Name: Dejay Birtch
Hometown: Tucson, Arizona
Sport: Cycling, Outdoor Adv
Team: Ride for Reading
Bottles: Ride For Reading Benefit Bottle
Dejay, who has been bike racing for 20 years, says that he didn’t choose mountain biking. The sport, he says, chose him. Originally a bike commuter, Dejay was pushed to try out mountain biking by some friends who worked at a local Tucson bike shop. That was the hardest ride he’s ever done, he says. He crashed, he struggled he felt “his heartbeat in his toes,” and experienced the “the binding power of adrenaline” and “the feeling of being close to death many times on that ride.” All of it, he says, cemented him to the sport. “As they say, the rest is history.”
Six years ago Dejay found a way to take his love for cycling and put it to good use with his nonprofit Ride for Reading — a bike delivery service that brings books to children in need across the United States. Today, he rides with the Ride for Reading Polar Bottle Benefit Bottle in his bike cage.