DIRT Dad Tim Busick: My first Zwift ride was February 23, 2015 on Jarvis Island. It wasn’t much then, but gave me something to look at other than the the blue TrainerRoad blocks. I was able to ride enough to earn the 808 with Disc wheelset, that was fairly rare prior to the DropShop.
How’d you get into Zwift?
The New England winters drove me to indoor training early on. Started off on rollers and a heart rate monitor. Then added a non-smart trainer. I did Spinervals, Sufferfest Videos, and TrainerRoad prior to finding Zwift. I started Zwift when it was still in the Beta phase. My first Zwift ride was February 23, 2015 on Jarvis Island. It wasn’t much then, but gave me something to look at other than the the blue TrainerRoad blocks. I was able to ride enough to earn the 808 with Disc wheelset, that was fairly rare prior to the DropShop.
How long have you been riding/racing?
I started riding bikes in College. My brother is an avid cyclist and he got me into it by lending me bikes and teaching me the ropes. I haven’t done much racing IRL. I’ve done some sprint-tri’s, a criterium race or two but not much more than that. Most of my outdoor riding has been on group rides or solo. I’ve done some charity rides (Boston – NY AIDs Ride, MS Ride) and some longer challenges (Harpoon’s Brewery to Brewery Ride, Mount Washington Hill Climb), but the vast majority of my racing is on Zwift.
How did you notice DIRT and why did you join?
I was riding Zwift pretty regularly in 2017 and 2018. With work and family commitments, the best time for me to ride is early mornings. I did the KISS America AM Races fairly regularly. I started noticing another rider in a Triathlon kit doing the same races. This turned out to be Jason Stern. We were fairly closely matched, and I actually beat him once or twice.
Then I my work picked up and I stopped exercising completely for about 8 months. My weight climbed up to 215lbs and I felt terrible. I knew that something had to change so I went back to Zwift and started riding. Jason commented on one of my rides on Strava. I was seeing DIRT stuff everywhere, so I asked him about it. He told me what he had created with Doug and Ken. I signed up for an MGF ride on November 7th and I really enjoyed the environment that they had created. I did a Sprintapalooza ride and I was completely hooked.
As the first MGF series ramped up, I started seeing a chance to place top 3 in the C category and earn one of the coveted trophies. My weight was coming off, my power was going up and I was having a great time. I woke up each morning excited to get on my bike. I started a friendly competition with Brian Carver over who would win the MGF C category. Out of fear, Brian moved himself up to the B Category and I was able to keep just ahead of Scott Olsen and Luc Parent to take first place in the series.
I started racing B after that and continued to see fitness gains. I went down to NJ and rode with Jason in the DIRT studio and teamed up with Chris Dornbach and Matt Partridge to do the Crank the Kanc Team Time Trial (we came in 2nd!)
My weight had been coming down fairly consistently, but then it started to plateau. I noticed that some of the other DIRTs where having success tracking their calories with mobile Apps, so I decided to give that a try. I started using LoseIt and set a goal to lose a pound a week. It wasn’t all that hard to do and helped keep me accountable for what I was eating. There was a lot of work travel with a tendency not to exercise or eat well on the road.
Finally, I started going to the grocery store and buying breakfast and lunch for the week instead of eating at the hotel or cafeteria. I also started using the Peloton in the hotel gym. These changes helped me to reach my weight goal. When I stepped on the scale on May 17th my weight was 183.8lbs. My bodyfat was down to 15.5% and for the first time in as long as I can remember my BMI was considered “Normal” at 24.9.
Any big goals, races coming up?
My big goal is to keep going. I love how I feel, and I love this team. This week we tried out WTRL’s new TTT format. Paul Buckland, Stu Featherstone, Ryan Fulmer, Ken Nowell, Troy Eddy, Jakob Wilson and I teamed up for two laps (out and back) of the Giro TT course. We paced it incredibly after only one practice run the Tuesday before and came in second overall for our category. I want to keep riding, keep pushing myself and helping others to push themselves.
What do you do for work?
I work for Veeva, a software company that provides cloud-based solutions to life science companies.
Can you tell us a bit about the family?
I married my lovely wife Carrie in 2013. We have four kids (two from her first marriage and two from mine) ages 10 to 15. Our lives are filled with sporting and school events!
How has Zwift helped with family and work balance?
Being able to work out every morning and not worry about weather or anyone else competing for that time has been incredibly helpful for me. I’ve realized that taking care of myself helps me be a better father, husband and employee.
Any advice for others?
Have fun. If you can find exercise that you enjoy doing, you will continue to make gains. Take a good look at where you are, and then identify what you want to improve. There is so much support on this team you will always be able to find someone to ride with!