Kuria Njenga

Kuria Njenga’s father was a diplomat, so he was lucky to live in a number of different places when growing up: Kenya, the United States, Ethiopia, Switzerland, India. Soccer was Kuria’s favorite sport, along with BMX riding with his brothers and friends.

Most of his high schooling was done at the International Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopians had a general disdain for foreigners – they especially did not like sub-Saharan Africans. Having fist-sized rocks thrown at him whenever he ventured out of his home if he wasn’t in a car was not uncommon. So Kuria became excellent at dodging both potholes and flying rocks, learning to either intimidate or walk away from certain situations…

During college, he weighed 120 pounds at 5’11”. Between the gym, weight-gainer pills, tons of whole milk, and of course beer (it was college!), he packed on 50 pounds of muscle. Fast forward to 2002, Kuria’s now married and one of the most muscular riders in the area. His wife gave him a carbon Trek 5200 as a wedding gift. His friends were opting for the big fat watches as wedding gifts, but Kuria thought the bike would yield a bigger return on investment…

Kuria began riding solo, then joined the Rockland Bicycling Club. The legendary Jim Skelly, owner of the Nyack Bike Shop, persuaded him to try the Sunday Nyack “Rocket” Ride, and although he was dropped during that first ride, the love of the sport was forever instilled…

Kuria now races for Westwood Velo. 2008 is his first year working with Elite Endurance, and he is steadfastly focused on getting stronger, faster, and smarter on the bike.

Height: 5‟ 11”

December Weight: 175 lbs.

Race Weight: 165 lbs.

Birthdate, Location: April 10th, 1970 – Nairobi, Kenya

Childhood Heroes: “Bruce Lee, Pele, Tintin.”

Hobbies and Interests: “Cycling, history, music.”

Favorite Movies: “The Man Who Would Be King, A Bridge Too Far, Trainspotting, Braveheart.”

Musical Tastes: “A wide range of stuff. Alternative rock – whatever that really means. Ska, Classic Rock, Reggae. Honorable Mention to The Clash!”

Favorite TV Shows: “Seinfeld.”

Favorite Meal: “Steak au poivre…..When I can‟t come by that, a nice omelette will do.”

Favorite Breakfast Cereal: “Cranberry Almond Clusters from Trader Joe‟s.”

Favorite Pre-Race Meal: “Pasta with just about any sauce.”

Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: “Soy Delicious Chocolate Almond.”

Childhood Dream: “I honestly don‟t remember.”

First Car: “Volkswagen Passat.”

First Job: “Audio Visual Technician – fancy name for the guy who delivered televisions and projectors in college from class to class… although I did video-record some lectures!”

Favorite Vacation Spot: “Nantucket, Massachussetts.”

Pre-Race Feeling: “Jittery, anxious.”

Early Racing Memory: “Thinking the Start Times were insanely early for NYC races.”

Funny Racing Memory: “Watching some guy rushing to get to the start of his race take a dump right in the parking lot at Prospect Park – in front of everyone. When those bathrooms are locked, anything goes…”

Greatest Racing Moment: “Almost, almost winning – short by about 100 meters – at Rockleigh after being away by myself for a few laps.”

Most Painful Moment In Life: “My 2-year-old son being diagnosed with testicular cancer in the summer of 2006. In the same way that you never really know unconditional love until you have a child, you never know “true hurt” until something like that happens to your child. Part of me died during that period of time. The good news was that we caught it in time and he is fine and I almost feel reborn.”

Worst Injury from Racing: “Luckily haven’t crashed in a race yet. I have gone down on the Nyack Ride, though…”

Closest Racing Friends: “John Landino – the guy has contagious optimism and motivation and is an all-around nice guy. All the super-nice folks on the Nyack Ride.”

Funniest Racer: “Whoever the Jamaican guy is at the Prospect Park races who is always yelling to everyone from the back of the pack – “You guys are riding like girls! Pull through! Pedal your bicycle!” – yet you never actually see ahead of you.”

Favorite Race: “Prospect Park, Rockleigh… I like the Unionvale course – just need to work on getting a result up there.”

Embarrassing Racing Memory: “Getting dropped at Prospect after the first lap of my first race and then deciding to finish the race anyway and trailing behind some old guy who had also been dropped who then proceeded to ask me what my excuse was.”

Toughest Competitors: “Jermaine Burrowes and a bunch of Westwood guys – I‟m working on narrowing down the numbers…”

Favorite Athletes to Watch: “Really anyone who has mastered their sport. It‟s great to watch top athletes make their efforts look like art.”

Qualities You Most Admire in People: “Humility, determination, honesty.”

What You Love Most About Riding Your Bicycle: “The ability to continually learn and improve and basically just being outdoors.”