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On memories and a mustache — Phil Gaimon’s Off the Beaten Road answers revealed

May 17, 2013
Phil Gaimon during BISSELL Pro Cycling Team training camp. Photo courtesy of BISSELL, by Casey B. Gibson

Phil Gaimon during BISSELL Pro Cycling Team training camp. Photo courtesy of BISSELL, by Casey B. Gibson

Pro-cycling fans are pretty darn smart, especially when it comes to Phil Gaimon.

In a ProVéloPassion interview with the BISSELL Pro Cycling rider before this year’s Amgen Tour of California commenced, readers chose the replies they believed Gaimon had selected to each of eight questions.

It turns out the 2009 California race mustache had a special purpose. And he thinks it would be fun to ride a ‘cross race in Belgium. Find out why below, as Gaimon’s answers to the eight questions, with new quotes and insights from this popular rider, are revealed. The answers provided by readers are indicated in parentheses after each question.

Q1. Phil Gaimon wore a mustache during the 2009 Tour of California. He ditched the ‘stache because: a. it was itchy (60%), b. it was excess weight (40%).

Phil: a. it was itchy.

“Mostly I ditched it because I knew I looked horrible. I wanted something so that my friends could find me on TV. That was the reason I grew it. My parents didn’t know what I looked like on a bike in the new team kit that year so I was like, ‘I’ll be the guy with the mustache.’” [None of Gaimon’s friends followed bike racing at the time. – ed]

Q2. If Phil was alone on a deserted island and only got one thing to eat, he would choose: a. chocolate chip cookie (96%), b. peanut butter flavored Jelly Belly candy (4%).

Phil: a. chocolate chip cookie.

“I can’t look at Jelly Bellies any more. That was a long time ago.”

Q3. Phil has typically been strong in early season because: a. success in early season races early in his cycling career has been a big motivator (52%), b. he works like a dog over winter (48%).

Phil: Mostly b., but some of a. 60/40.

Q4. Phil’s most embarrassing moment ever was: a. crashing out of the yellow jersey at San Dimas (76%), b. his teammates discovered he didn’t pack enough cookies to share with them at a race (24%).

Phil: a. crashing out of the yellow jersey at San Dimas.

“That wouldn’t be embarrassing when they found out I didn’t have enough cookies because they’d steal mine. That’s happened. Stefano Barberi used to steal my cookies at every race. I would bring cookies to the races and he would steal them. That was on Kenda in 2010. We got past it as friends, but it was one of those things where he had to hold onto it longer than it was funny.

“It was pretty embarrassing to crash on my face out of a yellow jersey. I’m not going to lie. I didn’t remember what happened in the hospital, but piecing that together — ‘Oh I just crashed in a bike race. Oh shit, I was in yellow’ — that was not easy to accept and get over. It doesn’t get a whole lot more embarrassing. [Except] maybe showing up the next day with a scary freak face, a race that the day before everyone was like, ‘Oh he’s the man,’ and now you’re the circus freak.” [The day following the crash Gaimon appeared at the San Dimas criterium stage with his teammates, “just because I wanted people to see I was alive.” – ed]

Q5. Phil was born in: a. Ohio (84%), b. The Bahamas (16%).

Phil: a. Ohio.

“I was on a team that was out of the Bahamas that one year, the VMG team – that must have been where that [Bahamian origin] came from. The sponsors were Bahamian but I’ve only been there twice. Born in Ohio but moved to Atlanta when I was two. My parents are both professors at Georgia Tech. So I grew up in Atlanta and kind of wound my way back to Athens after college.”

Q6. This is Phil’s most prized possession: a. his memories (89%), b. he loves people more than stuff (11%).

Phil: 50/50.

“I love people more than stuff but I’ve got to have some kind of prized possession. That’s tough. I guess my memories –  that would be up there. I’ve had some awesome times and been to some amazing places.” [Gaimon had been asked to identify his most prized possession for use in the question. – ed]

Q7. A race Phil would most like to do that he hasn’t: a. the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado (70%), b. World Cup cyclo-cross race in Namur, Belgium (30%).

Phil: b. World Cup cyclo-cross race in Namur, Belgium – “because it’s different.”

“Do I have to race the ‘cross race or can I just eat french fries and drink beer while I watch?

“I think it would be fun to do a cross race if don’t have to do well. I could be the guy at the back taking the dollar bills out of the mud and get in the way when [Jeremy] Powers laps me. Yea, that would be fun…

“It would be more fun to do a NASCAR race. Maybe not NASCAR, maybe one of the F1 things. You should have seen me drive down the mountain just now…”

[All fun aside, it goes without saying that the BISSELL rider is very excited to have a chance to race Colorado in August. – ed.]

Q8. Something else Phil has never done but would like to try is: a. beat Tom Danielson up Mt. Lemmon (63%), b. swim with dolphins with Tom Danielson (37%).

Phil: b. swim with dolphins with Tom Danielson.

“See, if I beat Tom on Mt. Lemmon, I wouldn’t be allowed to talk about it…”

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