Colin Strickland – Red Hook master turned Gravel legend

Rapha presents Life in the Peloton!

Gravel racing scenes are taking off all around the world. It’s something I’ve loved sinking my teeth into back here in Australia & as I begin to understand more about the scene I thought it’d be great to chat to someone who’s been racing at the top end for a while now. 

Someone I’ve always admired is American fixed-gear racer turned gravel legend, Colin Strickland.

Colin came into cycling late, and by somewhat of an unconventional path. He grew up on a farm in Texas, went to college and rode bikes purely for transportation. It wasn’t until his early 20s when he competed in (& won) his first ever race – an Alleycat fixed-gear race, that he was hooked on bike racing.

He’s a guy that blazes his own trail, and his career is evidence to that: taking him across almost all the cycling disciplines, in not necessarily the order you would think.

Colin first tried his hand at fixed-gear racing, went across and refined his craft with road racing, came back to seriously dominate Red Hook criteriums then made the jump across to cyclocross and gravel, making his mark on the US scene in the years to come.

In 2019 he took victory in the notorious Dirty Kanza ahead of a star-studded field, which earnt him a World Tour contract offer. True to his path, he declined and continued doing what he loves, racing these epic events supported by brands he admires.

Colin’s story was a breath of fresh air to the usual path into the sport & I especially enjoyed his perspective on the different racing scenes he’s been a part of.

In this episode we dive deeper into Red Hook racing & the scene in the late 2000s and we get into the ins and outs of gravel racing; the tech & tactics out on the trail & what it takes to excel at these events. Plus, I hear about his awesome new project renovating 1950s Spartan travel trailers, at his garage Wheelhouse. That and so much more!

You’ll hear he’s a great guy & I could have kept chatting for much longer.

I hope you enjoy the listen as much as I did.

Stay tuned next week for Talking Luft with Colin!



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This episode is sponsored by Restrap – Yorkshire based makers of top quality, handmade and sustainable bike packing accessories.

Use the discount code PELO10 for 10% off your order.


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(or listen below) 

Show Notes

Photos of Colin at that first Alleycat race that got him hooked on bikes:

And the bike frame he won:

Find out more about Colin at his website.

Check out his new project, renovating 1950s Spartan travel trailers at Wheelhouse.

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Episode breakdown:

0:00min to 4:00 – Episode Intro

4:00min to 23:42 – Colin’s story & Red Hook racing

23:42min to 43:20 – Gravel racing: tech, tactics, the racing scene

43:20min to 45:35 – Colin’s new project – Wheelhouse

45:35min to 1:02:25 – Turning down a Pro contract and working with Meteor x Allied

1:02:25 to end – Outro

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This episode is brought to you by Rapha, makers of the world’s finest cycling clothing & accessories and the worlds largest cycling club, RCC. Find out more about Rapha: their kit, their club, their events and awesome clubhouses at

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Theme Music

The theme music for Life in the Peloton was composed by Pete Shelley, who was lead singer of the punk band Buzzcocks. It was commissioned by the production company behind Channel 4’s coverage of the Tour de France in the 1980s and was used as the theme music for the nightly highlights show. Pete died in December 2018. We were given permission by Pete’s widow and his manager to continue using the music for the theme tune to Life in the Peloton. To hear more about the music, listen to the Andre Greipel episode of Life in the Peloton.


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Released: April 20, 2022