Team Spotlight: Gabe Klamer

Gabe, AJ and Jason at the Grinder

Up this week is Gabe Klamer, or “Fiddie Cent” as he is called by the team.   Just off a top ten finish (and a Belt Buckle winner) at Pierre’s Hole 100,  Gabe took a few minutes to chat about Big Day socks, how a piece of tape equates to 1.59 Watts of energy and how to STAY CALM!

SKH:  When & why did you join the Fitzgerald’s Bicycles team?

GK:  I joined the Fitzy team back in ’07.  He was still operating out of the small shop in the back of the Brew Pub.  That year the kits were the “sun burst” orange style.  I joined the team for the comradery and for the opportunity to race on a team with friends who already happened to be Fitzy riders.

SKH:  What’s the best part of being on the team?

GK:  The Fitzy team represents cycling on all different kinds of levels.  We are a diverse group who all love to ride and appreciate all cycling disciplines.  What I like about the Fitzy team the most is the friendships I have made.  Most of  my best friendships are a result of this team.

SKH:  What kind of riding and racing do you do?

GK:  I race about 12 mountain bike races a year varying from XC distances to endurance distances, 12 cross races and an occasional snow bike race assuming the trails are in good shape and the skiing sucks.  I ride my Orbea Orca a lot as well.

SKH:  What’s your favorite ride?

GK:  This is a no brainer.  Sink or Swim from the Post Office, Up the gut of Snow King, into West Game, Game, Cache, Putt Putt, Hagen Highway back out Sink or Swim to the house.  On a good day I can bang this out in 2 hours flat if I don’t stop and smell the roses or am not riding with Saurdude :-) (fellow team member, David Saurman).

SKH: Tell me about Pierre’s Hole.

Gabe in the pit at Lap 1 for Pierre's Hole

GK:  Ohh, my sweet baby Jesus, I would like to thank my sponsors KFC, Taco Bell and Powerade.  This write up is not be reproduced without the written authorization of Ricky Bobby, Inc.  (fortunately we do have permission)

Pierre’s was a hard day on the bike.  103 miles and 17,000 feet of climbing.  I have never had a good race at this event.  3 years ago I crashed at mile 1 and damaged my pelvis and last year I was out of shape.  This year I am riding well and I had the family in town to feed me.  When you have the family fly in from the Midwest to watch you race it puts a little pressure on you.  I often do well when the race is hard as heck so I thought I may have a shot at a top 10.

I rode the first 2 laps really monitoring my heart rate.  The 3rd lap I started to punch it a little on the climbs.  Once I stopped passing 100 milers I knew I was riding with the leaders.  Like most 100 milers I had a few low moments but I dealt with them while moving forward.  My last lap I knew it was time to “thug up” Fiddie Cent style and let beat run.  I wasn’t able to catch anyone else but I held off 9th place from catching me and came in about two minutes under the belt buckle time cutoff.  I noticed last year they gave out about 15 or more buckles.  This year with the harder course they only gave out 8.  A lot can go wrong in a ten hour race so I feel lucky to have gone home with the buckle.

Gabe earned a buckle!

SKH:  What’s next?

GK:  I still have my sights on the Park City Point to Point.  I will likely do a few impromptu races between now and then.  I do not have any real goals for the P2P other than to ride well and enjoy hanging out with some of my team members who I din’t get to see very often.

SKH:  Do you have any pre-race superstitions?

GK:  On of the most important things is to shower and have my “Big Day”  Fitzy socks.  It’s not a superstition by I always check my bolts before a race.  I bet if JayP had a dollar for every bike he saw have bolts come loose at Pierre’s he would not have to work this week.

SKH:  What not do you tape to your stem to keep you motivated?

GK:  I used to put times on my stem but now I keep it blank.  A piece of tape with writing on it weighs like 2 grams.  Over 100 miles that adds up to 1.59 Watts of energy.  I can’t afford this unnecessary loss of power.  Byers will understand this.

SKH:  What’s your mantra?

GK:  Usually it is stay clam!  Stay Calm!  STAY CALM!  It took a lot of self discipline to control my pace last weekend so I repeated this once or twice!

Gabe stays calm during Pierre's Hole

SKH:  What song gets stuck in your head during a race?

GK:  This is a good question.  Most people think I would have a 50 cent song in my head but let’s not forget my redneck heritage.  Hank Williams Jr’s “A Country State of Mind”  is a common one. It goes something like “that hot old summer sun will make you beg for your next breath but you best be on the creek bank laid in the shade, chewing on a hickory twig, pass that bottle I have me a swig, I don’t have much but I think I’ve got it made, in the shade.”  Last weekend I kept singing out loud 2 Live Crew’s “Hood rat, hood rat, hoochie mamma!”

SKH:  What thing have you purchased from Fitzy’s that you can’t ride without?

GK:  If I didn’t have my black Fitzy socks I think I wouldn’t even line up for the race in fear of what would happen without them.  My Stan’s wheels are pretty necessary as well.

SKH:  What is your favorite post ride treat?

GK:  I usually crave potato chips during the race but nothing is better post-ride than sharing a six pack with my friends.  Thanks to JayP and Sarah for helping out with the support last weekend.  I owe  you both a lot!  It was also awesome to see Michelle and Tracey helping out and cheering.

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