I’m hoping that this will be the first in a series of rider profiles. Occasionally getting to know one of our fellow riders a little bit more beyond the bike. I had a great time doing it and hopefully you guys will enjoy reading it. So thank you to Sealey for being the first. Let me know what you guys think and who you think should be next.
What do you do for work?
I am the Odd Job Man, I’m a contractor, I have a little contracting business, I do kitchens and bathrooms and odd jobs.
Where are you from? and what brought you to the Upper Valley?
I was born in a mining town in the middle of England in 1945, that was a long time ago. I first came to the states to play music back in the late sixties you could, I guess call me a failed musician. I started playing guitar when I was about twelve and I’m no better now than I was then. but I came back and forth and back and forth eventually my father emigrated to the U.S. and I piggy backed on him and came, so I’ve been here now, thirty-five years. And what brought me to the Upper Valley if you can believe it I actually went to Dartmouth College to get my Masters degree and here I’ve stayed.
How long have you been riding?
Ever since I was a tiny boy.
Do you remember your first bike?
I do and I remember my first bicycle ride. My father had made seat that he bolted to his crossbar I must have been two and I remember the feeling vividly of going down hill I just wanted to go faster and faster, and I’ve never gotten off my bike in all these years, never.
What is your favorite bike you are currently riding?
Ahh… I’d have to say my Guru I love, love that bike. It fits me, its light, it’s fast, at least that’s relative I guess but I really like it. Plus I also have a vintage bike I ride a lot that I really love its a Joe Waugh. He was an English professional bike racer, never did the Tour de France but won a bunch of one day races in Europe, was a European champion in the sixties and he transitioned from racing to riding. And I actually have the bike that used to belong to the only american to win the Giro d’Italia, Andy Hampstead it was his bike, I did not know him, but Andy gave the bike to a friend of his that lived in Santa Fe and when I lived there this guy put the bike in the paper, advertised it as a Joe Waugh and I ran up there and bought it and then he told me the story but you know I can’t prove it I don’t have the paper work. But I love the bike its a beautiful bike I upgraded it to Campagnolo 8 speed from the original Dura-Ace but I do have the original stuff that I’ll but back on it at some point.
What is your best riding memory?
You know when I was young from the age of fourteen and upwards my friend Stephen Essex and I, the day school got out would back our stuff up throw it in the saddle bag and head we went all over England, all over Wales, all over Scotland. When we got to be fifteen we’d go to Europe and we were gone all summer, all summer. And I remember one day we were in the Alps and we stopped in this little cafe in the morning to get breakfast and we got talking to this truck driver (in bad french) and he asked us where we were going we told him and said goodbye and set off, and we stop for lunch and in comes this same truck driver and he could not believe we’d covered the same distance as he had, ha I remember it quite vividly. But you know being a sort a poser I fondly remember the races I’ve won it’s a great feeling even at the lowly ranks that I race in its still really, really fun I remember when I was kid I won a race I was about seventeen I guess and it was great, it was great.
If you could ride anywhere in the World where would you want to ride?
You know that’s a very good question, I guess with sort of the exotic climbs I’d like to ride in China I think that would be pretty cool, I’ve never been to China but it would be fun to ride there.
What is it about riding that keeps getting you back in the saddle?
I think its that feeling that never ever goes away, if you struggle up a hill and you fly down the other side the exhilaration in that feeling knowing that A. you’ve earned it and B. there’s a slight element of risk in it, it brings me back to that first ride on my fathers crossbar it’s the same sort of feeling and I will never get off the bike, never, I’ll ride until I can’t move I believe it’s a sport you can do until the day you die I think its invigorating I think it’s it gives a kind of sense of self. But you know like they say the bicycle gives you freedom.
What’s your favorite post ride beverage?
Ha, oh I don’t know water I guess I don’t really have one, haha but I’m not a big beer drinker I like to have a beer but I’m not much of a big drinker.
Besides bikes what are you into?
My Ducati, model airplanes, model railroads, I like to play soccer I don’t play much now cause I cant run but I like toys, music.
What’s your favorite kind of music?
I’m a sucker for old school punk I guess my favorite band is Ian Durry and The Blockheads, yeah I do like old school punk.
Any parting thoughts about riding?
I think the whole thing about the bike thing it hss become a sort of bike messenger ethos, that kind of single speed, fixie kind of in your face kind of thing is not the direction I think biking should be going in it needs to be more all encompassing I mean its a perfect form of transport, you know I spent some time in Africa and you see people in Africa riding these sixty pound behemoths and they ride them sixty miles to market and then ride it home with a bunch of firewood and vegetables balanced on them. its amazing , we’re forgetting that its a great mode of transportation. and also I think one of the things I’ve done in my life is that you go for a ride with somebody and it’s not a ride, it’s a hammer fest. And I have learned in my old age to kind of slow down and look at the view and enjoy the company of the person you’re riding with rather than going a hundred miles an hour. I think that’s we need to look at that a little bit more and be a little bit more inclusive with people and encourage them. That’s why I love to race at Claremont cause those young kids come, its really fun to encourage those kids and you know it’s fun to see if you can beat them that’s for sure. But you know look at the people who’ve come through there, it’s been amazing and they’re great kids.