An American Rider In Belgium
Who among us riding and racing at home, in any category, has not asked the question… “could I have made it in Europe, as a pro?”
If you haven’t you’re in the monority. So we decided to find out what it’s really like to live the dream, and take a shot at the big-time. In the coming weeks we hope to bring you the thoughts, views, and experiences of several young riders who really are chasing their dreams to become pro bike races.
Our first installment is from Gregg Germer, a 20 year old amateur racer from Texas, who knew from his first race at 13 years old that he had found “his” sport. He is currently living, training, and racing in Oostende, Belgium, on the coast of the North Sea, where the wind blows “something fierce”.
Read more about Gregg at the bottom of the page, but without further ado, everyone, this is Gregg. Gregg, this is everyone…
April 16, 2001
Well this is the start. To what? No one really knows.
My name is Gregg Germer. I wake up thinking about cycling after dreaming about cycling. I then train for hours on end only to return to my home and recover from my training then only to then begin plan my racing for the weekend.
I am a wanabe Pro. A “Wanabe Pro” you ask yourself. What is that? I’ll see if I can clarify. If there was a Webster Dictionary definition for “Wanabe Pro” it would go something like –
“A person, lacking all common sense for rational thought, who punishes his/her body day after day while spending every physical and mental resource on the goal of becoming a professional cyclist.”
Though this may seem a bit of a stretch on the truth, it really isn’t.
I guess this will be the start, right here. <--- You see that small period, that will be the start. To what? To my recurring column here at PCN. This is going to be my way sharing the in's and out's, the hardships and triumphs, and the serious and funny sides of my racing this year. So here is the Cliffnotes version of my story. Been racing since 1995. I'm 20 years old and from Houston, Texas. Decided two years ago to try to go pro and racing in Belgium was the place to do it. So I saved up my pennies and hopped a plane to Belgium see what I am made of. I am currently living in Oostende, Belgium; racing for the ABC-AITOS cycling team. Basically I'm living the life of a pro - training, racing, eating, sleeping, except I'm not getting paid. Three weeks ago I broke my collarbone in a race, and have been riding the wind trainer for 2-3 hours a day since then - I think tomorrow I'm going to try the road again... can't wait. That means I'll have a bit more to tell you next week... Now I guess this is the end of the beginning and the start to the middle. Till next week... About Gregg Gregg started cycling back in 1994 at the Alkek Velodrome in Houston, Texas. From his first ride he knew cycling was a sport for him. He is an accomplished cyclist of all disciplines including road, mountain bike, cyclocross and track. After finishing high school he decided it was time to move on past racing in Texas and do bigger and better races. Gregg started to race a more National Racing Calendar races while being based out of Trexlertown, PA during the summers. After getting a taste of the NRC he decided it was time to go to the heart of cycling, Belgium, and see what he is made out of. He is currently living in Oostende, Belgium racing for the ABC-AITOS cycling team, www.cyclingcenter.com. Gregg's major race results include National Champion in Collegiate Team Pursuit, five national championship medals, and 20+ Texas State Championship Medals. He is going to be competing in many UCI races and Espoir races with the US National Team this year. In his spare time Gregg enjoys website design, reading books, drinking mass quantities of coffee, and movie watching. His website, CyclingLinks.com, is a major resource of everything cycling related. You can keep up to date with Gregg's travels at www.cyclinglinks.com/gregg .