We caught up with our avid cyclist friend and Borden Dental race team champion Chris Borden and asked him about his cycling life and asked him to give us beginners some tips for when we're out there on the road! Is his secret to success in the socks or just some good ole' fashioned hard work?
What was your first bike?
In April 2010, I settled on a brand spankin' new aluminum Trek 2.1 as part of my "be less fat" program. It came with a shameful lack of blackness and a lifetime supply of spacers under the stem. Fortunately, my legs knew no better and began getting way faster along the way to weighing way less.
What do you ride now?
I have several horses in the stable these days, but I spend most of my miles aboard a Trek Madone that I ordered through Project One when the 9 model line was first introduced in 2016.
I'd always kept a few different beater road bikes because there was no single perfect unicorn bike out there. With the release of the new Madone 9, Trek created an aerodynamic racing bike, at the minimum UCI weight limit, with double century comfort from the Isospeed decoupler built into the seat tube. That means it's plush enough to be a daily driver, it goes up as well as anything out there; and if the bike has a frame, it may as well be the slickest one on wheels, right? The Madone was a super simple decision; what's not to love?
What is your favorite cycling accessory?
A responsible man would say a packable gillet, coupled with the handling skills to don and stow on the go, is the single most useful bit of kit a southeastern cyclist has available. Our weather patterns are so variable, the light cycling vest really is an underutilized problem solver.
But, my favorite?
That's absolutely got to be the socks. Life is way too short to wear dumb socks. And, a savvy eye might even spot a subtle correlation to sock game strength and podium position. It may not be science, but the competition sure isn't intimidated by a pair of black ankle socks.
Why go Project One?
Project One is another big advantage Trek has over a lot of other manufactures. I have a funky bike fit and an "off the rack" bike means I'm paying for more new doodads to dump into the closet spares bin. Through Project One, I can essentially tailor the bike to fit the man. And as any finely tuned cyclist knows, the single most important thing about making the faster magic happen on race day is making the fit magic happen in the work shop.
As a bonus, Project One let me choose a "this bike cannot be too black" color pallet. Because of course, black is the fastest color. It's undeniable. *wink*
What tips would you give to a beginner road cyclist?
Your legs are stupid; they will do exactly what they are told. The bike is noble and true; it gives back what you put into it. The fastest way to way faster is out there between the white line and the yellow one. After all, riding the bike well is mostly about, well, riding the bike.