Category Archives: Personal stuff

This Scotty guy, how does he ride so fast? Should that give me hope or make me depressed?

By this point on our ride, heading into the forest on West Old LaHonda, I'm finally warmed up and ready to go. Too bad it takes a good hour to get to this point!
By this point on our ride, heading into the forest on West Old LaHonda, I’m finally warmed up and ready to go. Too bad it takes a good hour to get to this point!
It’s pretty amazing when you think about it, a bunch of guys in their 60s riding without limits, or at least doing a good job of keeping denial going by continuing to do what they’ve been doing for 20, 30, 40, close to 50 years. I don’t even know when Scotty, who claims to be closer to 70 than 60, started.

Is 60 the new 40? I hope so. It helps to keep that mortality stuff at bay, not to mention thoughts of retirement. My brother and I have owned Chain Reaction for 37 years… if you’d asked me 25 years ago if I’d still be doing this when I’m 60, I would have said (and in fact recall that I did say) yes, I figured maybe 65 or so. If you’d asked me then, if a 60 year old should be happy being able to get up Kings in 28 minutes, yeah, I would have thought that would have been darned fast for someone that age. But this group of people I ride with, not all of them guys (Karen’s in her 50s, which at least makes her a lot younger than me, right?), they still seem to be able to go from the gun, while it takes me a good hour or so of riding before I’m up to full speed. Which means they’re climbing Kings, the first climb of the day, about 20 minutes after I first clip in, quite a bit faster.

But I do get there, and I know I’ll feel better as I go. By the end of the ride I’m feeling really good; back in the day I’d start out feeling really good and be dragging my butt at the end. Thought of in that context, the current version of me seems not quite so bad. Scotty can whip me good on Kings, but slows down later on. Everybody’s different. It’s interesting thinking about how I’ll be at 70. Will endurance still be my biggest strength? How will I fare against other 70 year old cyclists? And, of course, will I have a miniature motor providing a limited degree of assistance so I can keep up with younger hot shots?

Time will tell. It always does.

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Good to be back home for a while!

Shortly after Sunday’s ride, Becky (my daughter and Redwood City Chain Reaction sales manager) hopped on a plane and headed to Madison, Wisconsin, for Trek’s huge dealer show. Huge is a bit of an understatement; they take over the entire Monona Terrace facility on the lake for several days. About 100 of the best & biggest dealers in the country fly in and get a chance to see new product, talk with product managers and learn how to run a better business.

Trek really impressed us this year. The past 10 months in the bike biz have been pretty dreadful, nation-wide, with Shimano posting an 18% decline in sales. Dealers really didn’t know what to expect going in; so many of us are a rent increase away from oblivion. Would Trek try to strong-arm us, tell us it’s their way or the highway? Nope. What Trek did was tell it like it is, that they’re in it for the long haul, that unlike everyone else in the industry they’ve had no layoffs (despite it being a very challenging year), they haven’t cut back on engineering, and basically led by example.

Perhaps most impressive was Trek’s push for safer cycling. Not better roads and bike paths and education, but rather ways to make cyclists more visible and less likely to be in accidents. They commissioned Clemson University to do the first industry study in the field, and believe they (Trek) can make a serious dent in the accident statistics. Some amazing stuff is coming out of that study, things that really can make us all safer on the roads.

They fed us well; too well, in fact. I gain about 3/4 of a pound per day at these things. Not helping was the unexpected upgrade on the Denver-SF segment coming home; I ended up eating two dinners.

It’s good to be home. Riding up Kings, helping customers at the shop, seeing my wife after being gone 4 days.

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