I’m so excited to introduce Tyler, also known as ‘The Vegan Cyclist’ who I’ve been following on Instagram for a while. His photos are always really inspiring-a mixture of cycling, food and family. I love the Vegan Cyclist’s attitude and beliefs too-just do something. Anything is better than nothing. Absolutely !
And he loves making videos. If you prefer video format, the Vegan Cyclist also recorded this video too. This is the link if you’d prefer to watch it:
How long have you been vegan?
Three years and I love it, I don’t ever think I will go back.
What made you decide to become vegan?
It has been a long 10 year journey into health, seeking the best way to live and to perform in athletic sports. I came across a few youtube videos, we got some chickens for eggs and that really made the connection between what I eat and the life behind it, which flipped a switch for me.
What differences have you noticed with your training or lifestyle?
People like to say to me “you would be stronger if you ate meat” and what they don’t realize is I have eaten meat for the past 27 years of my life; I have some context to understand the difference of my performance eating meat and not. The positive changes come on slow so it is hard to notice so much but they are there for life. I have no aliments whatsoever. The difference is in everything.
Tell us about your chosen sport and training. What does it involve?
Cycling. I have also done jiu jitsu and motocross but as a vegan, cycling is the only sport so far.
How often do you train?
Anywhere from four hours a week up to 15 hours in a week depending on training, racing, life. On average about eight hours a week.
Tell us about some of your achievements to date?
I am a Cat 2 road racer in NCNCA which is in Northern California and is one of the most highly contested race organizations in the world. I feel great to be able to reach that level and race with those guys. I haven’t won any big races but I am able to compete at a level based on my nutrition and lifestyle.
How do family and friends react to your vegan lifestyle?
Not that great. No matter how you are bringing it up you are making someone else feel bad so they get defensive. Food, for most people is beyond something that you just eat, it is a lifestyle in itself. It is something you have a shared experience with people/family and when you aren’t partaking in that people feel offended. I wish it was different and I try my best to not let it get in the way of relationships.
How do you promote your vegan lifestyle?
I try to promote it through action. To show that I am happy, and healthy, and can compete in a high level of cycling. I like to show that you can do it on a small budget and that you can do it as a family. I try to shutdown the shaming.
What do you eat in a typical day?
It changes all the time. Typically I will do fruit in the morning, rice in the afternoon, and potatoes and broccoli, and veggies in the evening, in some sort of fashion. I have recently been on a big potato and avocado kick in the morning along with a smoothie. I feel phenomenal with the fat in the morning. I just eat until I am full.
What is your favourite food or recipe?
Potatoes in any sort of fashion. I like to mash them and then fry them and use as a burger base.
Do you take any supplements?
I do take B12. For the first two and a half years of being vegan I did not notice a difference but then I hit the third year of being vegan I could tell a difference if I hadn’t taken B12.
What advice would you give to people thinking of going vegan?
Educate yourself. Plant the seed in your mind and it will grow organically. The decision needs to be your own. You can try and be 90% percent vegan, anything is better than nothing.
What events or other exciting things do you have planned in the next 12 months?
Maybe a trip to Hawaii? I live in paradise, and I love my life and my family so everyday is an exciting event. It may sound cheesy but it’s true.
What do you do outside of your sport/training for fun?
Making videos is a ton of fun. Riding bikes with my son, we hike, watch Netflix. We live at the lake so we go there a lot.
Who are your biggest motivators in life?
I wouldn’t say I have one hero. I try and take in information all across the board from everyone. I am a big fan of podcasts, Radiolab, Hardcore History, The Joe Rogan Experience. Just trying to get in as many different viewpoints as possible so that I don’t live inside an echo-chamber. If I only hear pro-vegan standpoints than that is a confirmation bias and I have nothing challenging my ideas.
“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” Mark Twain
My son is one of my biggest motivators, as a parent I want to stick around in his life and show him how to be a man how to live his life the best way possible.
Is there anything else that you’d like to add?
Why aren’t you eating more plants? Why are you eating the tri-tip? If you ask yourself why am I doing something, the answer may put you in an uncomfortable position where you are not really able to answer it or you aren’t happy with your answer. If you are against the plant based lifestyle, have you ever tried it? It’s not hard to try it. Good habits build good habits. Your health is the most important thing ever.
If you would like to follow The Vegan Cyclist on social media head on over to the following links:
Thank you so much Tyler. Keep an eye out on the blog every Fitness Friday for more vegan athletes.