Rider Bio: John “Kid” Crandall

I began racing my senior year of high school. One summer night I was out with friends, biking aimlessly around Corvallis. As we clambered over a fence with our bikes on our shoulders to go ride a trail, one of them remarked that there was a sport similar to what we were doing called cyclocross. I decided that sounded fun, so I joined the Corvallis High School cyclocross team — an amazing program that supplied me with a loaner race bike, rides to races, and discounted entry fees. After becoming hooked, I began training and racing on the road with my collegiate team. Between the two, I can’t imagine a more fun, supportive, and easy-going environment with which to fall in love with bike racing.

My favorite team memory was the first Elite team training camp I attended, just after joining. I had just gotten my first ever road bike, and showed up to the camp still on mountain bike pedals. I was nervous about my fitness level, and about not knowing anyone else on the squad. By an hour into our first big training ride, however, I realized how great all my teammates were and knew that we would get along spectacularly. After the ride, we sat in the hot tub for an inappropriate amount of time and bonded. I felt immediately at home on Team Oregon, with a great group of teammates.

My most memorable racing experience with the team was the first stage of the Baker City Cycling Classic in 2015. We arrived at the race start on a few hours of sleep and a long, bumpy van ride. I was a fresh Cat 2, and nervous beyond belief to be lining up in a large field with so many top-notch elite riders from the Northwest. The stage’s route was brutal, and the heat ridiculous. The sheer difficulty made for an epic day in the mountains of Eastern Oregon, and I finished the stage exhausted but elated. Everyone suffered through that stage together, and the shared experience brought us closer together; having only been on the team for a number of months, I felt closer to my teammates than ever before. The entire stage race was one that I’ll never forget, and will hold a special place in my heart.

For me, this season is all about the Cascade Classic. The 2016 edition was my first race as a Cat 1, and it felt like discovering racing all over again. This year, the race is UCI-sanctioned, with teams from both the Americas and Europe slated to attend, meaning it will be even faster and harder than last year. I can’t wait.

Favorite sponsor: Castelli! We’re so lucky to get exceptional support from the best cycling clothing manufacturer in the world. New Kit Day is more exciting to me than Christmas. The difference between Castelli’s products and the competition is night and day; every time I crank out a five- or six-hour ride, I remember how lucky we are to have the very best chamois, jerseys, and in-line clothing products.