The riders that model Velocio clothing are friends that organize life around cycling. We decided to highlight who it is wearing our clothes in each shot on this site with a short Q&A called Model Rider.
Name: Charles McCarthy
Hometown: Jericho, Vermont
Discipline (Road, CX, BMX, etc.) Road and Mountain
Bike(s): Road: Felt FC; Mountain: Whatever bike friends are willing to let me borrow
How’d you get into cycling?
Fifth grade was a huge year for me: elementary school graduation, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, and mountain biking with a friend on the swampy powerlines of coastal Maine where I grew up. But I didn’t consider mountain bike racing until a few years later at age 14 when my dad, who had raced road bikes in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in his early 20s and was also into the burgeoning mountain bike scene, surprised me on my birthday with a Gary Fisher Hookooekoo. It had a RockShox Quad21 fork. Suspension. I was smitten. A family friend supplemented his tenure as an art professor with income earned as a pro XC racer for the Yeti Racing Team of the mid-1990s. He, along with our local cycling club, Team Allspeed, got my dad and me hooked.
How do you organize your life around it?
I have been of the competitive cycling mindset for so long that I have a hard time remembering what life was like before it. Of course, my cycling lifestyle has significantly evolved over the years – from aspiring semi-pro, to weekend warrior, and now to father and teacher of bike riding. I still ride my bike as much as I can, and I like to go fast and hard, but I’m also so much more appreciative of the ride, and that I don’t have to travel 6-8 hours round trip for a one hour crit anymore. One hour lunch rides are the norm on the weekdays, and maybe a trip up Smugglers’ Notch on the weekends are about all I have time for, which is still great.
Favorite place you’ve ridden?
For road biking, Vermont, particularly the Middlebury area. There’s so much variety: head west and you’ve got the rolling farmlands out toward Lake Champlain. Head east and up into the Green Mountains you go. It’s varied, challenging, and without a lot of traffic (save for the tractors during spring and fall). But for the complete cycling scene, be it road or mountain, the Asheville, North Carolina, area. Pisgah, Dupont, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and myriad winding mountain roads in excellent repair – the riding there is hard to beat.
Place you’d like to ride?
I’d like to see what Switzerland is all about. If the shots captured during the Tour de Suisse are anything close to reality, I’d be very happy to ride there.
So many. My dad, of course. And Johnny Ross (the Yeti Racing artist friend). Andy Bishop, Travis Brown, Audrey Huffman (Augustin), Stuart O’Grady, Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwin, and owners of independent bike shops throughout the country.
Goals for riding in the future?
Once I get my hands on a new mountain bike, I’d like to get into marathon XC racing or stage races. Without a lot of time to devote to racing, prepping for one or two big events throughout the season seems more feasible. I’d also like to participate in more gravel/adventure style rides, be they organized or otherwise. I don’t know. There might be a masters nationals road race attempt or hill climb in there as well.
Favorite Velocio pieces?
The ES Mid Jacket. I’ve got the green one. After years of serving as a pedaling billboard on various racing teams, it feels so good to ride in simple, comfortable, high-performing, and, in the ES Mid Jacket’s case warm, cycling clothing. I definitely get some envious looks from the racer wattswatchers on the Tuesday fast ride.
Best riding story:
I lost my younger brother two years ago, and to honor him, I spent the weekend he passed at our favorite place in the world: Sugarloaf, Maine. A friend lent me his very nice mountain bike for the extended weekend, and with my wife and daughter visiting family out of state, I didn’t have much responsibility. I spent four days riding the glorious, professionally-built new singletrack in Carrabassett Valley (where Sugarloaf is) through late October snow squalls, downed leaves, moose and deer encounters, and freezing temperatures. And it was a full circle experience, having discovered a passion for cycling some 22 years before at the same location. I may have been riding by myself, but I was nowhere near alone.
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