Andrew Shelby likes to think of his introduction to cycling similar to the movie, “Breaking Away.” He and a few guys from the artsy, hippy dorm at Indiana University formed a team to compete in the fraternity- dominated Little 500 bike race. Andrew loved rolling through the countryside on long training rides through farm fields, forests, and small towns, and he also liked the focus of training. The team worked hard and found some success in that year’s race despite their rookie status. The team didn’t have the same focus the subsequent year, yet Andrew wanted to challenge himself further and decided to sign up for an Ironman. The goal was sub-10 hours with an “M-dot” tattoo in the offing if the goal was achieved. He finished with a time of 10:50 and is glad, in a sense, that the goal wasn’t achieved since the tattoo would have been regrettable.
Andrew’s athletic ambitions subsided as he started graduate school, though his urge to explore grew. In the Summer of 2007, he helped his parents move to Rochester, Minnesota, then rode through Wisconsin, across Chicago, and south through Indiana before arriving home in Bloomington. He visited friends in Madison, Chicago, and Indianapolis along the way and couldn’t wait for the next trip. Andrew’s next cycle trip took him from Seattle to San Francisco with detours through Olympic National Park and Portland. Once again, friends were visited and beautiful experiences were had.
As Andrew settled into his desk job in the Washington, D.C. area, he became restless. The Saturday morning club ride and occasional rides in Shenandoah National Park were nice but he wanted more. One of his club ride buddies, Nicholas Taylor, started getting into road racing and encouraged Andrew to get back into it as well. After a few years back at it, Andrew continues to enjoy racing but jumps at the opportunity for a long “point-to-point” ride or a new scenic loop through the countryside…
Andrew Shelby has been a member of Collins Cycling (2002-2003), Team Bolla (2006-2007), Whole Wheel Velo Club (2010-2011), and Bike Doctor p/b DigiSource Solutions (2012-present).
December Weight: 150 lbs.
Race Weight: 150 lbs.
Birthdate: March, 1984.
Childhood Heroes: “Wilson High School soccer team. When I was a kid living in Wyomissing, PA, they were consistently in the top-10 in the country. They had their own roster poster, and I made sure to get the new one each year.”
Hobbies and Interests: “Cooking, traveling, cycle touring, books, music, DIY.”
Favorite Movies: “Hollentour, Breaking Away, Raising Arizona, Old Joy.”
Musical Tastes: “Fugazi to Tortoise to Ryan Adams to Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Breaking Bad, The Sifl and Olly Show.”
Favorite Meal: “Homemade pizza with whatever is popping from the garden.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Trader Joe’s granola.”
Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Oatmeal with whey and maple syrup and an egg.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Flavor of the day at Dairy Godmother in Alexandria.”
Childhood Dream: “To have my own hovercraft company, Shelby Hovercraft… or be a marine biologist. In retrospect, I suppose those weren’t mutually exclusive dreams.”
First Car: “A used green Toyota Camry. It was a short love affair though as I kept alive the family tradition of totaling a car before graduating high school.”
First Job: “Arni’s Pizza in New Albany, NY.”
Favorite Vacation Spot:“Montserrat in Catalonia, Spain.”
Pre-Race Feeling: “Just clip in and we’ll take it from there.”
Early Racing Memory: “The Pike-Gibson Challenge was a small race in southern Indiana in its first year in 2006. It was so small they started all the categories together. I was racing as a Cat-4, just coasting on triathlon fitness, and somehow managed to get in the break with a couple Cat-2s and another Cat-4. We motored the break on a flat course for 30 miles. We were all together coming into 300 meters to go. I was still feeling good up until the moment I stood to sprint and received full-on double leg cramps! Stupid triathlon legs! I was 4th out of 4 in that break.”
Funny Racing Memory: “During the 2011 MABRA cyclocross season, the last race of the day was often a tandem race. Nicholas Taylor had a tandem hybrid outfitted with mountain bike tires and I would ride stoker for him. We had a bit of a rivalry going with Pat Blair and Adam Driscoll. We would have some close races but they would always gap us and we always came in 2nd. However, the tandem race at DCCX played out a little differently. The Pat and Adam duo had an unfortunate mechanical which put us in the lead for the first time in the series. With the race in our hands, I may have gotten a little overconfident and took a beer hand-up, a rather tasty Dogfish Head 60 Minute IPA. However, instead of drinking the small cup of beer, I managed to dump the contents of the cup into my exposed eyeballs. It turns out that eyes and tear ducts are highly permeable membranes and are pretty well connected to the brain — I was instantly drunk. From that point to the finish, I wasn’t quite as coordinated or strong as I usually am in the stoker position but we managed to hold off the rest of the competition for our first tandem ‘cross win!”
Greatest Racing Moment: “In the 2011 Tour of the Battenkill Cat-4 race, I had crashed on a gravel section mid-way through the race but managed to catch back on to the pack. While I was chasing back on, a solo break had gotten away, Joe Jacobs. He was out of sight before I got back to the front of the group. I tried to inspire a chase and though we kept the pace reasonably high, we weren’t catching sight of him in the distance. We approached the final climb up Stage Road and a few of us at the front hit it hard. As we crested the climb, there were three of us. Though I had no idea how close we were to the solo flyer, I said we could make the catch if we worked it hard. One of the guys was a wispy climber dude and got dropped quickly. So, me and one other guy, Dylan Gallagher, traded hard pulls in the closing miles. After a couple minutes, we caught sight of the lead moto in the distance accompanying the solo break and we were closing in on him fast. With a mile to go, it looked uncertain whether we’d catch Joe, so I launched solo with 500 meters to go in a bid to either win it or at least come in second. Joe crossed the line first and I followed four seconds behind.”
Most Painful Moment In Life: “I did a training ride in May this year that was mostly in the rain and a little chilly. My stomach felt weird so I didn’t eat as much as I should. I came home totally bonked and maybe a little hypothermic, and then I got sick. I wasn’t able to retain any food. For about three days, I could barely move from lack of energy. Being totally useless is the most painful thing there is!”
Worst Injury from Racing: “In the 2012 Turkey Hill Country Classic, the pack decided to snake 4 or 5 times at 30+ mph resulting in guys crashing all over the place. I ended up flying over my handlebars into a wet agricultural ditch and somehow gashed my forearm open down to the bone.”
Closest Racing Friends: “Coming from my night-out-at-the-bars-followed-by-club-ride lifestyle, Nicholas Taylor got me back into racing at the end of 2010. It was fun being competitive again and I got the itch to upgrade as I saw him upgrade. I became friends with Pete Custer and Ryan Bodge through the Your Ad Here team, which eventually moved over to Bike Doctor. The Bike Doctor team is one big smorgasbord of good dudes who would have your back in a knife fight, a bike race, or any other situation requiring great fortitude. I also like riding when I can with all of my old teammates at Whole Wheel Velo Club.”
Funniest Racer: “Robb Hampton and Ryan Bodge.”
Favorite Race: “Tour de Millersburg – the whole town gets behind the racing and the road race course is a classic!”
Embarrassing Racing Memory: “The Tour of Page County had separate Pro-1 and Cat-2-3 races in 2013, with the Pro-1 starting first, followed shortly by the 2-3. Halfway through the race, a large break had gone up the road and I went to bridge up to it with Dan Netzer and Jake Sitler. I was at my limit quickly, helping drive this bridge group. I was glad to see a Bike Doctor kit in the group we were catching, a nice surprise considering I didn’t think we were represented in the break. However, it turned out the Bike Doctor was Pete Warner and the group was the back of the P1 field. Damn! So, my bridge group sailed by the Pro-1 group and I promptly forgot about the false hope. A couple minutes of suffering and we are making slow progress on catching the break. I look back and there is a group hovering 10 or 20 meters back. It seemed our group was caught, but as I drifted back, I hear John DeLong say, ‘Oh no, sorry! You can’t ride with us!’ It was still the Pro-1 group. By the time I realized my mistake, my bridging group had surged up a roller and I was gassed from just taking a pull. I had to wait up for the main pack and recover a bit before helping out in the chase.”
Toughest Competitors: “All of them! It is a steep learning curve in Pro-1-2 racing and the fellas from Kelly Benefits, SEAVS/Haymarket, Battley Ducati, and Clean Currents, just to name a few, make the racing difficult.”
Favorite Athletes to Watch: “I caught a little bit of the Dragon boat racing on the Potomac River near the Kennedy Center in May. The intensity of it and the passion associated with a pure amateur event really got my adrenaline going from just watching.”
Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Those who are always up for a challenge and those who are considerate to the least of us.”
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “The rhythm of the road brings new thoughts, the meandering roads expose new sights, and the slower pace gives time to take it all in. I enjoy seeing the incremental gains made through training and I enjoy racing in support of my teammates, but this is what made me love cycling to begin with and what will keep me riding after racing.”