“If racing becomes the reason you ride, you’re doing it wrong.”
Adigga Racing is a new, professional cross country and Enduro racing team, founded by East Coast locals Adam Snyder and Tom Sampson with the goal of racing at the highest level of competition and supporting young, developing riders. Runtastic chatted with founder, professional rider, and Runtastic enthusiast, Tom, to learn more about Adigga.
1) Hi Tom. We’re thrilled to be chatting with you. Let’s kick-off with a little background info: How did you get introduced to biking? My parents are cyclists, so they introduced me to cycling. Like all kids, I loved biking at a young age. But unlike a lot of kids, I continued to love biking as I got older.
2) And how did biking become such a predominant part of your life? At what age did you think, “This could be more than just a pastime.” for the first time? It was probably when I was about 19. It was my first year outside of the Junior categories and I entered my first pro US Cup races, which is the highest level of racing in North America. Lining up with all the pros I’ve grown up watching and idolizing was pretty humbling. Since then, it’s been a battle to finish closer and closer to those top guys.
3) Tell me a little bit more about your team. Members, activities, vision? We are a three-person strong team. Adam Snyder is our most experienced racer. He is fresh off the Jamis Factory team and a four-time member of the US World Championships team. Adam is one of the top enduro racers in the country and this year will be no different. He has a wealth of knowledge and knows how to ride a bike fast. Adam will be focusing on the POC Eastern States Cup Enduro Series, North American Enduro Series, and also racing in with top level cross country races. Mikey Sampson is our development rider. He recently received his Pro-license upgrade as a first year U23 – huge achievement. Last year, as a U18, Mikey had some great results and even dabbled in World Cup competition, racing the Junior World Cup at Windham, New York. He is looking to continue his growth as a rider and make a successful step into the U23 category. Mikey will be racing a World Cup in Mont Saint Anne, US and Canada Cup races, and local XC and Enduro Races. As for myself, I will be focusing on World, US, and Canada Cup XC races, as well as the POC Eastern States Cup Enduro series.
4) Great, and I know you guys do more than ride. Share a bit about your non-profit activities and how y’all are working to support youth riders. Our goal with this program is to help develop junior racers. Everyone loves to bike as a young kid, but as kids get older they tend to lose this enthusiasm. We want to help kids keep the love of biking as they grow older. And if they desire, we want to help give them what they need to go into racing. In my hometown, Plymouth, we have a good group of young kids who are hoping to get to a few races this year. We would like to help them get there and make the whole experience less nerve racking. We will help them pre-ride, give them tips and pointers, and hopefully make the whole race scene seem less intimidating so that they have a great time and will want to come back.
Another goal is to help a U18 racer get to nationals this year. We are hoping to fundraise money so we can give a scholarship to one Junior racer to make the trip to Pennsylvania. As a Junior, it’s hard to travel to the big races and we are hoping to help with this.
5) How do you envision Runtastic apps, products, and services influencing your community?
I first discovered Runtastic on my own. I had done a pretty epic full-day mountain bike ride and I was left wondering how much climbing I had done. My dad suggested downloading the Runtastic Mountain Bike app. It’s been nice to be able to track my mountain bike rides. And, the Runtastic Road Bike app has replaced my bike computer. It’s so convenient to have one device to track my riding and training on my different bikes. I’m sure others will find the ability to combine the various devices they typically use on a bike ride (heart rate, computer, phone) into one.
6) Further, do you think our tracking tools and supportive online community might help youngsters bridge the gap of today’s “online existence” and maintaining an active lifestyle? Totally! This is a great way to make the “online existence” active and healthy. I think young kids would find the social networking aspect of Runtastic motivating and fun. And, it’s nice that if you’re not into biking, Runtastic will have an app for you to be able to track most anything and interact with friends.
7) Awesome! Quick, on-the-spot question: What’s your all-time favorite event/race to-date? It’s actually a local mountain bike race. It’s the EFTA (Eastern Fat Tire Association) Pinnacle in Newport, New Hampshire. It’s the most fun course I’ve ever done, it has berms as tall as me! It’s so awesome! And when I won it, along with the prize they, gave me fresh maple syrup – that’s a win in and of itself!
8) Last question: What are your suggestions to kids that want to take their riding to the next level? Or for parents who are trying to support their young shooting star? Tips, hints, inspiration? Don’t rush it and keep it fun. If racing becomes the reason you ride, you’re doing it wrong. Keep the riding aspect fun. And for parents, don’t push too hard. You don’t want your kid to be burned out by 21. Let them go at their own pace and be supportive. Biking is not an easy sport as a kid because of the travel and equipment requirements, but if a true passion is developed it can turn into a lifelong, healthy lifestyle. That’s something I’m sure all parents can get behind.
Adigga Racing is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, supporting development racing. Adigga’s ultimate goal is to form a supported development team to help East Coast up-and-comers race, locally and at the national level.