An interview with Rob Meighan, California State Cyclocross Champion and 5th in Nationals

What are you celebrating?

I’m celebrating life.  I’m celebrating  not having a commitment to my next bike race.  The next event has not been chosen.  There’s a couple things coming up.  I’m going to “Rebecca Rush” in Ketchum,Idaho.  It’s a 100 mile race the beginning of September.   I’m going to try staying closer to home as the growing family commitments increase.

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I put all my eggs in cyclocross. That’s what I love to do.  I’ve been doing it for so long.  I’m doing pretty good.  With the commitments with the kiddo,  I’m starting to reevaluate the me -me-me factor, to the us-factor.  The longer trips are tough on the kiddo.  This is why I’m getting my second Outside Van, with more family function.  The van is doubling as a girls club.. dance space. : ))

Cyclocross National Championships I placed 5th in a frozen environment.  It was 20 degrees, the course would freeze during the night and would thaw during the day.   It was so muddy racers couldn’t ride through areas, they had to run.

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I was front row start, I was first to the hill… it’s a drag race from the start.  You could never get up to full speed or full power or heart rate, because there was almost a speed limit on the course because it was so frozen.  It was more the challenge of not making a mistake – or who could take more chances.

“You’re only as good as who shows up.”

Racing at the local level with the NorCal riders is as tough as nationals.  There are many past national and world title holders  Every weekend is a mini nationals.  I’ll keep working with my coach with sights on nationals.  I’m also thinking of going to worlds in Belgium.

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Tell me about your “Buckwheat” nickname?

It was 1985 and one of my first cross races ever.  I was using flat, mountain bike style bars on a cross bike.  I was wearing a buckwheat t-shirt.  As we were sprinting for the first turn, a kid hit my front wheel and I crashed about 10 guys.  Dead last place. I continued to race. I started passing guys. My riding was unorthodox, bunny-hopping stuff, flat bars, bouncing off guys – roosting.  “Whose that guys in the buckwheat shirt?” I finished 9th out of 30 guys… “go buckwheat.”  It stuck.

What’s your “why” for racing?

The accomplishment.  The golden ticket.  A personal grudge against racing other guys – at the national level.  The local stuff is the journey to get to the goal.

I find peace in the suffering.

The endorphins.  The charge I get out of it.  I’m re-powered up.  Now, I’m transitioning to enjoying the experience.  It’s not results based. Cyclocross is such a great group of guys.  What can I go out and do?  I want to find a way to promote bicycling in general.  To give back.

 

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What would you tell other racers?

Chase your dream.  Enjoy the moment.  “You are doing way more than most.”  You’re only as good as who shows up.  There is always someone faster, stronger, tougher, bigger.. don’t let that deter you.

You’ve got to do it because you love it.

How is the van?

Critical.  Show up prepared.  You have a place to change, a place to eat, a place sleep.  It’s a staging area.  It’s a support vehicle.  You have everything there.  It’s a mini bike support staff. It’s everything.

It’s so cool to pull in, and have a couple people you know with vans, hanging out.

The circling of the wagons.

Rob lives in northern California.  You can connect with Rob at Rclifdude@aol.com.