PAA Racer of the month – Torsten Zorn



March 201

PAA’s fantastic 2014 race season continued in March. This month marked the start of the cross country mountain bike racing season and it is apt therefore that this month’s PAA Racer of the Month is Torsten Zorn. Torsten seamlessly blended dirt and tarmac to record two podiums (MTB) and one top five (UCLA Road Race), and unfortunately flatted while in the lead in another mountain bike race.We asked him a few questions to try and get to know him better.


Nickname? The Bear (For my hairy legs)


Who/what inspired you to start cycling?

My Dad. When I was little he would organize “Bike Safety Days” around the local elementary schools for the Optimist Club.

First bike? Huffy


Childhood hero? Rodney Mullen – commitment to a sport bordering on the insane.


What do you love most about cycling? I love its efficiency. At its core, the bike is such an elegant machine. It feels good to commute without the need for a motor and also reap the benefits for your mind and body. 


Favorite race? So far, Kenda Cup at Santa Ynez, CA. Just a beautiful course with bermed-out rolling single track through the green pastures of California’s wine country. For road races, I’d say the Boulevard Road Race outside of San Diego. Lots for teammates and swooping road through boulders in the high desert.


Favorite ride? Right now, GMR to Glendora Ridge Mountain Road. Just feels like the Alps with lots of time at elevation and thin roads with stark sheer drop-offs.


How do you keep going when you are on the limit? Its pretty dark but I try and image my family is going to get killed if I don’t hit my goal at the moment. That’ll keep you going!


Racing career highlight? Probably my 5th place finish at UCLA road race. I’ve placed better at other races but this one was special because the competition was especially stiff and I felt like I ran a great race strategically.


Job away from cycling? Robotics engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Mostly motor control for Mars Rovers but I work on other satellite projects in between.


Other interests? Surfing, writing/producing music, home improvement projects.


Favorite film? Shawshank Redemption


Favorite music? Right now I’ve been pretty into the new “Beck” album. Nice way to relax in the car after a race.


Favorite food? Powerbar strawberry/banana GU shots


Most famous person you’ve met? Buzz Aldrin


Best Advice? “Attack when it hurts, because you know you are going to get away” – Eddie Merckx


PAA’s Racer of the Month award is voted for by PAA’s racers.