Fishing for Steelhead with Curtis Ciszek from Poler Outdoor Stuff on Vimeo.


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No Problem


No Problem

I remember looking over in a Pro 1-2 crit in Colorado and seeing this Aussie kid, Lachlan Morton when he was a junior with the best euro mullet I’ve ever seen. Later that year, he kicked the shit out of everyone in the climbing races at age 16. Now he’s off the front in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with a license plate on the back of his saddle that reads “No Problem”. Love this kid.


Weird, or cool … I’m considered a Minneapolis “local” now:

My favorite team in mountain biking history. Classic.

My favorite team in mountain biking history. Classic.

11 weeks later.


I still can’t believe it’s nearly been 3 months since I went under the knife. Some days it seems like it’s flown by, while other days it seems like I’ve been hurt for an eternity. I’ve been hitting the gym with core work and daily rehab and progressing well. I think the only thing that’s been tough is holding myself back, although whenever I start to do to much, my body lets me know. Stiffness is still very much a part of my world, but I’m mostly pain free, although I’ve had some issues with my non injured side flaring up with some hip pain when I overdo my standing, walking or riding.

Take it from me, you never, ever want to destroy your ACL. It’s a long, long road back. I have had some brutal injuries in the past, but nothing could have prepared me for how humbling this has been.

It’s been a crazy last 7 months. I’ve moved to an unfamilar place, riding and racing are essentially gone from my current life and I’ve experienced the longest, coldest winter I’ve ever seen.

On the bright side, my new job is great and life outside my my knee is great!

In the last 7 weeks, here are some highlights:

I rode outside for the first time since surgery!


It was in the 70’s one weekend! Haven’t seen that since, but it was nice while it lasted:


Found some waterfalls in the city:


Shed a tear, swapped my plates and made it official:


Enjoyed riding by one of the 10,000 lakes:


Starting to dream of a comeback while out riding:


Other than that, I’m really looking forward to progressing with my rehab and recovery and some spring weather, which still isn’t here up in Minnesota.

I’m very thankful to have a very supportive woman in my life, a loving group of friends and a very loving family to support me through some tough times.

I’m thankful that while I have challenges and discomfort in some areas of my life that things with my work, creative life and home life have never been better. Today, I’m thankful for those things.

Good Reminder


Good Reminder


I can’t believe it, but it’s been one month since I went under the knife, drill, etc. and had my left ACL reconstructed. For a very invasive, somewhat traumatic surgery, things have gone very well. My pain hasn’t ben bad and the hardest part was that first week when I was learning to walk again. While I’m not sure I’ll break Adrian Petersons rehab record, I am ahead of schedule with everything. My Physical Therapist seems to always be impressed, so that’s encouraging.

I’m also still wrapping my brain around what a shit storm a seemingly little bobble back in November caused to my knee, but moving forward. This injury has given me eternal respect and sadness for athletes that go through similar injuries. It’s heartbreaking when you damage something beyond repair, but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal and thankful that modern medicine made that an option.

I’m working out daily, riding the trainer, doing my rehab religiously, icing, using a muscle stimulator, Kinesio tape, etc. Anything to help my mind and body recover! So far I’ve had some muscle atrophy, which is expected, but I’ve been able to keep the muscles alive and so far, it doesn’t look too bad.

I have quite the collection of scars already on my left leg from going down so many times on that side, so I’ll have another nice little one right down the front of my knee to add to the years of racing scars. Just another battle wound I guess.

Here are some highlights of my recovery so far:

• I made it out of surgery with success! I had great help from my family and friends and I was off pain meds within a few days.

• I slept through most nights with little pain and no agony, which was great! I’ve had some extremely painful injuries and was fearful this would top the list. Not even close to the peak of pain I’ve experienced with other injuries.

• Taking a showing for the first time after surgery was amazing! It was a huge baby step in the process.

• By 5 days in, I was starting to ditch the crutches and get on my bike and spin slow circles.

• By 7 days in, I was down to just a brace and no crutches, which was awesome!

• Roughly 10-11 days later I was spinning on the stationary bike with little pain.

• Within 3 weeks, I was spinning on the bike with a little resistence, walking without a limp and doing all kinds of excercises usually reserved for people a month in.

• I now have nearly 100% flexion and extension of my original baseline, which is a huge hurdle I’ve overcome! It seemed like 2 weeks in I would never break though to having full flexion of my knee, but with persistent stretching, I was able to get there!

All I’m really dealing with now is some minor swelling above the knee cap. Might be from overdoing it a little, but who knows. My doctors and PT don’t seem worried, so I am doing my best not to be.

Hopefully, it only gets better from here. I can’t wait for some warm weather and long easy rides to build back up to the rider I was before. For now, I’m just thankful everything has gone well so far.



It’s been a while since I’ve written a blog. The last time I checked in, I was chasing the Colorado Cross Cup title in the single speed division, nursing a minor (so I thought) knee injury and interviewing with a few companies in the cycling industry. That part wasn’t public back then, but there were some exciting things brewing.

In November and December, a lot happened. I accepted a job with QBP in Minneapolis to be an Art Director for Foundry Cycles, Whisky Parts Co., Lazer and Ridley. While I swore I’d never live outside the west again, as they say, never say never. The opportunity was just too good. It was a dream for me to mix my 10 years as a Creative with my years as a cycling fanatic and racer. Plus, Minneapolis is great and I’ve always liked their cycling, art and design culture. So Chryssi and I got some bigger jackets and headed North.

Around the same time I was entertaining moving North (November), I had a doctors visit for my knee to go over my MRI in Denver. I knew the day would come where I would do irreparable damage to something on my body and unfortunately, Sienna Lake was that day.

After a few weeks of holidays, my doctor being on vacation, etc I finally got the prognosis on my knee. Bad news. Real bad news. I torn ACL and a severely brused bone on knee joint (the white area in the bone in the MRI below). It’s bizarre, but I din’t feel much pain or instability. More general discomfort.

Knee MRI

With little instability, I decided to do some rehab, get through the move to Minneapolis and go from there. For a few months, I got my range of motion back and rode my bike in the mornings on the trainer and did some ACL rehab excercises. On the weekends, we went on rides on frozen lakes and enjoyed getting to know the city on our mountain bikes. While I was ‘seriously’ injured, I still felt relatively good, so I stayed active.

Since I was fairly stable, I was thinking of just going without the surgery. The more I read, the more I learned that ACL’s don’t heal, you just learn to compensate. Many people don’t have issues, but when the knee does give out, often you rip up even more tendons and ligaments and even tear up cartilege that can’t be repaired. In other words, without surgery, I was putting myself at risk of walking like Travis Pastrana when I was 40 if I kept up the same level of activity without surgery.

I’ve always been really against surgery, but since I’m still relatively young, I decided after much deliberation to get my ACL reconstructed. So here I am, 2 days out of surgery. I opted for the Patellar tendon graft. I almost went with a cadavor, but wanted my own tissue and the strongest graft. I’m a bit scared at how far I still have to go. I’m currently working at lifting my leg repeatedly and just getting basic motion back. Other than getting really sick from some pain meds, the knee is great. I’ve already had my first rehab session and so far the swelling isn’t bad at all. I’m really thankful that I have such a supportive girl in my life and my parents, family and coworkers have been very supportive.

I’m looking at 6-9 months until I’m 100% and I’ve pulled the plug on this race season. It’s an odd feeling going from being on two teams and racing a ton to not racing at all, but I need the mental space to chill out, recover, take care of myself, enjoy this new city with my girl and really dig into my new dream job.

I’m not going to lie, I’m really missing Colorado, my friends, the teams I rode for and all the amazing things I had in my backyard. I’m sure my new backyard will be cool once this knee heals and I can explore a bit more!

Here’s to getting back on the saddle stronger than ever!

Big Changes


Just before Thanksgiving, I received some great news. More to come, but I’ll leave you with this teaser …