Name: Ben Parsons
500 Mile Club: 2015
City: Kalispell, MT
Occupation: Firefighter/Paramedic for the City of Whitefish
How Long have you been a mountain bike racer? My first mountain bike race was in 1992! Been off and on racing since then, though got “serious” about it in 2004.
What got you interested in mtb racing? I really like riding my bike, always have. And it’s even more fun the faster you go…
Beside the Butte 100, what are some of the other events you compete
in? Our awesome local Thursday Night Races at Big Mountain, the Montana Off Road Series (MORS), Missoula XC where all the big boys and girls come to town, Fernie 3 Stage Race, Breck Epic, anything that is slightly unique strikes my fancy.
What positive effects has competing had on other aspects of your
life? Biggest thing is finding out that whatever I set my mind to, I can do. Huge discovery in setting goals and achieving them. Also bike racing has helped me to push myself beyond what my body/mind/society tells me I’m not capable of. It helps me to have something to focus on and also helps me to find balance in the rest of my life. In a way, I was born an “addict”, but fortunately that is being exercised through cycling instead of drugs.
How many hours a week do you train? That’s a secret 😉 Really, it depends, my schedule is kind of strange so some weeks I will push big and get 20 hours in, other weeks might be closer to 10. I train, well ride rather more than most as I’ve found I respond well that way, but I also tend to be overtrained and fatigued because I just love to ride my bike! I think my secret is not having kids….yet. That’ll hopefully change soon though.
What advice would you give to this year’s Butte 100 racers? Enjoy the process! Enjoy the long rides, enjoy the intervals, enjoy the focus but don’t let it own you, don’t let it stress you beyond what is good stress. Enjoy having the awesome excuse to get out and ride your bike, a lot! Enjoy racing a 100 because you can! there’s a lot of people that can’t, lot’s that wouldn’t, but you have the choice and you have chosen to. that’s Freedom on two wheels! Oh, and figure out your fueling. Do some long rides hard, not just slow so you can figure out what works for food and water.
Any other comments you’d like to make? Greatest bike race, friendliest volunteers, most home town feel and enjoyable atmosphere at any race I’ve competed at!