The Jersey Chronicles: Looking Back with Charon Smith

May 22, 2020

Call it “vintage”, call it “throwback,” just don’t call it “old.” These previously unworn winner’s jerseys are in pristine condition and Chamois Butt’r Ambassador and Specialized athlete Charon Smith is taking them out of the closet the first time during COVID-19 to reminisce on his epic road racing career and inspire us to kick up our riding to pre-lockdown levels.

We asked “Mr. 200 Meters” to share how he’s maintaining his positivity during the Coronavirus pandemic and the Method to Winning coach shared his personal training notes, some great advice for maintaining balance for your schedule and your mental health, as well as a few of his favorite memories from past tours.

PHOTOS BELOW

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What inspired you to start riding in your throwback kits? CS: Well the jerseys I had won over the years were special to me because I felt like they were well earned wins with the help of the teammates I have had. So sometimes it is good and healthy to look back on your success to serve as a reminder that you can and will continue to do good things simply because you have done it before. Far too often we tend to forget about our success when we face sad times which leads to us staying there longer than needed. So, it was more of a reminder for myself while trying to inspire someone else along the way. My messages always have a message within the message if one pays attention closely to the details. 


After riding in these kits, were there any favorite race moments that came back that you enjoyed reliving? CS: Yes, all these jerseys offer something unique. For example, the blue one from Intelligentsia Cup which I won in Chicago for a race series me and my friend Rahsaan Bahati and Steven Salazar went out to do in 2018. We had come in 2nd and 3rd but had yet to get a win. So that race was fun and special because it was the biggest race of the series and the crowds were out and we came out on top. [Get a play-by-play of Charon’s epic finish at the race thanks to an assist from Rahsaan in the caption below]

How are you handling training during coronavirus?  CS: I am actually doing pretty well; I have been fortunate to still be able to work my Monday to Friday job. My family and friends are in good spirits so there’s not too much to complain about. 

Do you have a set routine or any advice for setting a schedule and sticking to it during this time? CS: When I wasn’t working during the first outbreak my goal was to get out for a ride for a few hours to break up my day. I also limited the amount of news I was watching and tried to do a little more reading. I personally felt it helped a lot, it can be pretty draining sitting in the house every day for hours at a time and loading yourself down with all the sadness we all are facing. My advice is to find a routine that works for you and stick to it, you will find yourself in a much better place mentally and physically. 


How do you stay motivated when events and races have been cancelled or postponed? CS: I love working out so it is easy for me, if one only rides for racing it can be tough because nobody knows the future of this current situation. So I am one of the lucky ones where my life is not center around racing, but centered around staying healthy and enjoying the freedom the bike continues to give me.

Looking back, what advice would you give to your younger self? CS: I really am happy with my younger self in the sport although I started later in life. But I would tell any younger person, always go with your heart and what feels right to you, don’t let anyone dictate your direction for your life, nobody knows your true heart desires better than you. Listen to people wiser than you, but at the end of the day remember you are the author of the book for yourself.

Favorite kind of Chamois Butt’r? CS: Hands down my favorite is the Eurostyle version, not sure if it is the coolness or tingle it gives lol. Funny thing I was not a Euro Chamois guy before, I had start using it by chance because they were out of the regular. Now many years later I only use the Eurostyle.

What’s your “Chamois Butt’r” story? Everyone has one! CS: When I was new to cycling I heard of people not using Chamois cream and I was like how can you go miles and miles without anything protecting your junk 😊. I would never take that risk!!

You can find the 6x California State Criterium Champ aka Mr. 200 Meters cranking hills from home in Signal Hill, California. Follow Charon on Instagram to keep up with all his SoCal riding and if you like the fit, head to Eliel Cycling to grab one of Charon’s regular riding kits.

“Another jersey first time being worn outside. Today’s jersey is from Elmhurst Classic which is a race in Chicago that has been going on many years and is a part of the @intelligentsiacup series, the year won was 2018. Elmhurst is probably the biggest race of the series, it sits near a college campus and goes through this very nice neighborhood where they come out party and bbq throughout the day. The course has a few tight sections and if one is not careful he or she can go down, not your industrial park crit 🤷🏾‍♂️. After your race is over the people invite the racers over for food and drinks. If you’re from SoCal think of it on the level of Dana Point GP but with more people lining the course. @bahatiracing@_salaczar_ and I were a 3 man crew that year and we held our own secured a few wins and some podiums 🤝🏾. Bahati gave me a wicked leadout, dumped us at 40mphs right before the final turn and the rest was history ❤. GB .”
“Another first time jersey being worn outside. This particular jersey is from the Super Bowl of crits for SoCal, @dpgrandprix which is now retired after 12yrs, @rgworthy did a heck of a job creating it ❤🤝🏾. I was fortunate to win this event 4x as our teams always stepped up. This jersey is from 2018 the final year of the event. I complemented the jersey with my @elielcycling “Soledad 1.0 bib shorts”, they performed excellent on the 4hr loop. The white label 64mm @rovalcomponents wheels handled excellent in the crosswind as usual 🤝🏾🔥. Another day to be thankful 🙏🏾❤. GB .”
“Wore my 2019 @sdsrace overall winner sprinters jersey for the first time outside today for the 3hr, 5k feet of climbing ride. Thanks to my amazing teammates who made it possible. The jersey was complimented with my black “Classic Laguna Seca” @elielcycling bibs. This jersey possibly will be the last one ever since this race may never come back unfortunately. Hope you are in a positive state of mind wherever you are at 🤝🏾. GB”
“Rain clouds above my head with Palos Verdes, Ca in the backdrop but it is not a problem, just try not to get wet 🤷🏾‍♂️. I pulled out some @elielcycling gear and my all black @iamspecialized #Venge just in case on the 1.5hr loop. The rain stayed away 🙌🏾🤝🏾. This jersey been in the closet for a few years, first time wearing it outside. It is from Manhattan Beach GP 2017 or 2018 edition. Sponsored approved gear and equipment! GB”