Show #544 – February 27, 2021

Guests: Elizabeth McGowan; Rob DeMartini

This week, we meet journalist and long-distance cyclist Elizabeth McGowan.

In addition to her work – she’s a Pulitzer prize winning journalist – she’s also an ardent adventurer and a cancer survivor.

I found her to be one of the most articulate, interesting, and candid people I’ve spoken with over the many hundreds – nope thousands – of interviews on the show.

Yes she wrote a book – a really good one about her cross-country bike tour. But, it was her reasons for taking the trip and then teasing out the whys that became the real story.

Elizabeth fought melanoma for many years. Her father died from the disease at the age of 44. Some of the treatments Elizabeth experienced were experimental – all were brutal. So, when she received her 5-year clean bill of health, she decided to celebrate with a cross-country bike tour.

Her book, Outpedaling the Big C is the telling of the story of that trip.

Then, I welcome USA Cycling’s CEO Rob DeMartini back to the show. Rob wanted an opportunity to respond to some of the comments that George Mount made on the show two weeks ago.

According to Rob, George’s assumptions were based upon outdated knowledge of the organization and Rob DeMartini l wanted to offer a more current explanation of how the organization works.

So… equal time…

Show #542 – February 13, 2021

Guests: George Mount; Cory Greenberg

Hello and welcome to TOC. I’m your host Diane Jenks and this is our show for February 13th, 2021. Happy Valentine’s Day!

First of course, is Radiothon! Our once-a-year big fundraiser for WJCU.  The website opened Friday, FEbruary 12th and we are counting on you to help us reach our goal of $50K for this year’s Come Together for WJCU 2021 radiothon..

Even if you don’t live in the NE Ohio area or listen to WJCU – 88.7FM on a regular basis, you are listening to this podcast and without WJCU, I’m not sure where I’d be! The college hosts the Outspoken Cyclist show as well as great original programming all week long!

OUR SHOW THIS WEEK…

My first guest is not new to TOC, he is ex-pro and Bicycle Hall of Fame inductee and way way more, George Mount.  When you want the truth about anything in the bicycle racing world – just ask George! He has much to say about the state of cycling in the U.S. and he says it in a clear and informed way.

In addition to his incredible achievements – a pro racing career, George was the first American to break into European Road Racing.

Back in 2013, when we last spoke with George Mount, he was still living in northern California and was giving us the inside scoop on the bicycle hall of fame.

Fast forward to today and George is now living the “serene” retired life in Oregon and working on a book about bicycling in Northern California back in the day.

He hasn’t lost any of his passion for the sport and has some very insightful commentary about USA Cycling. He really wants to see fundamental changes inside the organization and its boards of directors. Boards? As in plural?

Our second guest is no less passionate about bicycles and racing, only his approach is from a very different perspective.

Did you know that 1.3% or upwards of 3 million people in the U.S. were reported as being diagnosed with IBD – either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn’s Disease in a 2015 study? The disease is not only debilitating, it can also be embarrassing and scary.

Cory Greenberg, now in his early 30’s, found out about IBD and specifically ulteractive colitis while racing on a U23 team about 10 years ago. As many young people who believe that “it will just go away on its own” sometimes like to believe, he began experiencing the pain, inflammation, and accompanying symptoms of what eventually flared into full-blown ulcerative colitis, forcing him off his bike and into the hospital.

His approach to healing accompanied by his commitment to his sport have brought him two major achievements – so far – remission and a pro racing career. Today, we’ll hear his story.

 

 

Show #533 – December 19, 2020

Guests: Gary Fisher; Rob DeMartini

As promised, Gary Fisher is back to talk about his new book, Being Gary Fisher And The Bicycle Revolution well, we SORT of talk about it. Let me explain.

There is no one quite like Gary Fisher – and from the time he was a little boy, he’s marched to the beat of his own drum.

He says his new book, Being Gary Fisher – And The Bicycle Revolution – isn’t a memoir; rather a collection of stories and ideas.

If you remember the original “Whole Earth Catalog,” – a loose compilation of all sorts of things hip and natural – it’s kind of like that… only in full, explosive color, teeming with photos and commentary, with the bicycle stitching it all together.

The conversation shoots off in a variety of directions – sometimes seemingly disconnected; but, he always comes back to the bicycle – for what it is, what it does, and what it can portend for the future. In fact, after you hear this and read the book, it will all become very clear!

After our break we head to Colorado Springs.

There was a lot of twisting and shouting about the new Olympic Development Academy, a program USA Cycling is rolling out for 2021. When a Velo News article appeared about the ODA, social media lit up like it was 4th of July.

Aimed at finding and training young riders, 16 and up, in the hopes of drawing in a more diverse body of talent, the fact that there is a price tag attached to the program seemed to upset a lot of people. I think you’ll understand it a lot better from the source.

I wanted to hear about it straight from the source, so I rang up USA Cycling’s CEO Rob DeMartini to give us the low down on the program and what he and the organization is hoping it means for the future.

Show #524 – October 17, 2020

Guests: Rob DeMartini; Tia Martinson; Ben Serotta

We turn to racing this week with a keen eye to the future. Rob DeMartini, the new CEO of USA Cycling, didn’t come from a cycling background and brings what I believe will be a fresh and welcoming approach to a national organization that we all can and might finally want to embrace.

From his forward thinking about the 2021 Olympics to every day riders being proud to display a USACycling sticker on their cars, Rob is asking that we take another look at what bicycles mean to us here in the U.S.

Then, as many long time listeners know, as we approach the holidays, I like to speak with non-profits that are doing really important and heartfelt work with an eye toward the giving season.

This week, it’s FreeBikes4Kidz Minnesota. A couple of weeks ago, Allina Health, which is a not-for-profit health care system based in Minneapolis, Minnesota and owns or operates 12 hospitals and more than 90 clinics throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin as well as employing over 27,000 people, and which sponsors FreeBikes4Kidz collected 7,000 bikes in a one-day effort. 7,000!

Tia Martinson, Executive Director of Free Bikes 4Kidz joins me to talk about the organization and how you process what is more than 10,000 bikes in total for the holidays.

Finally, and as promised, it’s a check-in chat with Ben Serotta – the iconic frame builder talks about what people are asking for from him, his thoughts on how the pandemic has affected cycling – not all for the bad – and what the future might hold.

Show #508 – June 24, 2020

Guests: Clara Honsinger; Paul Berger; “Doc” Wilson

I apologize for the lack of a show last weekend. BUT, I’m hoping this episode will make up for it. I think it has a lot of meaty stuff for you.

First, and as promised a couple of weeks ago, is my conversation with our National Cyclocross Champion, Clara Honsinger. Standing on top of the podium with her family watching and cheering last December, Clara toppled Katie Compton, who had held that honor for 15 years!

Clara and I chat about the race, the bikes, her education, and some advice she would give someone who wants to be “just like her.”

 

Then, Paul Berger, a transportation journalist from the Wall Street Journal, talks with me about his June 17th article titled NYC Proposal Would Vastly Expand Protected Bike Lanes.” But, it was his twitter comment that grabbed my attention when he wrote “Will the new mayor have the will to confront all of the opposition this will en¬counter?”

Lastly, in the midst of all the demonstrations, conversations about social injustice, and with lines being drawn in the sand about Black Lives Matter, Police Restructuring, Economic and health impacts on POC, we meet Reginald “Doc” Wilson.

In a refreshingly optimistic conversation, Doc introduces us to his idea – a new movement as he calls it – the Peace Peloton. It’s so simple – and yet, so effective, that on his FIRST ride 3 weeks ago, 300+ people showed up to ride some miles, eat some food, hear Black owned business owners talk about their work, and just have a good time.
Now other cities are clamoring to replicate it.

Show #499 – April 11, 2020

Guests: Mari Holden; Beppe Salerno & Heather Dowd

 

It’s been several years since I first contacted my first guest – Mari Holden. And, it took our stay-at-home orders to have her light in one place long enough to find time to chat with me.

Mari is a multiple time national champion, a world champion, has been inducted into the Bicycle Hall of Fame,  and is an Olympic champion, winning the silver medal at the games in Sydney in 2000 . She’s gutsy, smart, and takes her roles in whatever she is doing seriously. Today, she is sidelined while USA Cycling is trying to get everyone back to work, where she is the women’s road coach.

 

Then, we’ll check back in with Beppe Salerno and Heather Dowd, the husband and wife team that owns Tourissimo Travel Tours out of Italy.

First, Beppe fills us in on the situation on the ground in Italy, where is family lives and Beppe . Then, he and Heather talk about the now shortened 2020 tour season and why cycle touring is so important today.

shoe #437 – January 26, 2019

Guests: Steve Frothingham; Sean Petty

Frigid air, ice and snow, and thoughts begin to wander towards spring and getting off the trainer and back outdoors.

So, I thought I would give you a little history this week with an extended conversation with Sean Petty.

Beginning in 1985 when Sean joined the Southland Corporation (think Team Seven Eleven) and became part of that era of great American competitive cycling with the likes of Greg LeMond, Davis Phinney, and Andy Hampsten and up until today where he still serves on the boards of USA Cycling and the UCI, he maintains a remarkable and unique perspective about our sport.

We start our conversation way back at the beginning of his career and bring it right up to the present day where his obvious love of the sport will see the first all-women’s UCI pro race here in the States this summer.

Before we get to Sean’s interview though, I thought it was important to bring Steve FrothinghamBicycle Retailer & Industry News‘ editor on to talk about how the government shutdown is affecting the bicycle industry and perhaps you.

The CPSC – consumer products safety commission – is running on a skeleton crew and there are two bicycle recalls that have not been issued because of the shutdown. Steve will tell us about those recalls and what else might be happening with the lack of government oversight

Show #436 – January 19, 2019

Guests: Joan Hanscom; Chris VandenBossche; Frank Moritz

Hunkering down in the “big storm”?  Well, curl up with your favorite adult beverage for this week’s podcast!

Joan Hanscom has a long and storied history in the world and work of cycling – and her passion is bike racing as a planner, not a participant.

As she moved through her career, she kept coming back to her time with the Philadelphia Classic races back in the 80’s and the excitement of watching them unfold.

Fast-forwarding to today, Joan is the new Executive Director of the Valley Preferred Cycling Center – although most people will recognize the name T-Town – and her hopes and visions for this iconic track will become abundantly clear in our conversation

Now entering its 45th year, the Amishland & Lakes Bicycle Tour is a weekend of beautiful roads, great food, and great support. Ride Director Chris VandenBossche and I talk all about it when he joins me a bit later in the show.

Taking the Adventure Cycling’s TransAm Cross Country 93 day ride and cutting out 14 days with the Eastern Express route, not only shortens the time, but makes the ride much more palatable to a wider range of riders.

Frank Moritz is the creator of the new route and explains how and why he devoted almost two years to developing it.

Show #286 – February 20, 2016

Guests: USA Cycling’s Derek Bouchard-Hall; The Boston Bike Party

When USA Cycling went looking for a new CEO, they recruited a powerhouse in the form of Derek Bouchard-Hall.

Derek is a former pro cyclist, has degrees from Harvard, Princeton, and Stanford. He’s worked for Wiggle UK, the world’s largest on line cycling retailer, and brings a fresh perspective to what USA Cycling needs as the sport tries to regain some esteem, credibility, and balance.

My lengthy interview with Derek covers a wide range of topics and makes for a fascinating conversation.

We then lighten it up with two young and enthusiastic cyclists from the Boston Bike Party.

Every month, a group of riders invites the community to come and ride – in costume, with music, and ending up with food and drink. Greg and Aleta tell us all about it in the second half of the show.

So – sit back and enjoy my conversation with USA Cycling’s CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall.

Show #154 – August 3, 2013

GUESTS: GEORGE THOMAS, SEAN PETTY

 

Here we stand at the intersection of July and August, and I can see the light in the opposite direction has gone from green to yellow, which means it’s time to get a foot clipped in and be ready to push off on green. It also means there are just two months left for U.S. cyclists to log miles for the National Bike Challenge. Rolling!

If you need a bit of inspiration to get you moving, here’s much more than a bit: George Thomas joins us this week for the first half of the show. George is a solo and team Race Across America finisher, director of the Race Across Oregon, and host and producer at Over the Top Productions. But his story is much deeper than those accomplishments. After being hit by a drunk driver, he had to learn how to walk again, and then overcome debilitating seizures before he could become an ultracycling legend.

After a break and a trip through the week’s news, Diane is joined by Sean Petty, Chief Operating Officer of USA Cycling, to talk about the USA Pro Challenge, which is coming up August 19-25 in Colorado. The 2013 Pro Challenge will feature top pro teams and riders, including, it appears, TdF winner Chris Froome and Richie Porte of Team Sky!