Casey the rider
From issue 76 • Images by Scott Foreman
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As professional golfer Paul Casey celebrated on the 18th green at the Valspar Championship this past March, having just bested Patrick Reed, Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia for the win, it’s possible that a long bike ride was on his mind. And it turns out that the No. 21-ranked player in the world is serious about bikes and, in particular, his Pinarello Dogma F8. Born in Cheltenham, England, and now a resident of Scottsdale, Arizona (he played college golf at ASU), Casey makes cycling a part of his routine and his preparation for the PGA Tour.
We heard you travel with a Pinarello F8 on hand so you can ride on tournament weeks, is that the case? This is true. This is a strong rumor. It’s actually not out this year, but previous seasons it has been on the road, yeah. I put a bike with the luggage service and just get riding in whenever I can. It is a Pinarello in a travel case. Why not? It’s my passion away from golf.
How long have you been riding? I rode bikes when I was a kid. It was my only form of transport, and my freedom—it was the opportunity to get as far away from the parents’ house as possible! And then it was bikes through college. I never had a car when I was in college—couldn’t afford one. Got into mountain biking straight after college, basically. Bikes have always played a role in my life.
What is your go-to ride in Scottsdale? I ride a lot out of a bicycle shop in Scottsdale called Bicycle Haüs. Kale Keltz is the owner down there. There are lots of very good riders and some very big serious rides, which sometimes get a bit much for me when I’m out of shape. So I like Casual Wednesdays because they’re exactly…what’s described. Ends up only being about four or five of us on a Casual Wednesday, which is not a big leap; we’re only out for about three hours.
Have you traveled at all with your bike in Italy or France and done any iconic rides? Yes, Johnny, my caddie, is actually a massive, everything-France fan, especially the wine. He knows all the French climbs and all the iconic French rides better than I do. I’ve done a lot in Italy. Last summer I was with a group called InGamba. We did seven days just off the foot of the Dolomites, started in Verona and ended up in the Dolomites. So many great climbs. I need to hit the French stuff. I want to do Ventoux and Alpe d’Huez. Those are the two that I’d love to climb. And I’d actually love to ride Paris–Roubaix. I’d love to ride the cobblestones, the pavé, with Paris–Roubaix, because that’s a tough-man’s race. That’s 263 kilometers or something.
Any other professional golfers that you get a chance to ride with? No, but there’s one very good rider on Tour, and that’s Camilo Villegas, who rides more than I do. Camilo is a climber. I’m more of a sprinter, just based on body types! Camilo is very good.
You probably just answered this, talking about France, but do you have a bucket-list ride or climb that you haven’t done yet? Yes, so the rides I mentioned and especially Ventoux, because it’s Ventoux. Tom Simpson died on the mountain and I’d like to pay my respects to him. A friend of ours, Eros Poli, also won a stage of the Tour de France on Ventoux. He was a legend there.
Follow Paul Casey at @paul_caseygolf. (Special thanks to Joel Schuchmann of the PGA Tour for help with this interview)
From issue 76. Buy it here.