Our mission is to help people grow by fostering in them attributes such as strength, resilience, and perseverance such that they have the courage to move past their “bonk”, in cycling and life in general. We believe that a cycling centric life creates a foundation for this change and will ultimately lead to stronger people, families and communities.
The hope is that by providing content and a team for other like minded people that others will come to know the same path.
Join us in spirit or in person as we seek adventure on the bike either via casual rides or in gravel, mountain bike and cyclocross races throughout the year!
Why "Bonk Collective"?
First of all, its kind of fun to say, “BONK”.
However, on a more serious thread; bonk is more of an mindset of ours. We’ve been raised to follow the linear path through life and this path is wrought with all sorts of dangers like debt, thereby putting everyone into serfdom. We lose our appetite for risk and since failure is viewed as something bad we stop trying. We are lulled into a safe life of mediocrity.
And there we are as cyclists, plodding along in an easy gear through life. One day though, if we’re lucky, we decide to set out to do something we’ve never done before. We set out to do 100 miles. The bonk is the resultant of this effort when nutrition, physical endurance or mental toughness is totally exhausted, at mile 60.
There we are, in a crumpled heap over the handlebars, trying to figure out how we’re going to finish the next 40 miles. There’s no more water, no food and every time the road pitches the cramps come. This is the bonk. The experience is unique to endurance sports yet common as a metaphor for all life’s challenges.
Be rest assured that getting to this moment is special in itself. You may have failed but others have failed to try. It is at this moment that we hope you are encouraged by the bonk collective to keep going because doing so will make you powerful. You learn that the bonk is merely the current state of affairs and armed with that knowledge you press forward to create a new future.
The bonk is a marker in our journey but it is never the final destination. Our collective hopes to enrich lives by encouraging, sharing and teaching that the bonk is a way to build both community and self.
How we got here (the long story)
Birth of a cyclist
When their daughter was born the couple paid off high interest debt by selling their truck in order to make it as a single income family. Travis began commuting to work by bike on 2004 Gary Fisher Tassajara. It was cold commuting in the Denver winter but Dads do.
First drop bar road bike.
In spring, Travis’ friend invited him to do a century ride. The next day, while coming out of 24hr fitness, Travis randomly stopped at the bike shop and bought a GT CX-2 cyclocross bike. Pam was thrilled (sarcasm). It was Travis’ first drop bar bike.
Denver Century Ride
Travis trains for about 8 weeks and completes the century ride alone as his friend skips out due to lack of training. It was a brutally hot 100F day and Travis experienced several bonk moments but made it safely through. He was hooked.
Second Century Ride
Travis does the Elephant Rock century with the same friend (this time he showed). It was incredibly easy compare to the previous year.
Move to Houston, Texas
The family moves to Houston and they add another to their crew with the birth of a son. Travis tries to commute by bike but ends up having to buy a 2nd car. Houston is incredibly hot.
Transition and development
Travis begins to train with power and starts spending significant time on the bike to de-stress from work. Pam gets a treadmill and continues to run for her relief. The couple feels a pull more and more towards material things for satisfaction and the grind is real to them.
The couple decides to quit life in Texas and find a new path. Travis quits work, and they buy a truck and 24ft trailer and haul their life belongings back to Oregon, with their young kids. At least a quarter of their things were still in boxes from the move a year earlier. They seriously contemplate selling everything and buying an RV to travel in for a while.
Travel - not the good kind.
Travis somehow retains his job but is now working remote with travel. The family struggles with him gone so much. Around this time the gym membership is dropped for good as cycling gives Travis all he needs to be healthy and fit. Pam undergoes ACL surgery for her battered knee and turns to the bike for rehab.
Off the bike
Travis has to travel to Houston for 3 weeks straight in the middle of August. It burns him out and when he returns he is depressed at the state of his fitness and can’t seem to get back on the bike.
Travis gets an idea that he’s going to become a bike racer and so he gets back on the bike and starts training again. In 2016 he joins a team and spends the road season trying to hold onto the back of the lead pack.
Travis Loses his job.
After working remote for a year and half, Travis loses his job. As he looks for work over the next 8 months, the bike becomes a source of self-esteem. He enters a 12hr ultra race and after 9 hours on the bike finds a peace with himself and his current working situation. He wins the event and feels he’s made a major personal milestone as well.
Travis tries out cyclocross racing and likes it for its raw nature. Each race is a battle with the inner psyche. Travis starts in the beginners but soon moves to the 4’s which prove to be a considerable challenge to him. In the final race of the season, the state champs race, he decides to go for the hole-shot and not let anybody go by. He commits and ends up winning. It was another step towards hardening the mind to the pain of racing.
New job and balance found.
Travis gets a new job and attempts to balance Dadding, training and work with his aspirations for the year on the bike. He gets fast and spend most of the road season on the front, dictating the pace, and making things happen. He blends everything together and is able to exceed annual training hours from 2016 when he was unemployed.
Power Couple Races
Travis and Pam team up for 6hrs of Mt Hood and have a blast. They are smitten for the team, the racing community and the beauty of cycling in Oregon.
Pam decides to try cyclocross in the fall to show our daughter that girls can be strong too. She starts training and we find her a bike.
Travis hits the CX season hard wining the 1st race in CAT4 and electing to move to the 3’s. He bought a set of tubulars and they are game changers.
He continues to perform well with 5 podiums in 5 tries and earns a mandatory upgrade to CAT2. Shit got real.
Then he got sick, for like weeks, and he chose to shut it down.
Girls CX too.
Pam has a great first season in CX. She finds her competitive spirit and works her way through the beginners and 4’s, before spending the majority of the season in the 3’s. She battles, finishing very high in both GP and CC series and then ends the season with a 3rd place at the State Champs race.
Kids do kiddie cross and love it as well. We go through bikes like nobody’s business.
The couple decides to create a team around the cycling adventure lifestyle and how it can create strong people, families and communities. They launch the Bonk Collective and look to raise support for the team. The team will focus on Gravel, MTB and Cyclocross racing in 2018 and slowly build its contingent. Travis will go through officials training and the couple will continue to volunteer in the cycling community.