Take A Spin With Richard Sachs

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October 2, 2015

He’s the man behind the team and a master builder of custom handmade bike frames. For our second Cyclocross series blog post we caught up with Richard Sachs to get the dirt on all things cross.

This year, Withings is a proud Richard Sachs Cyclocross sponsor. Get to know the man behind the legend now with our exclusive interview.

Interview with Richard Sachs

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Photo of Sachs by Carlos Alejandro

Withings: We’ve spoken about Withings’ views on health habits. What’s your routine like?  For example, what do you like to eat?
Sachs: I’m a routine and consistency nut. I don’t think of myself that way, but my wife, Deb, does. I eat the same thing for breakfast everyday because I like it, not because there aren’t options. My first meal of the day is a baked (not toasted) bagel with two slices of cheese, salami, and the occasional tomato. I prefer to have breakfast alone; I eat slowly and deliberately, and enjoy every bite and swallow.  And I never eat standing up. That’s a pet peeve with me. Only when the meal is over can I engage with other people. I like to have this time to myself in the morning. I’ll drink water and Gatorade throughout the day, and normally I’ll skip lunch. For dinner, I eat whatever Deb makes, have one beer, and we’ll watch a movie.  No special diet, really.  I know when I’m hungry, and pay attention to when I need to eat earlier or later, or not at all.  I don’t snack.
What about your training routine?
I hit the circuit in the afternoon and ride the bike for an hour and a half, and then have a recovery drink as soon as I return.  I don’t do yoga, or stretch.  I’m kind of old school in that I know my body, and I know when to look at the clock rather than mileage.  It’s all about RPMs and time spent in the saddle. Where I live, there are few stop signs and no traffic to speak of, so I can get in a solid 90 minutes without a break.  Cross rides are much harder because of the increased rolling resistance on grass and dirt, so I’ll come back completely spent from just an hour, much more so than a several hour ride on pavement.  I’ll ride on the trainer if I have to, and that’s mostly due to weather.  In the winter, I take the hottest bubble baths that one could imagine.  I boil water on the stove and add it to the tub. Taking these baths in the winter is a form of training, therapy actually.  A good hot bath is at least the equal to a deep tissue massage atmo.
How has connected health impacted your training?
I use my Withings watch to understand my activity when I’m not on the bike. As far as weight goes, I’ve been vain and weight-wary for a long time, and with the scale – the Smart Body Analyzer – I feel like I finally have an accurate system to measure it. I’ve lost 8 or 10 pounds in the last month and am trying to get my body fat percentage lower. I use the information as a barometer of where I am in terms of feeling good about myself. I also check my sleep first thing in the morning to see how the numbers compare to how I actually feel. I continue to be marveled by what these products are teaching me.
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Photo by of Sachs in action by Keith Snyder

Comments on 2015 so far?
The first event was the Ellison Park Cyclocross in Rochester, New York. It was the hottest two days of racing I’ve ever experienced. The team has a huge depth of talent this year, we look good, we have new bikes, new colors, new sponsors, new kit; we were new and good in every place except when the gun went off. Saturday’s C1 Race basically had the most competitive field that can be assembled in North America, and it turned out to be quite the challenge. We got chipped down pretty good. It was a very sobering experience for the team.  For me, day one was a huge wakeup call. I’ve been training really hard for fitness, but I hadn’t been on my bike for a while. At some point I had to recognize: Just because I’m hot (as in overheated), doesn’t mean everybody else isn’t hot too. Sometimes you just have to push through the conditions.
We’re a few weeks in now, still working to define what we can do as a results-based team.  Looking ahead, we’ll find ways to make our presence felt.  There’s time.
What’s your finest moment?
It’s hard for me to separate personal accomplishments from the accomplishments of the team over the years.  Perhaps the biggest success, or at least most satisfying for me, has been the continuity of the organization.  The most satisfying part of the experience in racing, beyond the victories, exposure in press, and achievement versus a lot of well-known brands and household names, has got to be the sense that we’ve helped or at least had a positive effect on many people.
A few weeks ago, I received a letter from an old friend, who happened to be one of the best riders in the country in the 80s.  He wrote, “I don’t think I ever thanked you for everything you did in support of my bike racing years and just generally.  I know I was a self centered little twerp, but I fully appreciate you and others in my life that made a real difference in forming and supporting me through great experiences. Anyways, it’s hard to know how we affect others, but you should know those years had a huge positive impact on me.  So, here it is thirty years later: Thank you.”
It was a joy to read these words, sent by one of our riders who I haven’t seen in a very, very long time.
A huge thanks to Richard for sharing his thoughts with us!
Want to know more? Check out our first post: Withings Sponsors Richard Sachs Cyclocross.
Interested in learning more about Richard’s bikes?
Check out RSCyclocross
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