Buddy Ralston

Growing up, I was always a three-sport athlete. I played a sport in every season available. I used Soccer to prepare for Wrestling and Wrestling to prepare for Baseball and Baseball to prepare for Soccer, and the cycle continued from age 5 through high school graduation.

I was always into riding my bike up until the age of 10, when I was hit by a car and sent to the hospital. After that, I didn’t get back on the bike again until after graduation. I have since dabbled in a few other recreational sports but never found myself with much time off of my bike. Over the last few years, I have dropped all activities that do not involve being on two wheels. Before the summer of 1998, I bought my first mountain bike, then replaced that with a few others. In 2008, I bought my first road bike, and in 2010, my first cyclocross bike.

I have always been passionate about riding my bike and my dedication to all aspects of the sport, but struggled with weight and some questionable lifestyle choices and never found myself with the ability to “keep up” or be competitive. Most recently, in the winter of 2011, I found out that I was going have my first child and decided that I was going to dedicate myself to being as healthy as possible. Looking down at the scale, with the gleaming red LED screaming a squishy 248, I figured that if I was ever going to dedicate myself to my bike, now was the time. I gave up my passion for a tasty stout and dedicated myself to getting into shape. Bikes would be my vessel.

21 months later I found myself down 54 pounds, in some of the best shape of my life, and loving the ability to chase my son around the house without having to stop for oxygen.

In the last year, I have teamed up with some amazing fellas in Boss Racing and Elite Endurance and my competitive cycling obsession has grown tenfold.

Height: 5’11″”

December Weight: 212lbs.

Race Weight: 190 lbs. (“Hopefully”)

Birthdate: July 1, 1979

Childhood Heroes: “GI Joe, my parents, and Gary Carter [NY Mets catcher].”

Hobbies and Interests: “Cycling, skiing.”

Favorite Movies: “Clerks, Aspen Extreme , Vision Quest…..There is a long list.”

Musical Tastes: “I listen to a lot of everything… My musical tastes have morphed in many directions over the years and I still get the urge for all of it from time to time… One look at my iPod and you would shake your head and probably raise an eyebrow.”

Favorite TV Shows: “The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Layover, No Reservations.”

Favorite Meal: “Anything with Sriracha on it.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Frosted Flakes, with milk and two large scoops of peanut butter on the edge of the bowl.”

Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Oatmeal with honey, multigrain bagel [dry], and a Euro Coke.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Pistachio.”

Childhood Dream: “Catcher for the NY Mets…”

First Car: “1981 Ford Thunderbird. First year of the more commonly recognized body model. Black with baby-blue pleather interior with chrome and black American Racing Wheels.”

First Job: “Press Box announcer/ scorekeeper at local baseball league.”

Pre-Race Feeling: “Usually feeling nervous and exhausted, because I warmed up at race pace.”

Early Racing Memory: “My first-ever race was Singlespeed-a-Palooza in 2012… and aside from being completely slapped in the face by the racing scene, I remember wondering why I was smiling through the entire 27 miles of suffering… I understand now…”

Funny Racing Memory: “Summer Sizzler, 2012, still at a bulky 230 pounds and the zipper of my riding jersey busted open as I pedal past the photographer… I looked like a stuffed sausage escaping from being imprisoned in its casing… It doesn’t take much to make me laugh.”

Greatest Racing Moment: “Smiling 100% of the time every photographer snapped a picture of me during a race.”

Most Painful Moment In Life: “Losing my Dad.”

Worst Injury from Racing: “My will was shaken a little bit this year when I went down in the first 300 yards of Singlespeed-a-Palooza and watch a friend take a bad fall right next to me… Other than that, knock on wood, I have been injury-free.”

Closest Racing Friends: “Anyone riding their bike is a friend of mine.”

Favorite Race: “Whirlybird Cyclocross 2012… because it was my first.”

Toughest Competitors: “Everyone in front of me on race day.”

Favorite Athletes to Watch: Mogul skiers and downhill MTB racers.

Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Courage to be an individual, persistence for greatness, and loyalty.”

What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “Riding my bike allows me to clear my head, work out stress, and put a smile on my face in ways only my wife and children can do. I look forward to that smile every day.”