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Caden Stockwell: ‘Every race is challenging because everyone has that hunger to win, not just you’

By on June 22, 2020 in Outdoor Fun with 0 Comments
Caden Stockwell races through the streets of Old Ballard at Ballard Criterium, which consisted of laps around a closed circuit.

By Sarah Shaffer

I first met Caden Stockwell when one of our WenatcheeOutdoors team members bought a road bike from him. 

We were coming back from skate skiing and Caden said he skate skis, too. 

I learned that Caden is a determined athlete who enjoys a variety of activities but his favorite is road biking. 

This guy doesn’t mess around when it comes to being competitive and driven. Whether it is mountain biking, skate skiing or road biking Caden brings his all to the table. He also cares a great deal about community and giving back, so I asked for an interview to learn more about this strong athlete.

Question: Caden, please tell us a bit about yourself, such as your hobbies and interests.

Answer: I am a mechanical engineer, newly wed, and I inherited two cool dogs, a Frenchie and a Yorkie as part of the package. 

Outside of work, I love spending time with my wife, family and friends. 

I’m a go-getter as I enjoy spending my time being busy and productive. You’ll often find me out in the garage fixing things, out on my bike or hiking or climbing somewhere. 

My wife keeps me in check, and often reminds me to slow down and relax once in awhile. She balances me out and I’m thankful for that.

I am a competitive athlete and my main focus is road racing, although I race cyclocross and mountain bike once in a while.

Question: We have heard you started a type of competition for those of us who are unable to road race compete due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. 

Answer: This idea started as a grassroots effort between myself and a couple of other folks. We were wondering how we could combine our passion for cycling and integrate that into something that will not only challenge people, but give back to the community, all while maintaining social distancing guidelines. 

This was accomplished through using the app, Strava, which is a cycling/running application for athletes. 

We would create multiple segments, specify a day, and athletes would go out whenever they want during that day to complete the segments. 

We went out and bought gift cards from local businesses as prizes for the challenge. 

For our first event, we had 23 participants of all different ages and skills. Prizes were given out to top male/female, age groups, top 50+ master, top Clydesdale and laterne rough (last place). 

Our latest challenge took place over Apple Blossom weekend and we had 45 participants. Many stepped up and bought gift cards to go towards the prize pool. 

We have an amazing cycling community and this challenge enabled people to stay healthy, have fun and most importantly, support small local businesses all while practicing social distancing.

We don’t have any plans to further continue the Strava Challenge as people are pretty much over the whole staying at home deal and are starting to ride in group again.

Question: With the COVID-19 restrictions easing, what’s the next big event you are looking at? And, what will be the challenge there for you? 

Answer: It is unknown right now when races will resume, but I am for sure racing the Tour de Bloom Omnium scheduled for Aug. 15 and 16. 

Without any definite races on the calendar, the challenge there will be how my fitness will compare to others and the training that they’ve been doing. It will be a very interesting race dynamic, because at that point in the season, people tend to be burnt out. 

For me, staying fresh mentally and not burning out now is the key to success that late in the season. 

Question: What is your favorite piece of road/gravel biking gear?


Answer:
My favorite gear is my Specialized helmet with ANGi sensor, which provides live tracking, crash detecting, and safety beacon. 

It is cheap insurance that gives me and my wife peace of mind when I am out, knowing that she can track my ride and be notified in event of a crash.

Question: What is the longest or biggest bike event you have done?


Answer:
My longest one day ride was 207 miles, biggest climb in one day was a little over 10,000 feet. Longest race was 75 miles.

Question: What race or outing has challenged you most?

Answer: Every race is challenging because everyone has that hunger to win, not just you. Every outing is as challenging as you want to make it. That is the beauty of cycling. 

Tour de Bloom is probably the most challenging, because I would love to win the overall some day. It consists of a Friday road race, Saturday time trial and criterium and a Sunday road race. 

You have to be very well rounded and have good team support and tactics to win the overall.

Caden and his wife, Kelly, take a moment for a photo at Colchuck Lake on top of Aasgard Pass.

Question: Why is biking your favorite activity?

Answer: I was born in Vietnam where the main modes of transportation are bicycles and moped. 

To the point, biking makes me happy and is a stress reliever. It’s freedom, travel, goal setting, achievement, challenge, friendship, health and adventure all in one. 

Biking has taken me to many incredible places and the people I have met through cycling have brought a passion and happiness to my life that is incredibly satisfying. 

Being driven, cycling has allowed me to pushed my limits both physically and mentally.

Question: Before bike season, is there anything you do to prepare?

Answer: Building a solid base or foundation is the single most important thing you can do during the off-season. Base building is the foundation upon which everything else rests. 

During the winter months, I spend six to 10 hours a week on an indoor trainer building my aerobic endurance combined with strength training. I’ll then transition into higher intensity workouts late in the winter and then race specific workouts in the spring. 

There is a lot of planning and preparation that comes with racing, but I love that aspect of the sport.

Question: How often do you work out, and what types of activities do you do other than road biking? 

Answer: During the off-season I work out for six days a week with one rest day. I like to do anything active such as climbing, backpacking, kayaking, etc…

I skate ski in the winter as part of cross training for race season. Spending hours on the trainer can be mentally tiring and skate skiing allows me to increase my fitness and enjoy the outdoors.

Question: Favorite life quote?

Answer: “Faith Moves Mountains.” 

I have that quote engraved on my emergency band that I wear 24/7. Faith is what keeps me rooted and grounded in life.

The full version of this story appears on Wenatcheeoutdoors.org — the site covers such topics as hiking, biking, climbing, paddling, trail running and skiing in the region.

Sarah Shaffer is the Executive Director of WenatcheeOutdoors.

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