Monday, March 1, 2010


Two years ago, Erik Tonkin approached Sean Babcock and Spencer Paxson with the open-ended concept of the Team S&M Young Guns – to share their talents, philosophies, and pure love of cycling to develop a platform for the future. Sean had already earned a top-15 finish in the Elite Cyclocross National Championships his second year racing bikes, and Spencer had already competed in the 2006 U23 Mountain Bike World Championships. Enter in fantasies of pursuing the glamorous(?) life of a “professional bike racer”…whatever that means…

To Spencer and Sean, bike racing is fully connected to all aspects of their lives. Sean is earning his degree to pursue a career in nursing, living and studying in Portland, Oregon. Spencer is using his degree in Geographic Information Science working for a wind energy developer in Seattle, WA. They don’t spend their time thinking about bike racing vs. everything else. They simply choose to be bike racers, where racing is treated like the job, albeit the fun one. That means sacrificing time and money for the cause by dialing in the workman-like approach to races, where the default setting is “win”, meaning “ride well”…no matter what. Sean and Spencer set high standards for all aspects of their lives, and when priorities are so connected to one another, achieving big goals amidst the obligations of life requires a dance between passion and logic, sometimes a leap of faith.

The Young Guns cultivated this philosophy of bike racing over the last two years, not solely based on their individual practice, but by learning from and receiving generous support from family and friends. Sean and Spencer are ultimately a product of those who have believed in them. They have proven to themselves and their supporters that their racing is a worthy investment. Their positive trajectory on the racecourse has demonstrated that the goals they set before themselves are fully achievable. Last year, Spencer started the Elite Cross Country National Championships in Colorado aiming for a top-15 and finished 11th. He went on to finish consistently as a top-10 US rider in the country’s premier off-road series. His big goal for 2010 is to qualify for one of seven spots on the US National Team and compete in the Elite Mountain Bike World Championships in Mt. St. Anne, Quebec. Sean’s accomplishments in 2009 included the overall win in the ‘Cross Crusade Series, and an unparalleled performance at the Elite Cyclocross National Championships where he battled from 149th place to finish 23rd. His goal is to claim a top-10 finish at next year’s ‘Cross Nationals, as well as compete on the World Cup ‘Cross circuit in Europe.

...2010 is just upon us. We'll see how we do at recording some of the highlights along the way. Thanks for reading.


1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the internet dude. I hope you can keep this thing updated--nice not to have to pry information from your fingers every time I talk to you >D

    Here's to 2010