Profile: Pete Brandenburg

Q. Where were you born and where did you grow up?
I was born in Munich, Germany, lived a couple of early years there and in the Bay Area, then moved to Lexington, Massachusetts, the Cradle of American Liberty, around age 4. You can ask me anything about the American Revolution, Paul Revere, redcoats, shot heard ’round the world, all that stuff.

Q. When did you start riding?
From the time my Dad pushed me down the driveway with training wheels, I think I only stopped riding for a year or two during high school when it was just too uncool. I must have put thousands of miles in, thrashing around the neighborhood with my buddies on BMX bikes, hitting sweet jumps and looking for trouble in the woods. We’d hang out at the bike store in town and annoy the manager there even though our buying stickers and anodized BMX parts probably kept him in business. As we got older he tried to get us to ride “real bikes” so I appropriated my Dad’s Motobecane 10 speed and learned about toe clips and shifting gears. Then I got a nice Cilo as a high school graduation present, rode that all summer and took it to college at UC Santa Cruz. Living off-campus and riding to class every day up the 800 foot climb to UCSC is what made me “serious” about riding.

Q. How long have you been a member of La Grange? How did you discover the club?
When we moved here from New England five years ago I was doing more mountain biking but realized pretty quickly that the road riding around here is awesome and the MTB trails are kinda boring compared to what we were used to. I ended up riding more road, getting the itch to go faster and looking for people to ride with. I’d see the Tuesday Marina ride rolling through my neighborhood in Venice and eventually figured out it was an LG ride, learned a bit about the club and joined about a year and a half ago.

Q. What is your favorite ride?
Leave my in-laws’ house in the west SF Valley on my cyclocross bike and mix roads and trails in the Santa Monicas for four hours then spin home along the beach. Doesn’t get much better than that anywhere!

Q. When did you start racing?
I did a lot of MTB racing back east in the early-mid 90s but quit after a mandatory category upgrade took most of the fun out of it. Over the years I’d sometimes think about getting back into it, giving road racing a shot. So after I joined La Grange and turned 40 the time was right – classic mid-life crisis move I guess. My wife got the red convertible.

Q. When did you start racing Cyclocross? Do you prefer cross to road races or crits?
Did a couple ‘cross races back in the day but it didn’t do much for me. November and December weather in New England is pretty grim and my motivation to ride, let alone train and race, was low that time of year. Out here I love it. The weather’s good, it seems to be a good fit with my riding abilities, and it’s just a really fun scene around the races. I love racing hard and taking risks without the fear of serious injuries and shattered bikes. Witnessed a lot of both in cat 4 crits last year and I have trouble staying aggressive in crits because of that.

Q. What is your favorite post-ride meal?
Everything tastes good after a ride but one of my favorites is a cemitas poblano and a Negra Modelo at Tacos por Favor.

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