Rich Hofbauer finished 2007 in strong fashion, racking up numerous top-5s at cyclo-cross events, culminating with 4th at the New Jersey State Cyclo-Cross Championships.
Rich first got involved with cycling in the early 1990s, trading a radio-controlled airplane for his first mountain bike. At first used for commuting around the college campus, he was exposed to the world of upgrades and piece by piece the bike improved – as did his skills and he started racing.
The following year, Rich took a part-time job working for Riteway – the GT bicycle distributor. After graduating, Rich realized his design degree wasn’t going to pay the bills, so he started working at Bicycle Bills in Boston, a small shop known for great service. The owner was a former racer from the 70’s and had a basement full of antique road parts disguised as junk. Rich was exposed to the fixed-gear and small- bike-builder culture in Boston… and before he knew what happened he was riding all over Boston on a single- speed!
Rich interacted with employees at Fat City, Merlin, Rhygin, Independent, and Seven, and after meeting with the owner of Rhygin, he was soon working there and later borrowed some money to make a small investment – and learned all the not-so-wonderful aspects of being a small, under-capitalized frame builder…
While at Rhygin, Rich was exposed to road and cyclo-cross racing. After watching Jan Weijak and the McCormack brothers battle at the 1995 Cyclocross Nationals in 5 inches of snow, he was hooked…
Today, Rich Hofbauer is a husband and father of two (3-year-old boy, 16-month-old daughter). He is currently the COO of Lendia, LLC. He had a terrific cross campaign, looking to improve upon that success in 2008. And he still races his Rhygin stainless steel cross bike – one of the best-looking, best- performing steel frames ever made…
Height: 6’ 2”
December Weight: 186 lbs.
Race Weight: 180 lbs.
Birthdate, Location: 1972 – Port Jervis, NY
Childhood Heroes: “The 1986 Mets.”
Hobbies and Interests: “Music, snowsports – snowboarding, skiing, snowshoeing.”
Favorite Movies: “Rushmore, Unforgiven.”
Musical Tastes: “Very wide range – recently it has been my punk and hardcore record collection from the 80’s.”
Favorite TV Shows: “Family Guy, 30 Rock.”
Favorite Meal: “Risotto made by my wife or Steak Frites at Pastis in New York.”
Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Go Lean Crunch.”
Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Usually cereal. A good cup of coffee is the most important part of the pre-race meal.”
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Phish Food.”
Childhood Dream: “To be a civil engineer – no idea why.”
First Car: “1980 Cutlass Cruiser, light blue with wood panels.”
First Job: “At 14, shouldering canoes for Kittatiny on the Delaware river.”
Favorite Vacation Spot: “Costa Rica.”
Pre-Race Feeling: “Use to be nervousness. The last few months it has been excitement and confidence.”
Early Racing Memory: “First race I did – Mt. Peter, NY 1992. My cassette stripped the hub threads in the middle of a long steep climb. I started rolling backwards and it took a few seconds for me to realize my pedaling wasn’t getting me anywhere. Needless to say down, down, down I went.”
Funny Racing Memory/Embarrassing Racing Memory: “Mt. Snow 1995 – I had just switched from Shimano clipless to Onza pedals. I was heading to the start line and in the middle of the parking lot in front of a few hundred other racers I did one of those super slow I-can’t-get-out-of-my- pedals I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me fall overs. I can look back and laugh, but I was horrified at the time.”
Greatest Racing Moment: “Too many good times to count.”
Most Painful Moment In Life: “Luckily, none come to mind.”
Worst Injury from Racing: “Third-degree burn on my wrist after the front wheel came out from under me on a wet manhole cover while sprinting at Colts Neck. Big nasty scare to remind everyday.”
Closest Racing Friends: “Jeff Oliver, Dave Junius.”
Favorite Race: “Also the most painful – Mount Snow cross-country race.”
Toughest Competitors: “Making the time.”
Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Winter Olympians, cross-country skiers.”
Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Honesty.”
What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “Freedom. I get the same feeling today as I did when I was five years old.”