Cyclist of the Week: Chas Christiansen
If you grew up cycling in the city, you know how big of a role MASHSF played in pedaling the culture forward. As an instrumental part of their team, Chas Christiansen seemed to live life on the edge. Some keywords that come to mind when thinking about his riding style consists of hardcore, grit, and aggressive. To continue progressing the cycling culture, we spent some time getting to know the person behind the bike and this week, we're excited to go in depth with Chas.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Chas Christiansen and I grew up in the pacific northwest of the United States, Born in Oregon and spent my formative years in Washington State.
So how did you get into cycling?
I have always been into riding bikes, from when I was a kid and I rode my BMX bike around the neighborhood to riding to high school before I got a car. I moved to Portland Oregon in 2004 and really started riding more then, I did not have a car so a bike was how I got around. I had a cyclocross bike and started to go to local CX races and from there go into alleycats and track racing.
We know you've traveled around the world for cycling. How has each environment impacted the way you ride and what you think about the cycling community?
It is really cool to see how each community and culture embraces cycling, from serious racing to a purely social activity, riding bikes means different things to different people. I also think it is rad to see what kinds of different trends catch on where, uncut riser bars on track bikes in Italy to full carbon rear disc wheels in Indonesia. The common thread is always the feeling of freedom the riders get from their bikes, which is rad.
How do you take your coffee?
French press, cream and sugar.. I can do black coffee if need be, and espresso is purely for after a nice meal.
Walk us through your daily ritual.
If I am home in SF, I usually wake up around 6:30 and make some food and drink coffee, this is my time for myself so it involves reading a book in bed. I aim to get out riding by 7:30-8:00, most training rides last 3-4 hours so back home by noon(ish). From there I generally run a few errands, stop by MASH on my way to either my art studio or the TCB office. It really depends on what kind of work I have to do that day, but I will say I prefer the art studio to the office. Back home around 6:30-7pm eat dinner, maybe go out and shoot some pool and have a few beers with the breh, or hang with my lady, I'm turning into an old man so usually asleep around midnight.
Racing is a huge part of your life. Could you let us in on your mentality of racing and how you feel during those moments of adrenaline?
I race for the stoke, to get pumped and stay pumped. If I get a result that rules, but for me it is definitely more about having fun. That being said I train for racing because you always have more fun if you are mixing it up rather than hanging on for dear life. It is a funny thing to me because when I race, I kind of just let go and let instinct take over, I am horrible at reading the race and applying tactics because I usually so caught up in the speed and adrenaline.
What type of music do you listen to? What is your favorite song to ride to?
I am a punk rocker at heart so pretty much any sort of punk is my jam, but I really dig on most anything. I find that I don't pay a ton of attention to the lyrics of a song and focus more on the music. Right now I have been really hyped on Trash Talk, their song Awake gets me ready to shred.
Any big plans in the future you'd like our audience to know about?
Not really, keep on shredding, race more Gravel races, go on more adventures, I would like to focus on producing more art so hopefully a show at some point this year.
A huge shout out to Chas for taking the time to chat and letting us learn more about his life.