Cycling with Chris Carlson 5

Lifelong Fitness Passion

Many of us take up a fitness practice, be it running, weight training or others because they are available to complete in the gym. Some of us however, like Chris Carlson have a particular outdoor exercise passion and it sticks with us as our go-to fitness method through decades of our lives. 

Chris Carlson, is a Texas native and started riding bikes from an early age of seven years old all the way up until today. He, like many kids began finding little trails and would bike with friends to places like the corner stores to grab snacks and as he put it, “to get away from home for awhile.” Later, in his teenage years, he would move onto BMX bikes and have fun racing friends and finding fun tracks to ride on. Moving into his adult years, the sport became more serious to him. He picked up cycling as not just a form of exercise, but biking at a competitive level. In fact, he has won more than a handful of both national and world championships. During the 90’s he was sponsored by EDS, the company he worked for as a litigator at the time. He would ride at night and practice law during the day. 

In 2015, in our town of Frisco, Chris competed in the Superdrome. He wanted to beat the world record of the fastest cycling in an hour’s time period. I asked him more details about this race, how he felt after winning and his goals he has for 2018:

K.A.: What did you do to train for this competition at the Superdrome?

C.C.: I first made sure I was set up with the proper bike. I worked with Richardson Bike Mart here in Frisco, then I found well lit areas that offered good trails. I made sure to spend hours practicing getting my speed up where I wanted to be up until the event. 

K.A.: Sounds like you were prepared. What was it like on the actual day of the race; were you nervous? Excited? 

C.C.: The interesting thing is with cycling, that unlike when I would run marathons in the past, and would be stock full of nerves, with biking, I don’t feel that way, instead it’s complete excitement and enjoyment. That day, I was running a bit late actually from working that day and managed to show up just before the event began.”

K.A.: Glad you made it. Now, what everyone wants to know…did you beat the record?

C.C.: I beat the record for the fastest in the state of Texas coming in at 46.748. I wasn’t sure I was going to do it when I had around 7-9 minutes to go; but I I managed to make it happen.

K.A.: Well, congratulations, that along with your other wins are quite impressive. On that note, if people were interested in getting into this sport, what advice would you give them?

C.C.:  All riding is good. Any place they find that is safe, well-lit, and they feel the most comfortable on the bike is where they should train. Some might prefer places like the Superdrome, where some could benefit from areas around Teal Parkway in Frisco that offer great trails for beginners. It’s all a personal choice. 

K.A.: How do you feel cycling has evolved over the years? 

C.C.: The bike and bike accessories have become lighter and more technologically advanced. Aerodynamics have been implemented to increase time trials, etc. Bikes themselves are now made of carbon fiber as opposed to just steel. The helmets and shoes are high-tech and more efficient. Lastly, I would say the coaching that is available in cycling has become more prevalent. 

K.A.: What are your goals in 2018 in terms of the sport? 

C.C.: I have enjoyed over the last decade, coaching interested cyclists in Frisco schools and the DFW area. In 2018, my goal is to have the Richardson Bike Mart Development Cycling Team that I coach and am a part of win more races and ultimately the World Championship!

Cycling has always been in Chris’ life and offers a wonderful option for him to keep up with his fitness goals while hanging on to his passion.

He stated that with cycling, it offers a low-impact option in working out. It is a sport you can be involved with your whole life and you get out in nature and are able to see scenery that you won’t see at the gym. Cycling has become more popular and appealing for these reasons.