Burke Swindlehurst racing at Callville Bay Classic. Photo copyright © Brian Hodes/VeloImages, linked from VeloNews.com

After a long career on the road, facing all the ups and downs that come with riding for a professional cycling team, Burke Swindlehurst has now entered a new phase … as a privateer both on the road and dirt; but a privateer with a cause, riding for TeamGive, an organization which works to increase awareness of, and raise funds for, research, treatment, and support of those suffering neurological disease, including Metachromatic Leukodystrophy (MLD) and similar debilitating diseases. He debuted his new one man “team” at the Callville Bay Classic, on the shores of Lake Mead, outside Las Vegas, Nevada.

Burke is a perfect ambassador to represent TeamGive. He is one of Utah’s most widely recognized professional cyclists; he truly loves his profession; and in my experience, unlike many professional athletes, he is incredibly friendly and humble.

Not only did he know who I was before I ever actually met him (and I’m just a cycling fan with a keyboard), and has never failed to say “hi” when I’ve seen him out on the road (generally going in the opposite direction and/or much faster than I am), but he has incredible taste in music. As much as he loves cycling, I think he may love music even more.

Yeah, I sound like a fanboy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I can honestly say that Burke is one of the coolest people I know.

I am truly looking forward to following his results this year, cheering him on to the stage win at Snowbird during this year’s Tour of Utah, and being able to raise a glass and toast him for a job well done at the end of the season.