'The Lance Armstrong of Mountain View'

Cancer survivor David Trousdale pedals his way to glory in Senior Games

Earlier this summer, a cancer survivor cycled past the competition and finished high on the podium. No, not Lance Armstrong. This cyclist was Mountain View resident David Trousdale, and his podium finish was not at the Tour de France, but the California Senior Games.

Though Armstrong's third place finish enthralled many, Trousdale placed much higher on his podium. He placed first in the 5-kilometer time trial and in the 20K and 40K races, and second in the 10K time trial.

Now Trousdale, 65, is bringing those medals to Palo Alto to compete in the 2009 Summer National Senior Games.

Despite the obvious comparison to another winning cyclist who survived cancer, Trousdale said Armstrong is not his idol.

"Everybody knows about Lance, but I like to follow other riders," he said.

Trousdale said Fabian Cancellara was a rider he admired and studied. Still, Trousdale's wife, Sherry Symington, is fond of calling her husband "The Lance Armstrong of Mountain View."

Trousdale said he has been riding bicycles his whole life, but it was not until three years ago that he began cycling competitively. In fact, competitive cycling was not even Trousdale's first choice. He initially was going to train to be a sprinter, but his knees began hurting. A sports physician suggested he try cycling, and that was the launch of his cycling career.

Since switching to cycling, Trousdale has been a dedicated competitor. He has competed in the California Senior Games for the past three years and has also participated in the Nevada Senior Games and the Huntsman World Senior Games.

Trousdale trains for 10 to 12 hours each week on his bike, in addition to stretching and strength training. He also combines his physical training with a technological approach, using computers and experimentation to improve his times.

"I have a very sophisticated bicycle computer that collects all kinds of data from my bike, and then I use that and study it to develop my training where my weaknesses are, where my strengths are," Trousdale said.

Trousdale uses his bicycle's computer to measure the amount of force he applies against the wind, which he analyzes to improve his aerodynamics. He said that 85 percent of a cyclist's effort is fighting wind resistance. Thus, slight improvements to his aerodynamics can greatly decrease his energy exertion.

The 2009 National Senior Games will be Trousdale's first, so he enters it with two simple goals: "to have a good time" and "to do my best." Trousdale said he has spent most of his time training and has made his top priority the 5K time trial.

"I'm hoping I do really well in the 5K. That's where I'm really going to go all-out," he said.

Despite being 65 years old, Trousdale insists he has not reached his prime in cycling yet.

"I'm improving," he said. "I'm told for this type of sport, endurance sports, that it takes five years to reach your prime."

With three years of competitive cycling under his belt, that would put Trousdale at his prime in the 2011 National Senior Games.

"I seem to do personal bests each time," Trousdale said. "When I do the same course, my times continue to get better, so I don't think I've reached my prime yet."


Like this comment
Posted by Mr Advice
a resident of Blossom Valley
on Aug 4, 2009 at 8:36 pm

Watch out for sleepy sheriff drivers.

Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Aug 4, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Mr. Trousdale,
You're an inspiration.
Congrats on all you've accomplished!!!!

Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Food Party! 420
By Laura Stec | 7 comments | 1,953 views

What Are Your Gifts that Must Be Shared?
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 986 views


Best Of Mountain View ballot is here

It's time to decide what local business is worthy of the title "Best Of Mountain View" — and you get to decide! Cast your ballot online. Voting ends May 29th. Stay tuned for the results in the July 21st issue of the Mountain View Voice.