AN INTERVIEW WITH PETER STETINA
I was a soccer referee. I played soccer so I refereed games on the weekend for younger age groups, for money. I took the class, got the certification. Bought a bag, some flags and a striped shirt. And it paid pretty well for a 14 year old, so I would ref the U13 games, competitive soccer. For a linesmen they paid 17 bucks a game. Two or three games a day, on a Saturday, was great money then. Otherwise at the time, it was bike racing. I was racing at the same time, then gradually racing started taking the place of reffing as I started to get paid for that.
I really like it a lot, my fiancé has family in the Cayman Islands, so we go down there if we want a tropical vacation, it just costs us the flight because we got a place to crash—no hotels or anything. It’s known for crystal clear water—120 foot visibility—like bathwater. It’s all protected marine park, really colorful. I’d always been like, “If I am going to do a water sport I’ll do something cool like surfing, or wakeboarding.” I hadn’t ever thought that SCUBA Diving was much of anything, but you do it for the first time, and it’s just unreal. It really is challenging; not just as a physical workout, but mentally. The first time you go under, you get vertigo and don’t know which way is up, and then you realize—I know it sounds cliché—it really is another world under there. Totally alien. Going to an aquarium is not even close to the same thing.
Yeah, I started racing on mountain bikes. I still hop in a race a few times a year when I’m at home for a local race and the schedule permits. I had an agreement with the team for a few years where if it wasn’t in the way of training or racing that I could ride for a local team while home (Tokyo Joe’s out of Boulder), but I moved out to California (I’m in Santa Rosa now, just an hour from SF) and they are cracking down on all the unsanctioned racing stuff so I don’t do that any longer. There has been so much politicizing with that, I’ve backed off it. But I still ride my mountain bike for training: I think it’s great training. Biking is biking.
But if I can do a local race I will every once and a while. Like last year when I was home during the Tour, I did a short track race in a local park, just for training. I’m not a top MTB rider anymore. I get my gap on the uphill, then they pass me on the downhill, then I pass them. We sort of leapfrog the whole
This is my third year at the Giro, but this year the weather just sucks. The rain sucks.
It’s been really hard, guys have been going for broke from day one with no regard for the harder days coming up, and then personally I’ve had horrible luck. I had allergies, I’ve run into sickness, dealt with antibiotics, got taken out in Stage 7 in the rain. I just had to make it to this rest day. No worries on time loss though; I can regroup before Ryder needs me in the real mountains.That why they brought me here. For the big hills. It’s starting to come around though, I’ve got energy again, I’m feeling more lively. I can actually speak.
During the stage you can just get so bored, you think about all kinds of things. There are those times when the race just rolls along for a few hours—after the break is gone and before the tempo finally comes up—when you are just so bored. There is nothing to do, and everyone around you is speaking Russian or French. All you can think is, ‘Come on man, give me something to do.’
Sometimes I go on a search to find someone. The other day I found Phinney after about 40 minutes, but It took a while. We’ll talk about anything. Just anything. Weird things. The other day I had the new Giro aero helmet on, and he started playing the drums on it, and I didn’t realize Eurosport was right in front of us, and now it’s all over the internet. I’m sure it’s great Giro press. And outside of the race, I of course talk with my fiancé, and my agent, emailing my Mom for Mothers Day, all the normal stuff.