Stu Thorne has been actively involved with Cyclocross since 1988, when he first raced a New England Cyclocross Series event. After 10 years of racing, Stu transitioned into supporting others who shared the same passion that he had for the sport.
Over the past twelve seasons, he has had the pleasure of working along side some of the best riders in the country including Tim Johnson and upcoming star, Jamie Driscoll.
Stu has been an instrumental part of 17 National Cyclocross Championship wins. After 20 years he is still just as motivated as he was in the beginning and would like to be a part of 17 more National Championships. Above all, his relentless work ethic and contributions to multiple national champions has made Stu Thorne a household name in the sport of cyclocross.
What is your relationship with cycling?
It's everything I do. I eat, sleep and breathe cycling.
How often do you participate in organized races or events?
I haven't raced competitively in a long time. But I go to races with the Cannondale cycling team all the time. I go on organized social rides a few times a week throughout the warmer part of the year.
What's your motivation to ride?
To stay in shape and to allow me to each what I want to eat. I love to eat ice cream, fast food… I want to be able to get a coffee roll whenever I want. I also ride to stay healthy.
How do you prepare for rides?
I don't prepare very much at all. I just like to get on the bike and go for a ride. If it's a long ride, I'll think about what I'm eating during the day so I don't bonk out there, but I'm really happy to just get on the bike and get the most I can out of 3 hours.
Is there anything that makes you nervous?
Owning a shop is tough. There are always anxieties that come with owning a business. As far as cycling goes, I'm a little nervous that I might not do well on a mountain bike ride. I'm scared I might make a mistake or go slower than I wanted to.
How do your non-cycling friends and/or family view your lifestyle?
I have a lot of friends outside of cycling, especially with a six year old and an 8 year old. It's almost as if they don't really understand or realize what goes on the behind the scenes. It's almost like a little secret life you lead. I'm "the guy who owns the bike shop." And they know me through the shop and whatever, but there's this whole other aspect of the racing team that we run, and they have absolutely no concept of how that works. Every once in a while I have a chance to explain it, but it's mostly just this little secret life I have.
Having a lot of friends who aren't in cycling does make you feel like there's a normal world out there, because you get sort of involved in your own little cycling world, and it's nice to know there's a real world too.
What makes for a successful ride, outside of winning?
I like to just have a ride where I've felt really comfortable on the mountain bike. Where I've cleaned that whole trail section without having any mistakes or problems. It's having a good 2-2.5 hour ride and just coming back feeling like I've had a good workout. That's more than enough for me. Having a group around you is fun, too.
How far will you travel to ride casually with other people?
I prefer to just go out the front door and just get on my bike.
What do you like about your Cannondale bike?
I like my mountain bike because it's so light and responsive. I came off a heavier bike, and it's actually improved my riding. I'm getting a bit older, so I need all the help I can get.
How'd you get into cycling?
Back when I was a kid that was the only way you got around. And then I didn't get my license until I was 18, so I just rode my bike everywhere. Work, friends houses, baseball practice. I've just stuck with it since then.
What would you be doing right now if you weren't cycling?
I'd be working or hanging out with my family.
Who takes care of your kids while you're away?
The kids are 6 and 8. When I go riding, normally my wife is home. My wife is a saint… make sure you print that. She takes care of the whole show when I'm traveling. Two kids, the dog. The guinea pigs… everything.