Old 10-24-19, 08:54 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Salem, Oregon
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It's a 6-7 day a week job with garbage pay and almost no benefits. You have to have the mindset of a ski bum, in that you're fine with trading your sport is more important to you than your retirement portfolio. I had a moment of clarity many years ago when I had a "sh*t or get off the pot" moment when I considered dumping school and going full-bore with racing. To me it came down to numbers. A domestic pro won't earn enough to pay rent and eat. I'd have to travel to Europe and make a name for myself there in a sea of pro-path juniors (2 years minimum, if you can hack the racing schedule).

In the end, you gotta know that your "career" in cycling will last 10 years tops, maybe 15 if you're in the top 5%, and the chances of making over 6 figures is next to nil. At least you'll have a bad back, an eating disorder, athlete depression, no saving, and a ton of quickly-becoming-outdated gear. Oh, and if anyone knows who you are, they'll want to "race" you to the top of every single climb and town sign in order judge their own fitness against yours or brag to their wife that they beat you, even though you've gained 30 pounds and are putting out 60% of the power you used to.
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