Only after a life threatening injury did i choose to race bicycles.
In the summer of 2012, just a normal typical day I headed out on the American River Bike Trail on my fixed gear bicycle. Soon after a nice warm up and feeling good I had a collision with another cyclist (aka bum on a bike) and fell to the ground and broke my neck! Yep that’s right brachial plexus c5, c6, c7. I was "disabled" for a year and have a permanent arm restriction. Life as you might see looks normal, but there is loads of mental and physical fight that has led me here. Prior to the crazy injury, I’d been riding bikes for 3 years up to that point, well before the thought of racing. None the less my love for cycling and adventure has preceded my pursuit to "cat 1 status" and still to this day pushing my limits.
My name is Darin, I love adventure, outdoors and all things bicycles. A father to an 8 year old tux cat named "Tux" we randomly met one day after visiting the local S.P.C.A. animal shelterwith my friend Autum while living in Sacramento. We were looking at the dogs there, behind the cages, looking so sad and lonely and soon realized I didn't like it there and just felt bad for all of them and had the urge to immediately leave. We then went to look at the cats but couldn't get in the door because it was locked. So we just walked out the front door, but as we were leaving I had this thought . "We have to be able to get in there and see the cats right?" And so we walked right back in! I’d asked the front desk if we could see the cats. Turns out we were just at the wrong door the first time, and we got in. Although that same sad feeling came back in. Walking past all the tiny cages of stacked, sad kittens, and even adult cats I were ready to be gone for good. That is until I came across this little guy sticking his paw out further than any of the others. It was literally the last cage, last cat at the bottom. I was immediately impressed with his energy and felt a connection to him. After 20 minutes or so hanging out we had totally bonded and it felt like he was already family. And so I took him home and we have been getting into all kinds of trouble ever since.
When I first started bike racing I had no car, nor many friends that raced. So I took the train when possible, amtrak to get further, and even rode to local race events so I could get my number for another race. After some time I ended up borrowing a co workers van to get to even further events. This went on for 2 years, borrowing the van, riding as much as possible, living the bike racer life addicted and never looking back. It was on the 3rd year that I got my cat1 upgrade, finally had my own car, and then got a coach and a power meter. I have always taken the path less traveled, did things my own way. But I then realized I wanted to keep progressing, make new friends and continue in pursuit of my dream. After all its all fun and games till you aren't excelling anymore and marginal gains are fought tooth and nail.
Up until "cat 1 life" I was a stage racer with a knack for time trials. I had borrowed TT bikes for races, learned how to push limits on and off the bike and thus learned the ins and outs of nutrition, and training and made every sacrifices possible to get there. Since then its been a hard rode of riding as a domestique and in search of a higher fitness to obtain a leadership role with the right team. I currently ride for DRS/247
Some of my previous goals were to race UCI road and have now moved on to all things gravel and dirt. After giving a go at Sac Cyclocross Series racing the As for 2018/2019 season I managed a 3rd over all and pretty happy with the result. Sharping that knife Im looking for more in 2019 with lost and fond and Grinduro as my A race goals and then on to the cyclocross season.