Aria Kiani Races for Team Mikes Bikes p/b equator coffee.  He has been racing well this year, he won the P12 University Road race, the P12 Jackson Historic Downtown Criterium and the Redbull Bay Climb.  He is currently doing some international racing in Trinidad and Tobago.  He lives and trains in Santa Rosa, CA.

Sitting in with Aria Kiani

Q- How long have you been riding, and how were you introduced to cycling?

  • Four years of cycling and three years racing, starting at the age 22.  I was an outgoing runner then I found cycling through my running mate Michael Zanetti, who taught me cycling etiquette.  I picked up racing because I love cycling and just had to race.

Q- What is your best memory on your bike?

  • I had the best time at Levi’s Granfondo 2016.  It was a day filled with surprises and only my will power drove me to finish. That day I got to hang on Andrew Talansky’s wheel up kings ridge, then ride a breakaway with Laurens ten Dam and Ted King, all of us going pretty deep. I didn’t win but I had an exceptional experience.

Q- Tell me about the training ride that cracked you the hardest

  • This is a tough one because I normally try to forget these memories. The toughest training rides by means of feeling were when I was hanging on to Zanetti’s wheel back in 2014.

Q- How has training with a coach changed cycling for you?

  • I can relax harder when it’s an easy day and save energy to build more excitement for the intervals that lie ahead.  Also intervals are hard but having completed so many intervals confidently, I start workouts believing I can get it done.

Q- What is your favorite climb in Sonoma county and why?

  • The climb with the most character has to be Bald Mountain. A climb that shouldn’t have an asphalt single lane road but it does! Getting to the top is an achievement for most, with the final steep dirt section.

Q- What is your favorite type of workout and why?

  • My favorite workouts are also my worst workouts 3×20’s. I like long climbs that I can work myself into. I used to hate these because holding onto power was excruciating. Now these intervals and I are on good terms.

Q- What have you focused on “off the bike” this year that has made a difference in your performance?

  • Nutrition and hydration.

Q- What is your favorite breakfast on a day with a big ride?

  • Oatmeal with oat milk. Eggs and toast coffee.

Q- What is your favorite mid ride gas station snack?

  • Cliff bars and soda.

Q- What was your biggest accomplishment this season?

  • Winning more than just once. I always look for progression and in 2016 I won my first pro race and now for this year I’m at two.

Q- Tell me about your best race where you did not achieve a high placing

  • Definitely green Mountain stage race. On the app gap stage, I had a huge opportunity being in a break for half the race. I found myself solo off the front midway through the race, then was caught by a fresh five man chase group. I couldn’t keep composure and ultimately bonked at the end, losing minutes. I went from a likely podium to 17th and had to dismount my bike 3 times.

Q- If you could sum up your experience with your coach in 5 words, what would they be?

  • Instinctual, flexibility, punctual, experience and insightfulness

To learn more about coaching with Data Driven Athlete and Sam click here.

For a complete archive of blog posts click here.

Sam Bassetti
Associate Coach
Data Driven Athlete

Written by Sam Bassetti

Sam has been racing at the Junior, U23, Elite and Professional levels in the U.S. and Internationally since 2009. Relying on his experience and his degree in Exercise Biology, he currently coaches and trains cyclists for Data Drive Athlete and the Team Swift Junior Development Team out of Santa Rosa, CA.