Every week we pick one inspiring dailymiler to be featured on the blog. This gives you a chance to learn the stories of members of the dailymile community. Check out past dailymiler’s of the week. Do you know someone that would be a great dailymiler? Nominate them!
What does a normal person do on a cold, wintery night? Grab a book. Build a fire. Make hot chocolate. Relax.
That’s all fine and good if that’s your thing. But don’t expect Brent Prokop to join you. When it snows, he’s out the door with his mountain bike. He and his buddies love riding and racing in the dark across the powdery white stuff.
“Studded tires up your confidence on snow three times,” he reports. “Otherwise it’s low, low pressure in the knobby tires.” They ride them nearly flat at 15 psi from time to time. Pinch flats are always a risk, but the reward, postcard-pretty trail riding, is great enough that they go for it. “It’s incredibly, super huge fun!” says Prokop. He confesses, though, that he feels like a vampire with all his night riding.
Not every XC outing is an icy, slushy foray into the pitch black of night. Brent organizes informal group rides throughout the year, texting the details every Tuesday and Friday. Two major rules for these rides – start and finish as a group, no bloated egos. Brent often wears his GoPro camera on the trail so he and his friends can relive the fun as they watch the edited video recap.
Brent races XC in the much warmer summer weather. His favorite races are the Salty Dog Enduro, a 6-hour race which starts in Salmon Arm in May, and the Test of Metal, a 68-kilometer, XC, mass start race, at Squamish in mid-June.
Back in 2008, Prokop had one of his not-so-dull moments while racing the Test of Metal. With 12 kilometers to go, his seat rails broke. For most people, that would be a race-ending mechanical. Not this guy. He pulled his seat post, got back on the bike and finished the grueling climb through Crumpit Woods, quads burning all the way.
As enthused as Brent is about XC rides, his favorite rides take place on smooth, dry roads. Prokop puts in big miles on his Caruso Prastaro time trial bike. “There’s something about being in the aero bars cruising at speed that is so energizing,” he gushes, “so empowering.” He finds his 130-260 kilometer Sunday rides on the TT bike therapeutic. In the spring and summer months, he competes in a weekly TT series and crits. Two local Ironman 70.3 races in June and July prepare him for Ironman Canada in late August.
Brent is sponsored by his local bike shop, ChainLine Cycle. Of his backer, Prokop says: “Riding and flying their colors is a privilege as there are many, many more talented riders in Kelowna than me.”
XC. Trail riding. Time trial. Ironman. What more can this guy do? In an attempt to appear a normal cyclist, Prokop takes in the local Sunday road ride on occasion. For these rides, saddled up on his Caruso Veltri, his goal is clear: Try and keep up with all the young pups. “Doesn’t always work,” he admits with a grin.
Brent recommends dailymile to everyone he meets. “DM rocks!” he shouts. “Your dailymile friends will be there for you for questions and support.” For newer dailymile riders looking for pointers, he encourages a check in at a local bike shop to find a good group ride, one that will fit them. “If they’re rude and drop you forever, screw ‘em,” he advises. “Eventually you’ll find a group of mates that ride similarly to you.” He also suggests that they start small and have realistic goals, that they find a road ride or a XC trail that they like and work it. When they gain mastery over their first routes, they can tackle the longer rides and tougher trails. Finally, Prokop challenges his protégés to live by one simple rule: “Always ride the bike from home and back.”
He pays heed to his own wisdom. On any given day – rain, snow, sleet, sunshine – you’ll find Brent leaving his house and returning to it, two wheels rolling beneath him. It’s the only way to live for him.