Achieve Athlete Jeremy Dossetter agrees to meet me at the Rapha Cycle Club for our interview. As usual, he looks slightly disheveled in his short-sleeve button down shirt, Ray Bans and spiky hair. Although he projects a James Dean world weariness, Dosetter, who races with Bay Area-based, SquadraSF, is quite animated and engaging in conversation.
In the following, we discuss his love of riding the Bay Area, writing and cover some of his goals for this season.
ED: Let’s begin at the beginning- How did you discover cycling?
JD: I’ve always been involved in team sports and was a big lacrosse player when I was younger. In high school I discovered surfing, which being from the Bay Area isn’t a difficult thing to do. I loved the individualistic nature of it; the solo dawn patrols – things like that.
But then I moved to Ohio for college, which is as far away from oceans as one could get. I’d dabbled in the fixie scene back in San Francisco and was looking for another outlet when I met a guy at school who had this sick Cannondale road bike. We started talking about bikes and I realized that I wanted to give cycling a shot.
So with some generous support from my dad (plus a little bit that I’d put away) I was able to get a road bike. It wasn’t too long after that I entered my first bike race.
ED: Did you always know that you wanted to race, then?
JD: Yeah. I read lots of cycling blogs and major cycling websites. Once I started racing– well, the rest is history, as they say.
ED: What is it about the competitive side of cycling that you most enjoy?
JD: It’s sort of hard to describe, but it’s the “flow” of it – like when you’re in a pack going all out. You’re not really thinking about anything- just surfing.
ED: At very high speeds.
JD: Yes, exactly (laughs).
ED: What best describes you as a cyclist: sprinter? climber?
JD: I’m still trying to figure that one out, actually. Like a lot of people, I started off by thinking of myself as a climber. But as I continue to grow as a cyclist and learn more about myself I feel less like a climber and more of a…
ED: A sprinter?
JD: Well, I am definitely not a sprinter. I guess I like the shorter power climbs. But mostly, I like stage racing. Which is really like saying that I don’t see myself as the best anything, but good at everything. Good enough, anyway.
ED: Do you have a favorite race?
JD: Cascade Classic, which I did for the first time last year. I sort of did it on a whim with a bunch of my SquadraSF team-mates and wound up getting 12th on GC.
This year, it is definitely a goal of mine.
ED: Let’s talk a little bit about this season- you’ve started training with Dana Williams and Achieve.
JD: Yeah. In terms of training, I really like having the structure that Dana provides. But it goes beyond just having workouts and checking boxes.
ED: Such as?
JD: Well, this season we’ve done a lot of visualization training and focusing on having the right mindset. Honestly, I never thought about doing this kind of “off-the-bike” training before. Having Dana put me through the paces mentally, has proven to be invaluable and has completely altered my approach to racing and training.
ED: As an athlete, how do you deal with disappointment?
JD: I don’t really think of it as disappointment, so much as opportunities to learn. I’m asking myself, “what went wrong” and “how can I improve?” Dana likes to talk about the most important six inches. It all starts with those precious inches between your ears. Get that right and you can deal with anything.
ED: How was the season gone for you?
JD: I had a much slower start than I had anticipated, at least compared to previous seasons, when I came out with guns blazing. Which was actually ok, as it forced me to learn how to cope with disappointment – and as a result, I think it’s made me a better racer, and a better person.
I feel like my season is just getting started and I’m starting to come into some very good form. And at the perfect time, I think.
ED: Any plans to upgrade this season?
JD: I think that at the beginning of the season I would have said yes, but having had some time to race and think about it I’m not so sure.
JD: Meaning that, although I do eventually want to upgrade, my focus now is really on working hard and having fun. We’ve got a great 3s team on SquadraSF and I do want to race with the guys. Wanting to race with them is motivation, enough.
ED: Tell me about ‘Young Grasshopper’.
JD: “Young Grasshopper” is a short piece that was recently published in the British cycling journal “The Ride Journal”. It’s a story about my early experience of becoming a bike racer.
It’s really about how I fell in love with riding out here, in the Bay Area.
ED: As a writer, how does riding inform your writing? Or does it?
JD: That’s a great question. I think that anyone with a writing sensibility-and I don’t call myself a writer, I’m just someone who likes to write- a bike ride is very much a narrative; with a beginning, middle and an ending. It’s a story that we tell each and every time we get on the bike.
ED: So every rider is a writer at heart?
JD: Yeah. I do some of my best writing when I am on the bike. But writing, like riding, doesn’t just happen- it requires practice and hard work.