Oliver poses mid-adventure ride. Photo: Nick Monette

I’m really looking forward to next season. I’ll be racing for Trek Red Truck in 2019.

I decided in May that I needed a break from professional racing. I wasn’t performing at a high level and I was dealing with mental health and crash-related challenges, but most of all, I wasn’t enjoying it anymore. When I hung my jerseys up this year, it was different from when I stopped riding last year. This time, I was dying to get out and ride as soon as I could, whereas last year, the last thing I wanted to do was touch a bicycle.

Knowing that I wanted to ride, but also knowing that I didn’t want to race, presented me with a very grey understanding of what cycling had become to me. I wanted to spend everyday riding this summer but just for fun. So I rode a lot and I loved it.

It wasn’t until after watching BC Superweek, and after seeing a video from Trek Red Truck about their history, that I realized what I wanted.

This video reminded me of everything that cycling should be. Everything it had been for me a couple of years ago, and everything I would want it to be if I were to race again. I cried as I watched it. Where did I let my passion go? Suddenly I was 15 again, excited at the prospect of riding for an elite team on the West Coast, supported by staff and teammates who care. Riding with friends. Enjoying it. Balance. All the key components.

In the video, over images of Red Truck riders cruising through the Santa Monica Mountains at team camp, team director, Steve Engh discusses an emphasis on balance within the lives of team members. He understands that there needs to be more to an athlete’s life than the bike and encourages riders to study, work and explore other passions. You can hear the passion and pride in Steve’s voice as he talks about his team.

The only team I applied to for 2019 was Red Truck. I met Steve during an adventure ride on Galiano in August, and from our brief meeting, I knew that Steve was a guy I’d like to ride for. That is, of course, if he would have me. I know that I’ve had a less than reliable track record when it comes to racing the last two years.

I’m not sure where I want to go with racing at this point. All I know is that I love to ride, and I always will. I stopped racing this year because my passion for the sport had dwindled on account of the environment I was racing in and several other factors. But cycling is an incredible sport, and I feel that I may rediscover a love for racing this year. And, if I don’t, that’s okay too. My love for riding isn’t going anywhere.

I now have the opportunity to work, ride and for the first time in my life, explore post-secondary education. Cycling is no longer my everything. I’m riding much less now as I juggle these three commitments, but I love the rides perhaps even more than I used to.

I’m looking forward to a season of racing with friends on a balanced and more manageable schedule while doing what I can for the team and the talent that I’ll be joining. To see the full 2019 roster, check out this little announcement I wrote for the team.

I am so grateful to Steve Engh and Brian Green for giving me the opportunity to ride for Trek Red Truck in their 25th season, and for reminding me of why it is that I race!

Oliver Evans 20-year-old cyclist from Winnipeg, currently living in Victoria.

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