How to Retire and KOM – Phil Gaimon

by | Apr 11, 2017 | Podcast

KOM, Strava, Fondo, Phil Gaimon, Road Cycling, ProTour, World Tour,

Phil Gaimon Ex-World Tour Professional Cyclist and entrepreneur is our guest today and Molly chats with Phil about being an author, retirement, how to get KOMs and QOM’s, Strava hunting and entrepreneurship.

Phil is currently Strava hunting in his #worstRetirementEver campaign to win Strava KOMs (fastest ascents of climbs) with his remaining World-Tour Fitness. He also really likes cookies.

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Phil Gaimon, ex-World Tour level professional cyclist. Author of multiple books, including one that you should read if you want to be a pro cyclist, “Pro Cycling on $10 a Day” and the recently released “Ask a Pro”
Phil is a multi-time entrepreneur and a podcaster with his podcast ‘real talent’

Check out Phil’s Fondo near LA



LA traffic
Retirement- meetings
Big Bear – coffee and mac-n-cheese sandwich
Santa Monica – M-street coffee
   – Chef Jeff makes cookies –
Facials in LA and buying poodles
BIO – born in Georgia, chubby kid, got lighter riding, college liked bikes 
   – played youth soccer, was chubby Goalie
    – played basketball
 – Study in College  – journalism, English
Why Bikes? 
– cover a lot of ground but also experience stuff
Side hustle/ Projects 
– how and why do other things?
– survival and end-game/post-cycling
– write article and reviews while on Jelly Belly, helped get needed products
– blogging to tell stories, part of cycling career
Do side-businesses take the last 1% from the performance? 
– Had/have to do something to support self
– bought a house / pay own bills = stability and then won Redlands (needed stability)
What led to your first book (Procycling on $10 a day)
– blogs 2008-2014 for bicycling magazine while on Jelly Belly
– cathartic, like journaling
– can tell who likes to blog/ write … don’t do it if forced
– the book was a collection of the blogs trimmed and edited
English and Journalism Degree. feel like needed a book to ‘be a writer’?
– neat to see your own book at a store
– emails
ProCycling on $10 a day title 
– a spoof on ‘Italy on $5 a day’
Latest book – ‘Ask a Pro’
– a collection of columns from Velo News
– 8 years of monthly column
– way to end column and make content more evergreen, accessible … vs. re-asking
– many funny responses
Many of your friends have side-projects, do you gravitate to people like that (like Jeremy Powers)
– powers influenced for sure
– business provide another focus
– can only foam roll so much!
– pros like Ted King showed the value of having something other than results to set apart from similar riders, so it’s part of the jump.
– Had he not done the other things he would have finished with nothing after 10 years as a pro
Phil’s Fondo- running an event? 
– had run events in college
– the event went well, good weather etc
– last year was days after he decided to retire
– no complaints
– 900 people had really good day
– ways to improve and grow for next year
– LA deserves big Fondo
Partners – choosing wisely
– lucky with his clothing business. Started with the collegiate team, no brands had online. Was brutal experience. Had a friend in the business program and made a website and sourced from China. Flew to China to do samples. Worked for a few years before everyone caught up.
– what is a business only I can do? Books, Fondo.
   -> Jeff M. Said he could make a lot of cookies
    -> sea salt chocolate chip cookie in 2016
Worst Retirement Ever 
– after retired in fall. 2016 he was fit and he beat the strava for Nicholes Canyon. Took from a doper/dealer and everyone went crazy on social media
– can gauge how popular on social… do more of that
– went thru all of the KOM systematically to take his KOM.
– Jonathon Vaughters of Cannondale phoned and said they would support his going for hill climb records around the country. He declined to preserve other sponsors and ideas but decided to pursue the idea.
– the strava mission / #worst retirement was born
– episodes on Phil’s YouTube now
Popularity of Zwift and Strava 
 – people found it funny/interesting that pro was taking seriously. They can compare their efforts.
– Latigo – got last year but redoing as power better now from his strava mission, but endurance not as good.
Self-Care/ Foam Roll 
 – not big on it
 – not many injuries
 – easy to get OCD with stuff. Would write or do business to relax/distract
 – likes to have a yoga mat on the floor
 – will randomly do yoga youtube yogamazing (chaz)
How to get QOM?
– do all the training
– know your strengths hills / flat, downhill
– pace based on target time. If winner 14:20 then pace to explode at 14:00 and hope at finish line
– should not strava every day. You should pick your days
– if all out today, you are slower tomorrow
– taper down after bigger week. Then a day off, a day with openers/sprints and then go for it.
– plan it out, rest.
– could do short one (3min) then longer on day 2
Phil’s Bike 
– Bike Choice is Cannondale Ultra Hi-Mod, Black Ink. Comes stock with geeky stuff
-13lbs, not need to be lighter. Comfort and wheel stiffness etc are important. functional speed
– no drops – controversial
– aerobar clip-on for Mt. Lemon as Avg speed over 20mph. Needed on Diablo and test at Latigo.
TT Bikes – need to put the time in to be fast. Phil would ride them in the same position as road bike
Saddle Sores 
– Chamois Butter
– now have big tubs ->
– have samples in car and backpack
– Saddle Choice -> tough with sponsors (I.e. different saddle companies), would try to measure and find one in the model lineup that was close
     -> liked ISM once get used to it, a different way of sitting. It passed the ‘could you have sex’ test
–  need to fix bike fit
What now in retirement? 
– mountain bike?
– strava and group rides
– more gym/strength
– stand on a skateboard at work desk
– letting things wind down, start into things they will grow vs. finite nature of current projects
Voice Recorder
 – for recording thoughts/writing
 – world-tour offense over recording
 – 3rd book on world tour years
 – Jeremy Powers asked him what his goal was?

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