Introducing Rawvelo ambassador and former TRINITY rider, Finley Newmark, who has recently embraced all things "all road", making the switch from road racing to adventure riding.
We spoke to him about the highs of professional racing and what prompted him to further explore the road less travelled.
My first experience of cycling any sort of distance was when I was around 10 years old. My dad got into riding after a charity event and I wanted to join him, we were in France which is fitting. I guess I just wanted to challenge myself, I was always very competitive. After a few rides I got the bug. The sense of achievement and the competitive nature with my sister drove me to begin with, but now it's more adventure and creativity that gives me the motivation to ride my bike.
As a professional, the highs came from the feeling of being part of a team with ambitions and riders that I looked up to. Unfortunately, my first year at TRINITY was 2020, so COVID had a large impact on what we could actually do. But learning about my training and improving on the small things became more rewarding.
The biggest "high" after that for me would have to be the Migration Gravel Race. I knew I had a desire to try this kind of trip, but I thought it might be in the form of an off-season adventure. After going to this race, I realised both how much I loved it and also ways where I could combine my creative interests to do it all year round with some more chilled trips that wouldn’t work with a professional calendar.
Rwanda was also an amazing experience. Being able to Bikepack around pretty much the whole country was an exposure to the culture, food, and environment that you can’t get in many other ways.
Training and racing as a high performance professional athlete, you learn a lot about your body, how best to fuel it and how to get the most out of it. More often than not, this requires high performance products. We wondered how this would change when going from hunting podiums to hunting new adventures?
Since changing my direction of what I’m looking to get out of riding and training, I have looked a bit outside the box on many things I felt you ‘should’ do in cycling. Nutrition on the bike is definitely one, I tend to carry a caffeine gel with me on most rides just in case, but fuelling is usually done with normal foods that I would have for lunch. Sandwiches that I make before riding, places I find on the road. When racing I find myself using bars, gels and carbohydrate drinks as it’s by far the most efficient way to get exactly what you need.
Finley is not short of adventures this season, with USA (Gravel Loco, Unbound), Kenya (Migration Gravel Race), Iceland (The Rift) and Spain (The Rift) already lined up. We can’t wait to see where else he will end up this year. One thing we do know is that it’s going to be EPIC!
📸 credit Mike Vliestra