From the Archives: Mitch at Long Beach

Without question, Mitch could be an ass. Is there anyone who didn't piss him off at one point or another? Or the other way around?

He was such a strong rider, though, that we would cut him some slack; if you were on a training ride with him, you knew you'd get your money's worth. I think he was a Cat 2, maybe even a Cat 1 at some point in time and, like a lot of those guys, was never going to get a pro contract. There just were not enough pieces of paper for everyone who wanted one. Maybe he realized that and was smart enough to get out before wasting effort and money unnecessarily. I don't know. He had been away from racing for at least a little while when this photo was taken (1995). When he came back to the sport to race with Team Xtreme that year, USA Cycling (then known as the United States Cycling Federation, or USCF) gave him a Cat 4 license, and thus he competed for those few months of the road season.

Now, some guys in his position might take on the role of mentor to younger, less experienced riders. Not Mitch; if he didn't like the way someone was riding, he'd let them know. He could have. But then he wouldn't have been Mitch. He would have been someone else. You know the saying - "he may be an ass, but he's our ass."

As a one time 'highly ranked' Mitch Boggs knew all the other top guys in the local peloton, so it was not uncommon to see some of them on his group rides - guys like Olin Bakke, for instance. Guys who could ride your legs off without breaking a sweat. Guys who made you a stronger rider just for being on the same road with them. This made for some especially fast, and often grueling days. Then there were the days, just the usual bunch, and I could pull off a win at the Summit or, more rarely, a sprint and there was always a little nagging in my mind: Did I do it on effort, or was that one a gift?