Chris & I had our 1st date on Aug 26th, 1999 and we’re married 6 months later on February 26th, 2000. You could say we know a good thing when we see it. You could also say we are crazy. Along with Chris’ personal cycling journey reaching for the pros as a young man he is also a trained Chef. Myself, I grew up in the motorcycle business along with my 9 other siblings but dreamed of being a baker. 16 years fast forward and we have 7 children and decided to sell our business (Gateway Harley-Davidson) so we can live out our passions and raise our children. This decision came after some tragedies that gave us a new outlook on how precious every day is.
We started this cycling adventure with the Tour of Missouri Stage Race. We sponsored the race and gave away a Buell Motorcycle to stage 1 winner Mark Cavendish. Us along with Jim Schneider, Chris’ former coach and Kevin Livingston, former Spirits teammate, started a local St Louis team back in 2010 so we could help out some kids with talent that we had spotted, in particular a young man named Matt Pence, who developed over the next few years into a good national level category 1 racer. Matt is now a pilot in the Navy. Over the years we grew from a group of local kids to guys from all over the world and the number 1 amateur team in the country, the last 2 years. We learned a lot along the way in regards to what it takes and what is non negotiable when you are a member of our team. We are and have been blessed to have some of the most gracious, considerate and hard working young men you could imagine on our team. We can’t have guys with attitudes, ones that make selfish moves or anyone that points fingers. They have to have no fear of being candid with each other, that’s how they all grow. Over the years we have graduated 8 guys to the professional ranks most recently Bryan Gomez to Holowesko Citadel, George Simpson to Elevate, and Sepp Kuss to Rally and now Lotto!!
Since being in Scottsdale with the new squad we feel great because we can tell already that they have chemistry, similar work ethic and their core values seem aligned. Talent is just a piece of the puzzle and is never enough on its own. Getting a group of guys to push each other, strengthen each other and work off each other’s strengths while protecting each other from their own weakness is not only going to make them great racers but also great contributors to society. Growing leaders out of each one of these men is how we see making an impact not only in the sport of cycling but also on the world.
Chris and I and our kids have committed ourselves both financially and emotionally to the team. We house the guys in our home throughout the summer and in between races. Our 6 boys all race and love the interaction and relationships that have with the guys. Keeping this thing going now that we have sold our revenue source is a vital piece we haven’t nailed down yet. We hope in the near future we can find some individuals or businesses that are passionate about cycling and interested in being a part of impacting the cycling world in the best way we see. By creating awareness in these young men so the kids watching have someone to aspire towards being and by graduating them hopefully with a pro contract but most importantly a strong foundation for life, along with some of the best friends and family they will ever have.