I bumped into Dave about a month back when I dropped into Bike Express one Saturday morning to get some new gloves exchanged as they were de-threading. We got talking about this and that, and discovered a story that I thought you would be interested in, so please enjoy the following discussion with Dace, or Uncle Fester as some know him as.
- How and when did you get started in cycling?
I started when I was about 8 years old, after jumping on a mate’s bike and promptly crashing into a fence buckling the wheel, my dad thought it best I have my own bike to ride. At 18 I discovered cars and girls and did not take up riding again until 1990 when a strangulated hernia stopped me from: indoor and outdoor cricket, weight lifting, roller skating and table tennis. My father in law had 2 bikes lying around and he charged me $20 each. Little did he know what those bikes would lead to!
I started helping out at my local bike shop just holding customers attention until the real sales people could come and serve them, somewhere along the way I became aware I could sell as well as they could. I’ve always considered myself loyal and only ever worked at 2 shops in 26 years ending up at Bicycle Express for the last 16.
- Are you just a roadie, or do you cross over to other disciplines?
I actually started as a mountain biker racing against ridgid’s, and saw the introduction of ‘v’ brakes, disc brakes and duallies. I retired from racing in 2000 following a race at Gawler. I started over thinking my racing and with mountain biking you can’t afford to over think things, riding has to be instinctive and fluid.
Not wanting to stop riding I switched to road riding and touring. Even though I’ve had 3 accidents in the last 16 years I wouldn’t change a thing, although the last one challenged me with a broken pelvis, 3 cracked ribs, cracked sacroiliac and a broken humorous that now has a surgical nail in it. It has taken over twelve months and I am still not riding at the same level, fitness wise.
Over the last 26 years I’ve also been involved in pedal prix and been lucky enough to have meet some great people while watching my children grow up doing it.
- How many bikes do you own and what is your main go to bike?
I have 3 bikes, a flat bar/hybrid that converts to a mountain bike, a roadie that is weapons grade and a bike I never thought I’d have….. a tandem.
- How do you store your bikes?
Because like everyone I have limited space I have a Dual-Touch™ Bike Stand that takes 4 bikes (handy when you have to keep your wife and daughter’s bikes out the road)
My tandem hangs from the ceiling using a pulley system.
- Do you do all your own maintenance or do you use a LBS? If so, which one?
I do a lot of the work myself but the tribe at Bicycle Express are always ready to help, a lot of the time I use the team because while I can do things – they do bike work all day 6 days a week that means they are just so much quicker at it than me. Interestingly though there are things that 26 years’ experience gives you.
- What cycling specific tools do you have in your “bike shed”?
In my shed there is a bike work stand, derailleur trueing tool, cables, lubes, brake pads and cleaners, stationary trainers, a TV DVD player and lots of cleaning tools.
- What is your favourite piece of cycling kit or accessory?
It has to be the Garmin’s – I can remember when speed and cadence were all that was available, with the ease of use, accuracy and myriad of features there are few excuses for not keeping tabs on your progress.
- What do you love about cycling?
Even at an early age a bike represented speed and freedom, time with my mates throwing bikes around like skid kid’s, braking frames and forks. Now it represents speed freedom and time with my mates – some things never change!
- Is there anything that annoys you?
People who steal bikes! They don’t work for them, love them or love riding but they are prepared to take from those who do!
- You’ve had a bit of a health scare a while back, can you tell us little about this and how it impacted on your life in cycling.
December 3, 2011 I was diagnosed with peritonitis after my bowel had ruptured, I was fitted with a colostomy bag and told unless I could meet certain requirements I would not be eligible for a reversal. My wife and I (along with the Doctors) put together a plan to reach the targets and move forward, I rode between each round of surgery getting weaker each time – eventually completing them all and being ‘reconnected’. To my amazement I am still able to ride but my style has changed. Prior to bowel cancer my average cadence was around 75rpm now its more like 95rpm. I am still weak but getting better every day!
- Other than yourself, who is your favourite cyclist?
Cadel Evans – because he was a successful mountain biker when I was racing, and then went on to conquer the heights of world cycling.
My least favourite is Lance Armstrong – because he shattered a belief!
- If you could have dinner with 3 people from the cycling world, who would they be?
Cadel Evans (MTB & Road), Lance Armstrong (Road) & John Tomac (MTB)
- What are your craziest/fondest cycling memories?
Craziest memory – was from a Coast to Coast ride one year, we had just bought the tandem and it was our first challenge ride, the last hill into Victor Harbour we had been passed by many people going up we reached the top our energy reserves just about exhausted I said to my wife ready? Got a tap on the bottom as acknowledgement and I felt her weight on my backpack, we flew past everyone only slowing for some slower bikes passing another rider. There were a number of friends riding that day who queried our pace but with 2 computers on the ”bus” they couldn’t argue.
- What is your favourite post ride coffee/tea spot, and what would you normally buy as a treat?
Exchange coffee shop and the salted chocolate chip cookies are too die for.
- Have you ridden overseas? If so, where? If not, where would it be?
We rode in New Zealand (a kind of little Europe) and would like to ride France and Germany along the Rhine river.
- What is your favourite training route?
Along the Southern expressway and through to Willunga and up the hill.
- What is the biggest cycling lie you have told your partner?
I’m just going out for a short ride – and returning hours later.
- What would you like your partner to buy you for your next birthday?
Ground effects Rock Lobster – you can never have too many.
- Is there a local cycling outfit/company/cycling club/cycling group/person that you would like to plug?
Bicycle Express – we’re not a team, we’re a tribe! I’m treated like family and allowed to be there to make a difference to our customers.
I get excited every Saturday just to be there, and every Saturday I learn something new, not always about bikes but often about life!
- Is there anything else you feel like talking about?
Cycling is such a leveller no matter how much money or how little you’re only as good as each pedal stroke. I only wish more vehicle users would take up riding to have a better understanding of the challenges we riders face every time we go out pulling up and being abusive never placed anyone’s agenda in a better situation.
To all the other riders be they road, bmx, hybrid, or tandem a polite wave or hi never hurts.
Thanks Dave, it was a pleasure chatting with you, and all the best in the Future.
If any Wednesday Legger pops into Bike Express on a Saturday morning, say G’day to Dave, you cant miss him, he’s the Uncle Fester lookalike.