by Oliver Evans

Oliver Evans bike Norco

Twelve things you always take to races and training camps?

Holly Basiuk, Calgary

This list, for me, is forever evolving. Apart from the obvious (kit, underwear, helmet, underwear, shoes, underwear, glasses, bike, etc.) here are some particular items I always like to have with me. This list isn’t exhaustive, so don’t get mad if I ‘forgot’ something.

  1. Caffeine-free tea: calming, warm, home-like and helps with hydration
  2. Chocolate: for bad days
  3. Camera: A new-found method for me of instilling some balance through creativity
  4. Band-aids (although it’s always nicer if there’s a team first-aid kit – never use your own supply, right?) – For road rash, or casualties due to shaving (legs) or from kitchen knives
  5. Ear plugs: Every house, city and teammate makes different noises at night.
  6. Netflix capable device: lots of idle time on trips spent recovering, Netflix helps.
  7. Headphones: for the Netflix capable device and music.
  8. Phone and charger – For Tinder…obviously
  9. Health Card / BlueCross: incase you get worms while racing somewhere new. Or crash.
  10. Book: If you can read
  11. Fan: I can’t sleep without one. Need the noise and air movement. Some places don’t have air conditioning, so a little breeze can really help.
  12. OttoLock: Just got one for training in Tucson. Really nice for rest day adventuring.

Is there anything you’ve learned in racing that you’ll apply in the outside world or in an office someday?

Karlee Gendron, Tucson, Ariz.

There’s a world outside of cycling?

I hope I never end up in an office, but there are many lessons learned on the bike that I do and will continue to apply in ‘real’ life. I strongly believe that by starting the sport at such a young age, I’ve largely been shaped by the values, lessons and hardships presented by the sport, whether they’ve had a negative or positive impact.

I’ll forever be frugal. I’ll decide whether my bag doesn’t fit in the overhead compartment on the plane (it always does. Baggage fees are a scam).

I’ll always scout out quality, hip coffee shops. And no matter how poor I am, a five dollar latte is always worth it.

On a more serious note, by always being a part of a competition, I’ve learned a few things. If someone is verbally trying to get into your head to intimidate you, that’s probably because they feel intimidated by you. Bigger teams always try to scare you away from the front of the peloton. They don’t want a young or ‘small’ guy to beat them. They’re intimidated already. I think that in any walk of life, you will face competition and people will try and get inside your head if they feel that their success is threatened by you. If you can identify that threatened feeling rather than succumbing to the abuse, you can continue on your intended path. I suppose that what I’m trying to say is that you’ll often be fighting for the same position and while one person may seem better-suited for said position, nothing they say should stop you. In hip terms; don’t listen to the haters.

One of the most important lessons I’ve learned is to control what I can control. That is applicable anywhere.

I think that my drive, ambition, goal-setting, work-ethic and ability to endure are what will take me places, on or off the bike.

What will you take away from cycling when you retire?

Karlee Gendron, Tucson, Ariz.

Sick tan-lines, some scars, a box of medals, lots of water bottles and an appreciation for good burritos.

Hopefully, I’ll also leave with a sense of satisfaction. I want to leave the sport feeling that I’ve fulfilled my goals. It’s a scary consideration that I could leave feeling that I have unfinished business. Perhaps feeling that I’ve failed.

The values and lessons I’ve learned through the sport, as I touched on in the previous question, are what I’ll take with me. However, I’m not yet prepared to fully devote or apply those to anything else other than cycling. Since I have yet to figure what I will do off the bike, I hope to ride until contentment, to be afforded the opportunity to apply the same focus and determination to another occupation.

Oliver Evans discusses the input, and output, of food

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