I was the last pro in Canada to run flat pedals. I said I would quit racing before I would run clipless pedals and I did exactly that. Now clipless pedals help you pedal faster but that’s about it. Riders learn better bike handling skills using flat pedals and they are safer too. I hope the rumours are true and they ban younger racers from using clips.
Lastly riding with flat pedals is a million times more stylish which in my books counts for a whole lot. My favourite riders Mike King, Darrell Young and Christophe Levesque were as smooth as they were fast. A shout out to Gerry Erickson and Scott “the Natural” Matual, two guys I raced against that had great style. My boys JG Garonzik and Johnny Stewart have great style too, I listened to a lot of great music with those dudes. I could go on and on but I’ll stop with two of the original pro’s in Canada, Jack Hutton and Pete Zablotny. Both fast, smooth and were larger than life to me when I was a youngster.
Now every dog has it’s day and mine came to an end in 2000. It takes tremendous inner strength to push yourself to reach the top and even more strength to stay there. Physically and emotionally I was done. The racing I still enjoyed but it was all the training and travelling I grew tired of. I had a lot of fun and made some lifelong friends. I walked away with no regrets.
I couldn’t tell you how many race bikes I’ve had over the years but in the end I’m down to just this one. My good mates Darcy Saccucci, Jamie McIntosh and Jay Miron used to own Macneil Bikes and TenPack distribution, most of this bike came out of their warehouse with the brands they carried. I’m extremely proud of my Saskatoon brethren Darcy Saccucci for pushing the envelope and creating quality products for Basic Bikes and the Macneil brand. His pivotal seat design for instance was a stroke of genius.
Acquired after my retirement this bike hasn’t seen any race action but it has seen plenty of dirt. I love the way it rides! One carry over though is my gold S&M Challenger stem which I ran on several of my previous race bikes. It’s super cool to have an emotional connection to a bike part through shared experiences together. I won a lot of races running that stem but it’s all the good times riding trails that really stick with me.
Influenced by the Dead Milkman song and my dad’s long list of his own Bitchin’ Camaro’s I was drawn to this frame. The Fat Bald Men (FBM) brand name cracks me up too! And just to be different I had the FBM company set me up with a custom paint job out of their shop in Ithica, New York.
Macneil handlebars and forks grace the front end of the Bitchin’ Camaro. These Animal grips became a favourite of mine, very comfortable with good grip. I guess that’s why they call them grips!
“Pistol” Pete Loncarevich holding back Tommy “the Human Dragster” Brackens, this style of racing vanished long ago. I loved those days.