I recently had a chance to catch up with two of Dave Wenger’s athletes, Kevin and Conor Mullervy; known as the Ginger Duo. Seems they have always kept sport close to them be it soccer or cycling, have become pretty dang fast bike racers, and after all these years of twinning, aren’t sick of one another yet! Read on to hear more about Ginger 1 & Ginger 2.

Conor & Kevin – twin bike racers, ginger duo, identical speedsters. You guys just tell me a bit about where you grew up? Did you ride bikes when young, or did you have another sport of choice? (And where do you live now)

Yep, we are Conor & Kevin AKA the Ginger twins or Ginger 1 and Ginger 2. We grew up in Littleton, Colorado; just south of Denver. We grew up playing a lot of ball sports and had some success with them but nothing had us hooked. Going into High School we both played soccer and really wanted to play on the High School team. We went to try outs with a few buddies and I guess we didn’t have what it took to be the next soccer star. At the time, we had a friend who was on a local junior cycling team and he was traveling to California one weekend with his family for nationals. We thought it was so cool and something totally different then what we were used to, so we asked if we could join him for a practice when he got back. We ended up going to one of his teams practice after school and both Conor and I got dropped pretty quickly, but somehow LOVED IT! So we started racing the summer of our junior year of High School and SLOWLY moved up the ranks. We ended up taking it very serious in College and had our eyes on the professional ranks. Once we graduated college we both signed our first pro contract and raced full time for a couple teams for 5 and 6 years.

That’s pretty awesome; your first time taking a stab at cycling, you got dropped and LOVED IT. I would guess your ability to get dropped, jump back in and keep working harder likely had a part in the success’ you eventually had? 

I would have to totally agree. Cycling is a sport where you are going to loose way more then you win. This inner drive of failure makes you train harder and smarter so when you are back racing you can learn from your mistakes and have a better chance of winning.

Tell me a bit about your shift into bike racing; some highlights of what you’ve done. Talk about that; what it was like, how long you focused on racing, and transitioning away from it.

We raced collegiate all 4 years in multiple disciplines with road being our main focus but we also did some cyclocross and mountain biking. We ended up winning the team time trial two years in a row a collegiate nationals. Once we started racing professional after school we were more of the domestique and work horses for the teams.  However, we had some good results along the way. Conor ended up 4th overall at a two week stages race in China, Poyang Lake, he also got 4th at Pro Crit Nationals. I was able to win one of the most prestigious crits in the US, Athens Twilight in 2013. We have raced for the same pro teams for all 5 years (Team Exergy, and Champion System p/b Stan’s No Tubes). I raced full time for 5 years and after the folding of our team I decided to get a job but continue racing as much as I could and Conor ended up going to Australia for a year to race full time. That was the first time we were on different team and the first time we spent more than a week apart. Very hard and strange not to be racing together and seeing each other every day.

On that note, where did you guys go to college; roommates entire time? Have you ever gotten sick of eachother? 

Kevin and I went to school at Colorado Mesa University in Grand Junction, Colorado. We both even got the same degree in Sports Management. The whole time we where in school we where roommates and even still are to this date even though Kevin is married.  I would say Kevin and I have a relationship that is like non other. We are extremely close and never have gotten sick of each other and now thinking of it don’t think we have ever even gotten in a fight with each other. We spend all the time together weather that is a work, training or racing. It is rare for someone to see one of us and not the other.

So, ‘real life’ and life apart from cycling. What do you guys do now? How does riding/racing still fit into your lives? 

We both currently work for Stages Cycling, a power meter company based out of Boulder Colorado. Obviously we are working for a company that loves bikes, so it helps us to work full time but have the flexibility to train and race. We try to commute to and from work as much as possible, roughly 1 hr each way. We also have the hardest group ride in the nation on Tuesday afternoon. All the local hitters and most people in the company show up to rip each other’s legs off.

Hardest group ride in the nation! I’m intrigued. Are there stats on this? And have you ever lost a leg in the ride.

I would have to agree that this is the hardest group ride. Some of the biggest riders in the USA will show up to this ride and still get dropped. Its a blast, you have riders from the CAT5 level to the World Tour show up. We split it into groups so that everyone has a chance at winning the “ride”. I can’t say I have ever lost a limb on this ride but I have lost a lot of pride on this ride. I can race some of the biggest races in the Nation and get good results and then I show up on Tuesday and get throttled at lunch.

So it sounds like you both still have the same passion for racing that you did back when it was a ‘job’?

We still love cycling just as much as when we started. We know it’s not our full time gig anymore, but we still want to be competitive and be at our best when we show up to a race. We get to travel the world together and race our bikes in some amazing places still today. We also only race crits now so 1.5 hrs max usually so we are able to train for that outside our 40+ hr jobs. We don’t have to train anymore 6 + hrs a day to be prepared for a race because our race is “only” 1.5 hrs.

Awesome. And I believe you, because I think the first time I reached out to you and I didn’t hear back for a bit, I saw Dave post something about how you were off winning a race that weekend. Still crushing it and having fun, which is great.

Hey tell me about this picture with the Clif banner,  what’s going on here …bubbles? Is there a good story here? Did you win this one too? 

CLIF bar is a great company that also likes to have fun. This picture below is us at the Clif bar Klunker crit in Boulder, CO last year. Clif got all of its athletes from all sports to participate in this event. You where on teams of two so of course Kevin and I had to be teammates. You raced in heats with teams of four and advanced until there was only 4 teams left in the finals. Each athlete had to do two laps of about a 2 min lap while alternating riders. You jumped on these Klunker cruiser bikes while navigating over some jumps, climbing and sliding down a bouncy castle, and a foam pit. We made it to the finals but got our butts kicked by some downhill racers. They where drifting these cruiser bikes around the corner that I didn’t even think was possible.

OK last question then I’ll let you go ride your bikes. Families – jobs – passions outside of riding. Any bucket list things you’d love to do (on a bike or otherwise?)

I am married one and Conor is the bachelor. We both still live together and my wife always said when she married me she was always going to be the third wheel. Not true, but just shows you how close we are. We have traveled across the world with our bikes to race but one day it would be nice to travel the world and not have to focus on a race. When you get to travel new places for a race you just want to go check out the town but we were unable to most of the time because we had to focus on the job at hand and be ready to race.

I hear you there my friend! “If I’m taking my bike, then it’s not ‘really’ vacation.”

Well  props to you both for showing us all how to maintain passion in our sport of choice and keep winning beyond your professional years. The Ginger Duo just gained a few new fans. Best of luck & keep enjoying the ride!