Stephon

Stephon
Photo: Jared Harber

I showed up in Raleigh about 11, 12 years ago for college at NC State. Basically, my relationship with cycling in Raleigh is directly tied into the racing scene here. Berger Hardware Bikes, those crit series in the summer and springtime. Riding with folks in and out of Raleigh. Stuff like that.

I started cycling when I was 16. You know, stuff like "bike safety" and "cycling advocacy," those weren't really part of my vocabulary as a kid. I was just a young teenager just riding on the roads. Stuff like 'Is the road safe? Is there a bike lane? Are cars looking out for me?' that all wasn't really a question.

The lesson I learned at a young age is that, basically, the traffic situation isn't really made for me [as a cyclist]. That's something I took for granted, and now I'm a little older in Raleigh looking around like "How can this be better for cyclists?"

I feel like that [Bike Lanes by Casey Neistat] was a really big video for me in terms of, like, seeing bikes not on the big screen necessarily, but in a really exposed way. Seeing what it's like to be a biker in a big city. Drivers really just do whatever they want, in the context of bike infrastructure. That's what I think of when I think of New York City. The traffic there is really, you know, renowned for being shitty and as a biker, you're just in that. Trying to survive.

Something I'm excited about... You know, I just started getting coached by Ben Shrewsberry at Oakwood RaceLabs . It took me a while to get started with coaching because I've always had a self-centered kind of attitude towards a lot of things. Like, I want to take complete credit for whatever accomplishments I make in life. I felt like with coaching, you're kind of giving some of that up to somebody else. So, I basically just got over that. I feel like this is an opportunity to inject some discipline into my cycling life. I can't do it all alone.

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