I have a passion for bicycles. Owning them, riding them, fixing them, talking about them, and helping others enjoy their own experience with them. I spent many a day as a kid riding my bike, a Redline BMX with cool Mag wheels, to my friend’s house or down to the river with my fishing stuff in one hand, or anywhere else I needed to go. On the weekends I’d strap a number on it and a helmet on me and head to the local dirt track to try and beat my friends or win a trophy. I’d been known, by my mom especially, who’d have to patch me up, to try and jump over large objects and distances too. Evil Knievel style.
In middle school I discovered my love for the road. Glimpses of the international world of cycling would come via magazines or the occasional mention on the evening news (no, no Google back then.) I was amazed by the likes of the “superheros” of the sport. Eddy Merckx. Laurent Fignon. Bernard Hinault. And some American would dare to race in Europe, Greg LeMond. These guys were tough, fit and fast. I just wasn’t into the silly headbands they wore in the 80’s though. This coming from a guy who thought he looked good in parachute pants and pink tee shirts (we won’t even talk about the Miami Vice look.)
I finally saved up enough to buy my first, race worthy, road bike. I bought it at this little shop in town from a guy named Kevin Babcock. Babcock Bikes was the name of the shop and the place was filled with amazing stuff, including fancy, European bikes like Colnago and De Rosa, but I could just about afford my Ross Centaur. Hey it was the 80’s so yes, it was grey and pink. I rode that thing all over the place. I visited many a girlfriend’s house on that bike. Oh, yes, and I raced it too.
In the following years things like work, girls, college, military service and money got in the way of riding a whole lot. I discovered Mountain Biking and tried to balance my love for all things outdoors. One thing never changed, my love for the sport of cycling.
I was inspired again by some guy from Plano, Texas named Lance Armstrong. Not only was he a historical figure in cycling, but I was amazed by his fight back from cancer and his consistent effort to raise his level of philanthropic involvement.
Some people love baseball or basketball or hockey. They know all the players names. They can’t wait for the World Series or the Stanley Cup. I can’t wait to watch the “Tour” every year. The Tour de France is my Superbowl. Three weeks in July is my World Series. The riders, the bikes, the gear, the strategy, the mountains. Can’t get enough of it.
My name is Chris Olds. I am a USA Cycling Certified Coach, a New York State Licensed Guide, and a nut about bikes. I hope to share with you, my reader, important facts, techniques and strategies to make you a better cyclist. Mountain, Road, CycloCross, Track, Downhill. Any level, any ability.
Keep Your Line,