I've been put to my limit. Same year, 2012, I did the State Road Race (Bakersfield) and the road race at ToAD. Both instances, I wanted to quit somewhere's around the point where there's about an hour to go, give or take. But in both cases I pushed hard with small groups of riders who were suffering and finished strong. I was 14th and 19th respectively, but more importantly, I let my mind take me to the finish when my body was long past competitive. Each day I rejoiced with beautiful joy afterwards.

RM:  Sponsors?
ES:  Primarily SPY Optics, Giant Bicycles, and Ride Cyclery (Encinitas). MRI Endurance with their high-octane body fuel; Harmony Bar with their well-rounded bar of perfection; SRAM and ZIPP with their high-speed help; StageOne Performance for their contouring clothing and sporty design; Clearview Investment Partners, LLC for their wonderful financial support to the community; GIRO for the amazing helmets and apparel; LAKE Cycling shoes for their lightweight, comfortable, and stiff cycling shoes; SKINS for the compression and recovery gear; and Razer for their sweet headphones!

RM:  What are you training for now?
ES:  I'm more or less training for the future. I want to be a PRO athlete for a cycling team with a lot of work to be done on all fronts. At this very moment, however, I am just racing to get better both mentally and physically. The base has about worn off and now I'm just sharpening for the last few months of the season.

RM:  Do you have a dream race you want to create?
ES:  I want to create a "Parking Lot Series." A few years ago we had an "upgrade criterium" in Ontario that was in a parking lot with cones and it was the most fun I've had on a course. Let's keep doing that!!!

Training Track list:  Erick Sobey

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