You might think Reserve is just a bunch of mountain bikers. And, while that might not be entirely untrue, we do have a few hardcore roadies among our midsts. One of those is our very own Dillon Hollinger. Dillon not only rides for the Team Mike’s Bikes Equator Coffees road racing team, but happens to have a desk within arm’s reach of our test lab in Santa Cruz, California.
Get to know Dillon in this Q&A interview.
Q: What do you do at Santa Cruz Bicycles?
A: I'm getting people stoked on bikes one Oxford comma at a time (I'm a Copywriter).
Q: How long have you been riding on the Mike’s Bike’s Elite Team?
A: I’ve been with Mike's since my second year of racing in 2018—so just finished up my fourth season.
Q: When did you start racing bikes? Always road?
A: I started racing bikes in 2017 after spending my high school and college years racing triathlon. I’ve always been into bikes and have ridden road and mountain since I was a kid. These days I split my time training and racing between road, gravel, and mountain.
Q: What’s your favorite win?
A: In my first season racing, I won three out of four stages at the Cascade Classic Category 2 race. But the coolest was winning the crit after attacking with 10 laps to go and the announcer talking mad shit about how there was no way I was going to stick it.
Q: What is the one race you’d still like to win?
A: Copperopolis road race, known as the Roubaix of California—it’s got terrible pavement, hard climbs, and is the closest resemblance of a Classics race in California.
Q: Do you get nervous before the start of a race?
A: Sometimes—it really depends on the race. Big crits like Tulsa or Nationals usually give me the most nervous energy, just because of the high speeds and crashes.
Q: Tell us about your race bike?
A: This year we’re riding Giant TCRs. I built mine up with a full SRAM Red AXS groupset and, once they launched, put a pair of the Reserve 52/63 Turbulent Aero wheels on there—they really made the bike come alive.
Q: How many hours a week are you riding / training?
A: Depends a bit on the time of year, and how busy work is, but usually averaging around 15-20 hours.
Q: What’s the longest you have gone without riding a bike and why?
A: In 2018 I suffered a back injury from a car crash and was off the bike for nearly three months.
Q: Where is your favorite place to ride a bike?
A: Mallorca, Spain—its insane climbs mixed with bustling bike culture and crazy views make it my favorite place in the world…so far.
Q: What do you like to do when you are off the bike?
A: Between working full-time and training, I don’t often end up with a bunch of “free time.” But I enjoy nerding out on coffee, offroading/camping, and surfing.
Q: Any pre-race superstitions?
A: Not realllyyyyy.
Q: Do you ride mountain bikes at all?
A: Oh, yeah. I probably spend nearly 50% of my training riding mountain bikes.
Q: What is one bike item you can not live without?
A: Unfortunately, a power meter. I even have one on my trail bike…as kooky as it is.
Q: If you could go on a ride with anyone on earth (cyclist or not), who would it be?
A: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’ve ridden with some pretty cool folks—Sagan, Oss, Alaphilipe—but I’m not a huge fanboy when it comes to famous folks.
Speed Round Questions
Q: Bibs or skin suits?
A: Skin suits
Q: Gloves or no gloves?
Q: Black socks or white socks?
A: White, always
Q: Tacos or burritos?
Q: Coffee or Red Bull?
A: Coffee—I’m a big nerd
Q: Messy or clean?
A: Clean as a whistle
Q: 25s or 32s?
Q: Tubes or tubeless?
Q: Shaved or hairy arms?
Q: Off the front or in the pack?
A: Off the front!