2020 Member Spotlight – Kevin BickardJune, 2020
How did you get involved in triathlons?
I grew up running and swimming on school teams but I didn’t have a road bike or start seriously riding until 2017 when I rode across the country with Bike & Build, an affordable housing non-profit. After that, I figured I had the basic skills to do a triathlon and eventually joined NTP to fill in the gaps. I made a lot of good friends and training partners there (shout out to the Wednesday night OSP crew). And this year I’m working through the Half Ironman Program, which has been a great challenge as I’m trying to break some of the bad habits I formed as a kid and actually do some strength training.
What was your first triathlon?
Nation’s Escape Sprint! I wore my college water polo speedo for the swim and got a lot of attention from the announcer for it. But I’ve never had so much fun in a race. I felt like whenever I was kind of tired of one leg it was time to switch to another. And being able to bike without having cars or pedestrians to worry about was unbelievable! Reason enough to do a triathlon. My legs felt like jelly at the end as I don’t think I had even heard of the word “brick” before this but I was definitely hooked.
What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in a triathlon?
Not in a race, but I once hitched a ride to bike Skyline Drive early one Saturday morning with some other club members. I didn’t realize I forgot my helmet until we were parked in Shenandoah and gearing up. Coincidentally, Dan, who drove me out there, unknowingly had his bike skewer fall out in his driveway while loading up his bike. Together we had one functional rider. So Dan hit Skyline Drive while I did some fun trail running. Overall a great day!
Do you have any memorable races or experiences?
The Elk Neck training weekend is one of my favorite DC Tri memories. I don’t know how many people would think getting up early to bike, then run, then swim would be their perfect day of camping but it’s great we have the club to pull all those people together.
Last fall, I did the 50 States Ride with a bunch of fellow NTPers and had a blast. See if you can name each capital city as you bike on the state avenue — we couldn’t!
I’d also like to offer the advice to always use a triathlete photographer to take your engagement photos. Cheng Lee (@avocatography) had graciously volunteered to take photos for me after I posted on an NTP GroupMe looking for someone. In my nervousness, I told him the wrong date but didn’t realize until 5 minutes before I was going to propose. I messaged him and 20 minutes later I saw him sprinting down 13th street to get set up with the camera. Reach out to Cheng if you’re looking for a photographer, the pictures are wonderful!
What do you enjoy outside of triathlon?
I love playing ultimate frisbee and volleyball. The running fitness comes in handy for frisbee and I played club volleyball in college so I’m always up for competitive games in the area. I read a lot of Sci Fi (just finished Three Body Problem) and watch a lot of movies and I’m very slowly trying to learn how to code.
Any fun facts about yourself that you’d like to share?
I did my first triathlon almost three years ago and haven’t raced since. Nation’s Escape 2018 was cancelled. I sprained my ankle a week before Diamond in the Rough 2019 playing frisbee. And now Eagleman 2020 has been postponed. So maybe don’t sign up for the same race as me?
And lastly, with my brief spotlight moment, I’d like to thank everyone who has ever given me and my bike a ride.