Name: Ryan Garcia
Occupation: Retired Air Force Security Forces/Gardener/Yoga Instructor
Bikes: 2018 Fuji Jari, 2005 Trek Madone 5.9, Soma FogCutter, and a Specialized Rockhopper from the early 90s
Q: When and how did you discover cycling?
A: I discovered cycling when i moved to California from New York. My Volkswagen was pretty unreliable so I fixed it, sold it and used those funds to facilitate the move. I ended up buying a cheap fixed gear and riding that for a while as a commuter, “do it all,if you can” bike.
Q: Has your inspiration to ride changed since then, and what is it now?
A: Starting from fixed gear and road bikes, My inspiration seems to have grown to be more of an all encompassing, jack of all trades mind set. Get out there and have fun on all the bikes, you know? Dirt, Mountain, Road, Track. It’s all good!
Q: How would you define your style of gravel riding?
A: Hard, Fast and Dirty. I thoroughly enjoy giving it my all in the middle of no where, then coming back to civilization to feast and reap the rewards.
Q: Describe an ideal day on the bike.
A: A crisp early morning start, with big climbs that don’t stop for a while, Monster descents and a tailwind, pushing us towards the pizza & beer awaiting for us at the end.
Q: What are some notable trips you’ve done to enjoy cycling?
A: My first gravel “races”were a few of the Grasshopper Adventure Series rides in NorCal. Tough, breath taking scenery, really made you question everything you were doing that day. Those rides to this day stand out as my favorite, notable experiences.
Q: You’re a Barnstormer Chapter Leader. What does that entail, and is there anything you hope to help other riders find within the club?
A: As a BCL, I hope to bring folks together in my neighborhood to challenge themselves, and perhaps find adventure partners and training rivals (all in good fun). In other regards, I’d like to help alleviate the hesitation folks may feel when it comes to riding gravel for the first time or coming from another discipline of cycling.
Q: Everyone who rides has something unique to offer. Do you know what you might offer, in that regard?
A: I really enjoy education and educating. Perhaps offering bike packing, and gravel handling clinics to my community in the future.
Q: What role does cycling play in your current lifestyle?
A: Cycling is taking my life in a positive direction, rather quickly.. As a Combat Veteran it has been my therapeutic tool to heal. As a regular dude, it fuels my aspirations in careers involving clothing design, graphic design and sports photography.