May is National Bike Month and what better time to kick off our sponsorship of professional cyclist Nathan Brown! A Nashville local and CREMA regular (when he’s not traveling internationally for a race), Nate is a fierce competitor who embodies our passions of spending time outdoors and reducing our carbon footprint - all while appreciating good coffee. We were lucky enough to snag a moment with Nate in-between races (literally...he did this interview in the car en route to a hotel in Jerusalem) to break down the connection between coffee and cycling culture and get the scoop on what’s next for him:
Q1: For our readers who don't know who you are and what you're up to, give us a little taste of what you do and why!
Nathan: I am a professional cyclist. I have been a professional for 8 years now. When i was a little kid, i grew up watching the Tour de France. After i watched the race i would go out and pretend i was racing in the biggest races in the world. To reach this level and race in the biggest races in the world is a dream come true.
Q2: Coffee and Cycling...the relationship between the two makes sense to those involved in both cultures, but for those on the outside, can you break it down for us?
Ultimately, the cultures have collided because of history. Caffeine is performance-enhancing because it creates adrenaline. Cyclists have been stopping at cafes for years and years to grab a quick espresso to fuel their ride. As coffee culture has grown and become trendy cycling culture has grown with it, and many see it go hand in hand. I mean, how could you not enjoy riding your bike to a coffee shop and socializing with your mates? Coffee is the cycling socializing enabler.
Q3: Now that we know the overall cultural relationship between the two - what is your relationship with coffee that led you to us?
The funny thing is I grew up never drinking coffee. I didn’t drink coffee until I was 24(ish)...I had no idea what I was missing out on. I recently moved back to Nashville, and when I was house hunting I went into Crema to get a coffee before heading out to see some houses. I instantly loved the atmosphere of the coffee shop, and the coffee was amazing. A few months later I was in Europe and thought, i should write them and see if we can develop a partnership.
Q4: For those who think it's impossible to drink good coffee on-the-go, tell us - how do you do it? What's your coffee routine when you're in the middle of a big race? Is there specific equipment you rely on?
Nothing beats waking up on a mountain in the middle of a training camp, and being able to make a good cup of coffee! There are different ways to bring good coffee on the go. I rely on my trusty pour over that i bring with me to races and training camps.
*(Editors note: We've got a Mobile Brewing page for those who want to know more about coffee on-the-go)
Q5: What was the most recent race you finished and what's coming up next for you?
I have had a busy spring. I recently finished the Tour Of Romandie, which is a 6 day stage race in Switzerland. I am writing from Jerusalem about to start my 3rd Giro d’Italia.
Q6: How can our readers follow along with your progress and cheer you on?
I try to keep my social media pages up to date with what i am doing. You can follow me on Instagram, and twitter. Both are @natebrown0707.
Q7: And just for fun...what is your go-to coffee beverage?
I would have to say cappuccino!