Crashes into a HUGE truck then goes to Hawaii to become a Kona Finisher.

Mark Hoffman

Tell us a little about you?

I am 35 years-young and grew up in Norfolk, VA. I moved to Charlotte in 2008 and currently live in Ballantyne.

I hear you just completed Kona, tell us about that experience?

Kona was amazing - the culmination of many years of dedicated training and hard work. It's hard to describe what it meant to be there and complete the race that I have been watching on NBC's highlights video for the last few years. So in short, I'll leave it at "incredibly special and tremendously difficult".

You had a pretty bad accident.....

Four months before Kona, I collided with a 18-wheel tractor trailer at high speed. In 10 years of riding, it was my first and only serious crash. I went over the handlebars and landed on my head, hitting both the truck and the ground at the same time. The impact broke my spine in 3 places and the strongest 2 bones in my rib cage. It was very humbling - I came to the group ride to have a good time among friends, and I left on a stretcher in the back of an ambulance.

When did you first start Cycling?

I got my first taste for cycling while studying for my Series 7 securities license in 2005. I loved it, but it would take several more years before my life situation allowed me to become a regular cyclist. About 2 years after moving to Charlotte, I joined my first group ride (wearing baggy running shorts and tennis shoes) and was permanently hooked. Within a year of that, I walked away from my cushy job in investment management and began my "career" in the fitness industry.

Share with us what you love about being on the bike.

It's tough for me to sum up in just a few sentences, but in short...the physical challenge, the health benefits (physical AND mental), the social dynamic, the wind in my hair, and the feeling of being a kid again.

What was your favorite charity bike ride?

I'm not sure if BSG counts as a charity ride, but they sure do a lot of good things with the $ proceeds for the people of Watauga County. The Beech Mountain Metric is an even more challenging course, and the ride organizer Scott Nelson does a great job spreading the word about how the funds are put to good causes - clothing for children, food for veterans, assistance to people affected by tragedy, the list goes on.

What is your favorite local route?

I could almost ride the airport loop blind-folded by now. When riding solo, I usually opt for the formerly-quiet roads of Waxhaw and Ft. Mill. They aren't as quiet as they used to be, but still the best option for me when I'm rolling straight from my front door.

What do you find to be the most exciting thing about riding?

Odd as it may sounds, I really love it when the pace is too fast for me and I am pushed to my absolute limit. The feeling of barely holding the wheel in front of me while desperately hoping that everyone would just slow the F down is what I am most attracted to. Kinda sick, huh?

When not riding what is your favorite thing to do?

One of the best parts about being a shop owner/manager is helping other people on their respective journeys as cyclists and triathletes. No one starts this lifestyle as an expert, we all have to start somewhere. Many of my closest friends and customers have discovered their love for health and fitness with my help, and the feeling I get from being part of that journey never gets old.

Do you do a lot of charity events?

I would love to do more of them. Between my job, my training, and occasionally doing non-exercise related activities, it leaves very little time for life's many other joys.

When it comes to cycling tell us three things on your bucket list.

Riding my bike across America, riding to the top of the famous mountains of France, and learning how to take a sharp corner without slowing down. Between the three of them, I'd say I've got a legitimate shot at exactly two ;-)

What do you most look forward to at RM3?

I believe that each and very single day on a bike is a blessing, that we are fortunate to live in a place where we can ride frequently on technological supermachines. There is no such thing as a bad bike ride. I look forward to sharing this one with friends, on roads that I am well familiar with, on a sunny Spring morning. The quality of a pie is a function of its ingredients, and this ride has everything it needs to produce a great day.

How can we end motorist aggression?

I think the single biggest challenge facing road cyclists right now is our relationship with motor vehicles on the roads we share together. When I lead group rides, I make a point to remind everyone that we owe it to each other to be good ambassadors on the road, and to promote a healthy and positive relationship with motorists. At the end of most rides, we get back in our cars and BECOME motorists, and if we want vehicles to respect our safety and our place on the road, then we need to do the same thing for them.

#Kona #IronMan #triathlon

Featured Posts
Recent Posts