Sunday, July 17, 2011
Trent Klasna- Flahute to Farmer
On our way back from the Sierra Buttes we stopped by to visit my friend and former teammate Trent Klasna in Cool, Ca. The last time I saw Trent was at the San Francisco Grande Prix when he chipped Lance on the last lap. Lance and George knew he was the strongest rider that day.
When I raced with Trent in 94' he was hyper focused on obtaining his goal of landing a pro contract. He not only obtained his goal, but this big Flahute (cycling bad-ass) won just about every major race in the United States. It was not just his cycling talent that caught folks attention it was his infectious attitude and the fact that he was a consummate joker. He is not doing any riding these days, as a matter of fact he has not peddled a bike since his final race in the SF Grand Prix in September of 2005.
Over the last few years his focus has been on farming. From the moment you step foot on his farm, you can tell that he still has that contagious energy. During our two hour visit, he had a dozen or so customers and friends stop by to check on the status of his vegetables especially his tomatoes which he said, "are running a little late this year". One guy stopped by just to see if he needed any parts for his tractor taken into town. The community of Cool has obviously claimed him as their own.
He made us feel welcome and took time out of his day to explain what the farm was all about. He said that farming is way harder than cycling and that this time of year he has to get up in the middle of the night to water certain plants. His dedication to the farm rivals his former profession.
Olive never met a weed that she did not like to pull so Trent put us to work pulling weeds and Olive thought it was the greatest job in the world. He no longer talks about cycling and races he now talks about soil, water, air temperature, GMO foods, eating locally and community based services. He said that he was simply "making it up as I go" however, he was explaining to us chapter and verse details on all the processes of the farm.
I love to see former cycling stars who have made that crucial transition back into a healthy civilian life. Trent has made that transition and I think his humble attitude has everything to do with it. This is a guy who raced in the World Road Race Championships and is now happy to share his farm with a 7 year old.
On our way out of town we stopped by the local Volero Gas Station for some water and chewing gum. A guy named Bill was working the counter and asked where we were headed we told him that we were just at the 49er Farm and he said, "Oh are you friends with Trent? You know he won't sign autographs anymore". He told us that everyone in Cool knows Trent and that he welcomes visitors to the farm as long as you, "don't step on his rows!". He has carved out another cool niche for himself and we plan on visiting again - maybe we can even get him on a bike and not the Chinese one that is leaning against a tree rusting away at his farm (that was a souvenir he brought back from the Tour of China).
For the record- Trent invented the original supertuck
Thanks again Trent aka T-Bone & TMFK