Name: Logan Wetzel
Team: NW Sho-Air / Raleigh presented by S.E.T. Coaching
About.com: What are your first memories of biking?
Wetzel: Learning to ride without training wheels at age three in my parents yard. I kept tipping over and crashing in the grass until finally succeeding. Off-road cycling has stayed close to my heart ever since.
About.com: How did you get hooked on mountain biking?
Wetzel: I grew up riding trails in the woods next to my folks' house, but I didn’t venture out into much more extensive riding until junior-high school when I discovered my local bike shop, Black Diamond Bike and Backcountry. Peter and Matt at the bike shop introduced me to Thursday night rides and I began making friends and riding more places. I did my first race when I was 16 at Beacon Hill in Spokane. My parents agreed to drive me there if I raced both the DH and the XC races (I only wanted to race the DH). I ended up winning the XC and I was hooked!
About.com: How does it feel to be a professional athlete? As a kid, did you think this is what you would be doing?
Wetzel: After I started mountain bike racing I never set my sights too high. My first year, I wanted to do well in the junior sport category. My second year I planned to upgrade to junior expert and hoped to then place top-15 at the Schweitzer NORBA race. I always set achievable goals and made sure having fun was my number one priority. With each year came more experience and growth as an athlete. I never thought I could compete at the level I do now.
About.com: What do you feel is your greatest biking accomplishment so far?
Wetzel: That’s a tough question. There are a handful of race results that are particularly satisfying, but my greatest biking accomplishment so far is more likely the level of consistency and wisdom that I have now reached. Being 25 is exciting in this regard because I have so much more racing and growth to look forward to.
About.com: How do you deal with the physical and emotional stress of racing?
Wetzel: First and foremost is that I remember my original reason for riding and racing: to have fun. If I put too much pressure on myself to perform, then there is a greater chance of letting myself down. It is important that I don’t set over-the-top goals.
About.com: What does a typical day of training consist of? How do you stay fit through the off season?
Wetzel: I generally follow the “less is more” approach to training. Heavy riding can easily become too much of a good thing and result in overtraining. About 2/3 of my rides are on the road as it allows me to control my efforts and also helps to build my power and endurance. A typical day for me would involve school and/or work followed by an afternoon ride and evening strength-training workout at Trailhead Athletics, a Bellingham gym targeted towards outdoor athletes. I also add 20-40 minute runs into my training during the winter months. Cyclocross, cross-country skiing and running keep me fit through the mountain bike off-season.
About.com: Do you have advice for mountain bikers who are just getting started?
Wetzel: Always make sure riding and racing are fun! If you aren’t having fun, then why are you doing it? Don’t get obsessed either. I personally do my best when I have balance in my life.
About.com: Feel free to include anything else!
Wetzel: I love bikes!