Stephen Ettinger Pro Athlete
While growing up in Eastern, Washington, Stephen had unfettered access to the North Cascade mountains, and it was here that his love for the bike began. He started racing at just 11 years old, in youth races, but it quickly grew into a summertime passion, and partnered well with his Nordic Skiing ambitions. Stephen was competitive Nationally in both, but when he started my studies at Montana State University, he decided to choose one. Mountain biking it was, and soon he was racing in Europe with the US National Development Team, getting his first taste of pro level racing.
Follow Stephen @stephen_ettinger
Ten Questions (updated 7/28/17)
- What's your most memorable bike related moment?
Winning my first Elite National XC Championship is probably the most memorable moment I have on the bike. That was the realization of a childhood dream, and the result of many years of hard work.
- Any pets?
I’d love to have a dog, but with the amount I’ve been traveling in the past ten years that would be pretty unfair the the little guy, so no.
- Favorite breakfast foods?
Avocado toast and poached eggs.
- Tell us about life in Bellingham Washington.
It’s terrible here. It rains at least 365 days per year, there are no good trails or roads to ride on, and all the breweries suck. Also the people are terrible, all of them are cannibals and there is no MTB culture.
- What book are you currently reading?
Many… Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe, Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner, and The Way of Strangers: Encounters with the Islamic State by Graeme Wood.
- What other sports do you enjoy besides cycling?
I spend a lot of time backcountry and XC skiing in the wintertime (those were my first passions honestly, some alpine climbing in the spring and summer, and try to make a feeble attempt at trail running every fall.
- Three things from your bucket list you hope to accomplish in the next 10 years.
Attend Medical School, ski in the Caucus Mountains in Western Asia, travel through India and Nepal.
- Most challenging bike race you've ever competed in?
Roc d’Azur Marathon. Hands down. It was five hours of racing, it felt as hard as a MTB World Cup the entire time, but four times as long. No marathon or stage race I’ve done has even been remotely that fast or physically exhausting.
- What was it like racing on the world cup circuit?
It can become pretty absorbing, especially when you’re living over in Europe. The entire rhythm of your year revolves around six or seven days and everything you do, on and off the bike, is measured by those nine or so hours. But man, there is nothing like racing at such a high level, the level of intensity and focus can make for a complete vision quest.
- We've seen you competing in a wide variety of cycling disciplines this year, what's your current favorite?
At my heart I am still an endurance guy, so while I’ve had fun dabbling in some enduro, XC is still my jam. Marathon stage racing is what I’ve been having the most fun doing this season; think BC Bike Race (the highlight) and Breck Epic. But I am also doing a four-day, blind, enduro this fall, TransCascadia, and Seattle area CX is also ridiculously fun… so come back to me in January.