Today, we cool off from a toasty weekend with the a man as cool as the come, Mike Simonson. He’s one of the toughest, fastest and friendliest cyclist in the whole state. He’s set his sights on the National Ultra Endurance Series this season, and he’s had great rides leading up to the Michigan stop, the Lumberjack 100. Let’s visit with the Simonster, shall we?
1. First off, who are you? That’s asked in a philosophical sense, sure, but where are you from, what do you do, who do you care about and what do you enjoy? (Name, hometown, MTB/Road/Both, team, etc.)
The name is Mike Simonson. Hometown is Clarkston, MI. I do primarily mountain biking and lately I enjoy the 100 mile endurance events the most. I race for a RBS, a bike shop right out of Rochester Michigan. Notubes also takes care of me, and another great business out of Rochester, CPA Crossings, also helps tremendously.
2. What got you into biking? What got you into racing? What is your proudest two-wheeled achievement?
Riding bikes probably goes as far back to the sibling rivalry with my older brothers. They were always taking off on their bikes, leaving me home with mom. And once I did learn how to ride a bike, I had to try like hell to keep up with them, or else get dropped and have to ride back home. Maybe that’s at the root of this racing obsession. My proudest moment would have to be when I won Iceman back in 2006. That was a huge goal of mine that I’d been chasing for a while. Hopefully there are more proud moments to come in 2012, like an NUE win! That would be huge.
3. What kind of bike(s) are you riding? Do they have names?
I’m currently riding a Superfly100 for races. But with the way I ride, and the rugged nature and length of the NUE races, I can only use that bike on race day, or else it wouldn’t survive 3 months. I have a trusty old Aluminum cheapy I do most of my training on. It see’s the brunt of the abuse, then gets no credit in the race reports. I refer to it as the “commute bike”. It takes on all different forms throughout the year based on the extra parts I have lying around, or whatever I can run off with for free at the LBS.
4. What are your big goals for 2012? Who do you want to beat this year?
The NUE series is definitely a huge goal. And Iceman is always one I like to do well at. I wouldn’t say I’m trying to beat anyone, other than my own conscience, rather the goal is to take my body and fitness to the greatest extent possible.
5. What is your favorite place to ride in the world? In Michigan?
My favorite place in the world to ride is the dirt roads around northern Oakland/Lapeer County, and of course ripping any of the local trails with my best riding buddies.
6. If you had to compare yourself to a pro, who would you pick?
I’d say a larger time trialist type of guy who puts out a lot of power. Maybe like a Fabian Cancellara.
7. Who is your favorite person to ride with?
I guess anyone who will rap and listen to my philosophical bullshit. Robert Herriman was probably the best at that before he retired. You spend 5-6hrs with someone at a time, you tend to run out of things to talk about. So I guess anyone who can keep the conversation interesting. Scott Stewart and I have gotten into some interesting conversations. Big Ray is always a treat. Danny K is good at keeping the conversation interesting too.
8. If you could design a bike race in Michigan, where would the finish line be? Who would you have as podium girls? (Celebrities are in play)
There’s this little conference center up in Almont out on the dirt roads. It’s on top of this big hill way back in the woods. I always thought it would be cool to finish a race there. Podium girls? How about Britney Spears and Lindsey Lohan? That would surely bring some exposure to the sport with all the paparazzi buzzing around.
9. Thank somebody:
I’d like to thank my wife Michelle, and all the sponsors that have helped me out over the years.
10. Any last words?
Keep doing the hard work. Study and learn everything you can about the sport. Stay persistent and determined. Keep your health in mind as the number one priority at the end of all this bike racing business.