By: Alina Buzgar, News & Features Editor
On April 10, Scott Ridout (MSGM ’15, U.S.) won the 2015 El Tour Criterium State Championships in the category 4 race. Somewhere between the long hours at school he made time to follow his passion for cycling, so we sat down with him to learn more.
When did you start cycling?
I started cycling “competitively” last year when I joined the ASU cycling team. Before that, I had raced a couple of underground alley cat races (basically a scavenger hunt race on fixed gear bicycles) and decided that I wanted to experience racing at the next level. Having been recruited to play lacrosse at ASU, I have always been competitive and cycling was an excellent outlet for me. I started as a category 5 racer (entry level racing category) and am now a category 3 racer. Cyclists become pros after category 1.
What role did cycling play at university?
For me, cycling is an excellent way to relieve stress, explore new areas, and meet lifelong friends. During my undergrad, I was definitely a ‘fixie fool’ (someone who is slightly hipster and rides fixed geared bikes exclusively) and focused more on underground races. More recently, I have been more focused on sanctioned competitive cycling (criteriums and road races). Now that the state champion race is over, I ride a lot with friends. I am trying to focus more on the intrinsic fun of cycling.
What do you like about cycling?
I like the competitive aspect of cycling. I love the adrenaline rush from sprinting to the finish for a place on the podium (my specialty is sprinting). I also like the team strategy that goes into every race. This year, ASU cycling won the South West Collegiate Cycling Conference. I also love riding with my friends and exploring new places!
Tell me a bit about your ASU cycling team.
The ASU cycling team is a club sport and has been growing rapidly in popularity. This year we doubled our active membership from 15 to 30. There are club meetings […] to discuss upcoming races/rides, club administration, and anything else. There are no set training rides for the team, we usually just network rides on a daily basis via our Facebook page. Most members come out to weekly community rides around the valley for training such as Fast 15, Tribe, and Around the Mountain (these rides are really fast!).
Tell us a fun story about cycling.
You know those alley cat races I mentioned? Usually at each stop you have to complete a ridiculous task. I have had to do everything from eat Gatorade powder (without water) to running through a drainage pipe for a hundred yards. However my favorite alley cat stop of all was during a death race in 2011, my very first race. It was in the back of someone’s house and they had drained their swimming pool except for some of the deep end. They dyed the water red to make it look like a pool of blood! In the deep end, there were some severed heads. The task was to jump in the pool, use a bow and arrow to shoot the head, and leave. However, if you missed the head, you had to jump in the ‘blood’ and retrieve the arrow. I had to retrieve my arrow.
What are your goals for this year?
My cycling season is over and I think I have more than accomplished my goals! I spent the entire off-season surfing everyday in San Diego and Peru so the first race of the season was not great. My goals at the start of the season was to not crash, to get at least one podium, be a good ‘domestic’ for my faster teammates. However, as the season progressed, I became faster and faster and started aiming for the state champs. Thus, I can proudly say that I accomplished all three of my goals!
Thank you Scott for the interview. If you have something you are passionate about and would like to share your story please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.