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If you follow bike racing you’re probably familiar with the name Colin Strickland. Never heard of Colin? Well, Strickland is the trendy man’s Wout Van Aert. He’s won Red Hook Crits, The Dirty Kanza 200, multiple Gravel World’s, as well as countless other road and mixed terrain races all over the United States. We caught up with Strickland in Iceland, where he was preparing to race the first edition of “The Rift,” a gravel race that covers 200 kilometers of Iceland’s pristine wilderness and rugged terrain.
Like many gravel racers, Strickland came to the sport later in life but he’s still finding his record breaking limits at a racing age of thirty-four. When Colin started out as a bike commuter in college, he enjoyed the speed and sense of freedom that the bicycle offered. Colin soon found himself riding fixed gear bikes and began to race on the alleycat scene in Austin, Texas. After winning alleycats, he formed a road team with other novice racers, and began his rapid rise to the top of the amateur road scene in Texas.
Strickland quickly found success on the road but always enjoyed riding bikes beyond the narrow confines of asphalt. He soon found himself lining up in the “alternative” bike races that have been gaining so much momentum in the past few years. He ventured out on his own before signing with Aventon’s factory team, then he transitioned to Specialized-Rocket Espresso, and later back to teams he ran and organized himself. Colin quickly found himself at the top of the fixed gear scene where he was a four time Red Hook Criterium champion.
Gravel now makes up a majority of Colin’s self-scheduled calendar. As the owner, director, sponsorship manager, and team leader of Meteor x Giordana, Colin picks races that suit the team’s strengths and offers exposure to their sponsors. Unlike a traditional team Meteor x Giordana isn’t bound to racing in only one discipline or region, which is why you’ll see Colin lining up in Tulsa Tough’s fast paced crits within a few weeks of a solo breakaway win at The Dirty Kanza 200. A truly versatile two-wheeled athlete doesn’t need specificity and variety keeps Colin excited to ride his bike.
Teams like Colin’s are also shaking up the way cycling is organized. There is no need for the twenty-five person road teams that travel the country accumulating national series points and air miles in today’s cycling culture. Truth be told, gravel events are more relatable, epic, and exciting for cycling fans and fast paced twilight crits and fixed gear races have all the excitement that non-cycling spectators find in motorsport races, but without the deafening noise and exhaust fumes. Cycling is, after all, entertainment for many and fun for a few. Colin and his team keep cycling fun and entertaining in an era of marginal gains; and that’s more important than ever.
Colin recently joined the Floyd’s team as a CBD ambassador. He’s long struggled with insomnia before races. “If it’s a big race, I’m just excited and I just lie there and my brain won’t shut off” he said. Now, he uses CBD to combat that insomnia so he can relax, rest, recover and wake up ready to kick ass.
Colin uses the CBD softgels, which he says are his favorite Floyd’s product, before bed as part of a relaxation routine that allows him to get the rest he needs before a race. In fact, he used the softgels the night before beating a handful of the World Tour’s finest pros at Dirty Kanza this year.
While we can’t promise that our softgels will turn you into an incredibly versatile winning machine, we do know that sleep is important and here at Floyd’s we support the sleep habits of many top athletes. Learn more about Colin and follow his victories, adventures, and philosophies here on Instagram.
Shortly after this piece was written Colin won the 200k Iceland Rift, which bills itself as:
“An off-road bike race through the dark lava fields in the highlands of Iceland. It traverses the continental rift between North America and Eurasia – a rift that grow one inch every year. The growth is evident with vast lava fields all around creating a surreal landscape. A landscape that is remote, rugged and unpredictable.”
Congrats Colin! We can only assume you were well rested, relaxed and recovered because you rocked it.