For me, it IS about the bike. The mechanical aspects of the beautiful steeds we ride have always been as important to me as the ride itself. My two wheel adventure really began in 1957 when I started buying French and English cycling components from a distributor in Florida and building “racing” bikes for myself and my friends. I started with English three speed bikes and modified them with drop bars, three piece cranks, riveted leather saddles, and Simplex derailleurs with only a single jockey wheel. We set up a crit style course in our hometown of Knoxville, IA and did a small series of races. I trained by racing cars in block long sprints between stoplights.
While attending Iowa State, I supported myself as a mechanic at the local Honda/Harley dealership. My first motorcycle was a 1948 Indian Chief that I rebuilt. I continued adding to my motorcycle collection and had seven bikes when I married in ’67. Marriage and a growing family took precedence during the ‘70s and ‘80s and my two wheeled collection dwindled to zero.
After a divorce in ’91, I bought a mountain bike and started training again. I raced MTBs locally and regionally until ’97 when I bought a road bike and started racing crits. In ’98 I was encouraged to try a time trial and immediately enjoyed them. I soon discovered that the old European rules of thumb were useless in setting up a TT bike. I received conflicting advice locally which led me to start researching bike fitting. In the ‘90s, Dan Empfield, founder of Quintana Roo, was one of the few people seriously discussing bike Tri/TT fitting online and I started using his FIST protocols to fit myself and friends. After I was lucky enough to win a National Age Group TT Championship in ’03, I became a more popular fitter.