Raised in a rural town called Mobile, Alabama, Mike is a bike racer who enjoys all aspects of life. He rides his bike to smell the roses, feel the adrenaline pumping through his veins and challenge himself to the next limit – only to shatter that one too. Bowen…oh wait, that’s Michael Bowen.
Michael ZAK, however, is a NJ-native. Michael is strong – that’s not a widely-accepted opinion. It’s a fact. Mike’s watts are enough during any given race to power a small village for a week. During Mike’s free time, which is extremely rare, he rides with underprivileged aspiring bike racers to give them a taste of the glory. True story. Another feat Michael often achieves is making others feel inferior. In a race recently, after riding away from the field to win solo off the front, Edwin Bull complemented Mike as being “the most phenomenal bike racer I’ve ever had the privilege to share the road with. The very fact that I was in the same bike race as him has elevated my racing to a level that, before tonight, I imagined unattainable. I will forever be grateful to him for allowing me to congratulate him on his INCREDIBLY strong racing and amazing skills, and I will probably never wash this kit.”
I paraphrased of course, it’s difficult to remember the exact exchange of words, but they were along those lines – you can be sure of it. But if you were to ask Michael about any of this, he would deny it. He would deny all of it – the strength, the charity, the acts of kindness, the admiration from the influential names in our great sport – and he would chalk it all up to hard work. Hard work, aye, and devilish good looks. So don’t ask him. Just walk right up to him, shake his hand, look him dead in the eyes, and say the two words that infants the world over were raised knowing, in the hopes of one day being able to meet Michael: Thank You.