Team Stages

Charlie Rimkus

Brooklyn, New York | www.earlyinearly.com (coming soon!)

Main FocusGravel Cycling
Bucket List RaceDirty Kanza
Post-Race DrinkVermont Headdy Topper IPA

I grew up in Southern California riding bikes with my dad (a long time casual cyclist) on Sundays as self-imposed cross training for my main focus – swimming. While at the time I viewed it as cross training and hours that my competition wasn’t putting in, I now look back on it as something much more than that. It was an incredibly special period each week that my dad and I were able to share together – something I will always cherish. It was something I religiously insisted doing, no matter how sore or tired I was from the previous week of training in the pool. And I’m sure glad I did.

As swimming became more serious with college recruitment and a spot at the 2008 Olympic Trials looming on the horizon, I decided to pause riding to prevent injuries. Ultimately it was a good decision. Swimming took me through a Division 1 collegiate program at Northwestern University and back to Omaha, NE in 2012 for another shot at the Olympic Games. Unfortunately I was just 15 places shy of making the team … so close yet so far!

When I hung up the suit and goggles for good in 2013, I needed something else to keep me busy, in shape, and mentally sane – so I jumped back on the bike. Limited by Chicago winters and an analyst position at work, I only dabbled at first. However a move to San Francisco really escalated things… First came the coach (shout out to Jason Tullous at GoTenac!), then the power meter (Stages!), then another bike (again, Stages!), and a couple years of road racing and NorCal group rides. Then it got interesting with a new MTB (yay, Stages!) and a gravel bike (guess what?… yes, Stages!).

I came to love two wheels and the freedom, competition, analysis, heartache, life lessons, and friendships they can provide. Despite now living in New York City, I’ve been focusing on dirt races – both endurance MTB and gravel. I’ve now competed in two Leadville 100s (two belt buckles … hopefully the big one in 2020!), two Belgian Waffle Rides, Grasshopper races, local dirt fondos/races, and many more.

I still train on the road day-to-day but try to escape as much as possible. My daily rides are part of my life – I need to get outside, smell the fresh air, crunch some data (thanks Stages!), and keep forging incredible friendships – at 10 or 900 watts, it doesn’t matter! What the future holds is always up in the air – but for me I know one absolute constant – the bike (and hopefully a couple more belt buckles!).


© Team Stages 2020