Beyond Limits | Part 1 - The Caleb Cline Story

DB
posted by Dimarco Barea
January 23, 2023
I started riding competitively doing triathlons while I was on Active Duty in the Army and training to try out for the World Class Athlete Program where Olympic hopefuls move to Colorado Springs and train at the Olympic Training Center. My goal was and still remains to represent our great country on the World Stage, but when my back injury flared to the point where I received my medical discharge from the Army, I thought all hope was lost. I couldn't ride an upright TT bike for sure anymore and my attempt to change body position and ride a road bike also came to a screeching halt when a Project Hero ride was only finished because the last 20 miles were downhill and I barely had to pedal. Needless to say, I had given up on any future hopes of ever riding again. This was Veterans Day 2019.

 

About a month after, I attended a Wound Warrior Project Solider Ride where they introduced me to recumbent trikes and for me the rest is history.  Then through the VA during COVID I received my first trike and within two weeks had already decided I wanted to ride across the country not realizing that RAAM was a sanctioned race and that you had to qualify for that. I knew nothing about Ultra Cycling, I just knew that I had finally found something that made me feel alive again and that my injuries and problems were not going to define my life anymore.

After attempting to sign up for RAAM, I found out I had to qualify, so I called Rob Panzera who at the time owned Silver State 508 and with 6 weeks of training, who showed up having never in my entire cycling career ridden over 120 miles in a single day. I surely had no idea what I was doing and that became very apparent when I had a major mechanical malfunction if it wasn't for the help of Rich Staley and Great Basin Bicycles I wouldn't have been able to get the trike moving again, their team stopped racing and gave up the lead to help me keep pedaling another 150 miles before I again made a rookie mechanical mistake and stopped pedaling all together at about 305 miles if memory serves me, through that DNF however I was connected with the right people who saw I had what it would take to make it in this sport and just needed a lot of guidance, coaching, and the proper equipment.

From that point I DNF'd NCOM 375 with a crew who almost ran me over twice from falling asleep, I finished, but failed to qualify for RAAM with a 24 Hour Indoor ride pedaling 375.1 miles, but earned my first 24-Hour World Championship Title, later that year. I also earned my 6-Hour World Championship Title at 119 miles and then I completed LotoJa as the first Recumbent Trike in the history of the race to ride that. I have since completed 2x24 Hour World Championships and 6-Hour Worlds, LotoJa again and in April of 2022, I earned 10 World Records for Riding 24 Hours near my home in Las Vegas, NV.

 I am frankly sick and tired of people viewing me as a disabled Veteran. I'm not buying into that title anymore. Everyone has problems and challenges in life, and we face some of them every day, but we have to hold ourselves accountable to control what we can control and continually keep showing up and giving our best each and every day, bottom line. No excuses, no regrets. I want to show people, but especially the Veteran Community that life is just beginning upon exiting the service, it may just look a lot different than it did while wearing a uniform, but it is far from over.

Caleb Cline and Caleb Sprayberry, Kogel Collective Ambassadors

 

Sprayberry and I met around the time I was setting my World Records really through a total fluke. The local news network ran my story about riding for 24 Hours and someone thought it was him, they reached out to him and he said that it wasn't, but he then found me on social media and we became instant best friends. We talk every day and trained together as often as possible and when I told him I wanted to start a nonprofit to help represent Veterans compete at the highest level there was no question in my mind he was the first person I wanted to help represent the Rusty Dogs of War. Veterans leave the service Rusty, we don't work physically, mentally, or emotionally at 100% of our capacity, but it's also up to us the individual to let that define our performance or to find ways as we would have in the military to adapt and overcome to complete the mission.

So I invited Sprayberry to compete in 24 Hour World Championships in Borrego and he trained his ass off all year and crushed it, becoming RAAM qualified on his first 24-Hour Race and riding over 430 miles. Proud and humbled at his performance, to say the least. When all is said and done he will have ridden well over 19,000 miles this year. That's more than most put on their personal vehicles!

Caleb Cline Trike with Kolossos Oversized Derailleur Cage

 

Kogel is essential to our success, but I am finding for me personally on the recumbent trike I put a lot more torque through my chain than the average cyclist and my chain length is actually 3 regular bike chains put together. So to maximize power transfer, have the best shifting possible, and consistency and reliability over time, I need Kogel's sturdy and durable Kolossos Derailleur Cage and oversized Pulley Wheels. Since I have upgraded my setup on both my climbing trike and TT Trike I haven't had a single drive train issue, and I have previously broken 2 chains and 3 rear derailleurs from too much power and improper shifting methods.

Also personally I overcome a lot of my mechanical and geometrical disadvantages in the gym so not only do my trikes weigh about 40 pounds each, but I personally weigh 225 lbs. and so I do a ton of leg strength work to ensure when I'm climbing a hill that I can do it in the most effective way possible or if I'm enjoying a nice long flat road that throwing down higher watts and torque through a very unique drive train works in the most effective way every single time without fail. As of this email, I lift legs 5x a week, especially in my off-season and my goal is to reach the 1000-pound club in Squats, Deadlifts, and Bench Press Combined. I am also attempting to match that on the leg press to which I am very close in all of the above lifts.

Caleb Cline - World Record Holder Certificate

 

Caleb Cline's Dream Lineup for 2023

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