#GravelFamily: Robb Finegan

Losing Joy put so many things into perspective and how we need…

• What’s your favorite GW experience?

My favorite Gravel Worlds experience was last year making the podium in the 50-59 age group. I thought my day was over early when I lost contact with the main group around mile 15. It wasn’t until after the first checkpoint that I started to catch other riders. As the hills began to wear on everyone, my legs kept feeling good. Some days all it takes is staying focused and things will turn out ok.

• What’s your funniest Gravel event story (ie never trust a fart)

My funniest moment of GW was one year my front thru-axle came loose. It was early in the race and I didn’t want to get dropped out of the front pack. I thought it would be a good idea to unclip my shoe and try to tap the lever down with my foot while I was riding. I remember a couple riders looking over at me and shaking their heads, since I am sure they didn’t know what I was doing. Somehow I was able to get it tight and didn’t wreck in the process.

• How long have you been riding? Has gravel changed your perspective on riding, and if so, how?

I didn’t really get into riding with much consistency until 2015. Running had always been my main focus since I was in high school. The only time I was on the bike was if I was injured from running. In the early 2000’s I was dealing with some knee issues and began to ride more. Unfortunately, work and life took over and for a few years and I didn’t ride at all. In 2015 I decided it was time to recommit to getting back into shape. I thought that cycling would be the easiest way for me to loose weight and get my fitness back. In 2016 I rode my first Gravel Worlds, which was the first time I had ever raced on gravel. I was hooked! The long endurance events suited me best and with the atmosphere of gravel racing, it was so much more appealing than racing a crit or on the roads.

• Has gravel brought you closer to your community and if so, how?

In 2018 Joy, my wife, passed away from cancer. The outreach from everyone in the cycling community was tremendous. Losing Joy put so many things into perspective and how we need to enjoy the short time we have. Riding has become a great therapy for me. I am lucky right now that I have the time to spend cycling and inspire others to get out and ride more. There are so many stories out there on how cycling has changed people’s lives for the better and I think that is really awesome.

• What does #GravelFamily mean to you?

Companionship is probably the one word I would describe #GravelFamily. In an endurance race, your main competition is yourself, but you always know there is someone to help you out when you need it. Maybe it is help with a mechanical or just some great encouragement to get up that last hill. It is always a good day when we get to go ride bikes.

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