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Rising Stars: Meet Tyler Epstein

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyler Epstein.

Hi Tyler, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for sharing your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstories with our readers.
I graduated from Lindenwood University in 2011, where I played football. Unfortunately, after college, I continued to eat like I was still a college football player. Before I knew it, I was nearly 270 pounds, up about 25 pounds from my playing weight of 245. I was eating poorly and not exercising at all. I knew I needed to make a change. I began to run and eventually bought a used bicycle off Craigslist. After living in the St. Louis area for a year after college, I moved to Kansas City. I had already done a few short triathlons and decided to sign up for a Half Ironman. After finishing the Half Ironman, I realized I didn’t like running and swimming all that much but loved cycling. I continued riding road bikes consistently for the next few years and enjoyed it. About 5 years ago, I also started riding gravel and mountain bikes. This is where I took things up a level.

Gravel cycling is extremely popular in the Kansas City area because we have so many unpaved roads to explore. I met a group of friends also riding gravel, and we began to train together for races. We call ourselves the KC Gravel Crushers. At this point, I have competed in some of the biggest gravel events in the country, including Dirty Kanza 200 (now called Unbound), Midsouth, Steamboat Gravel, and Belgian Waffle Ride. Many of these races are 150-200 plus miles. I love these long endurance events because they take you to a deep dark place and test you mentally and physically. You learn a lot about yourself when you are on a bike suffering for 200 miles. You learn that your body can do much more than you thought it was if your mind allows it. I have also traveled to some amazing places to ride my mountain bike. I highlight my races and many rides on my YouTube channel, Ty’s Rides. I have spent over 700 hours on a bicycle for the past two years and rode over 10,000 miles last year. Cycling has changed my life. It has made me more physically healthy and gives me mental clarity. I now weigh 215 pounds and have never felt better. I have a passion for cycling, and I love sharing that passion with others.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I work full-time as a high school teacher and coach. I coach high school football during the fall, and I coach wrestling during the winter. Coaching takes up a ton of time, so as a way to get my training in during the season, I often commute to and from work. I also still enjoy lifting weights, so I lift weights at least three days a week in the mornings. With work and coaching, I have found it difficult to still get the miles in on the bike and the time in the weight room, but I try to make it a priority. If you have goals and want to achieve something bad enough, you can find a way to get it done.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about what you do?
I am a high school teacher and coach.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts, blogs, or other resources you think our readers should check?
I am a football fan, so I love listening to Bussin’ With The Boys!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Dan Hughes (dhughes101 on Instagram), Cover photo by Andrea Skalla a.skalla, Mile 90 Photography.

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