People’s first question is usually, “What does he do for a living?” The answer, quite simply, is nothing. He lives in the house in which he grew up alongside his siblings. It is only himself and his mother living there now, and she is fully supportive of his lifestyle. He makes a few dollars here and there, and saves to the penny. Danny’s ability to not spend money can be downright mind blowing. In every aspect of his life, he is proud of how cheap he can be. He will leave for a 200-mile ride with nothing but a dollar or two worth of fig bars and apples pies from the discount grocery store. He knows every gas station with free water and each park that has a fountain within a hundred mile radius of his house. He runs bike chains until they have at least 15,000 miles on them, and can usually find used ones that are fine for him, along with cassettes that people with higher standards would consider spent. There is a story of Danny piecing together a chain from the links of new chains that people discard. Tires are ridden until they are truly, absolutely worn out with the tube poking through the casing. Danny’s mantra is “Keep the overhead low, and the mileage high.”
Danny has ridden at least 15,000 miles per year since 1980. A few of his higher mileage years were closer to 30,000. With such a long cycling career, he has seen many ups and downs. He has beaten a Tour de France winner in a road race, and he has hit a deer in the dark at 30 miles per hour. He has experienced friends and competitors being killed by cars while riding.
Danny knows that his body is somewhat giving out on him as he gets older, and he makes no secret of it while he talks about his rides.
“I was riding the Deer Lakes course last week and was thinking about my first race. It was the 4/5 race and I got dropped. I came back the next year and soloed away from the 1/2/3 race and won... God damn it! Now I am slow again!”
After being dropped by the younger, faster guys on a climb he has bridged back up and proclaimed, “I used to eat guys like you for breakfast.”
And he is right. Some of Danny’s results were incredible. A 54 minute 40k time trial with zero aero equipment and 3 turnarounds, a first place at the Mt. Evans junior hill climb, which earned him an invitation to the Olympic training center, and a top ten at the famous USPRO cycling championship are all amazing results, along with the aforementioned two RAAM wins.
It must be hard trying to stay in a sport that almost requires you to stay young. Many of the people Danny raced alongside during the 1980’s have put their bicycles away and not touched them since. They quit while they were on top of the sport. Danny’s good friend at the time, Matt Eaton, is still the only American to have ever won the