by Jim Sullivan
With switching over to being in the office at our retail shop on a more frequent basis I decided it was finally time for me to join the road biking crew at Zoar Outdoor. One thing I love about working at Zoar Outdoor is our attitude towards getting outside and being active. To help encourage this we have a commute to work challenge. I encourage folks to start this program where you work.
Each year it seems different members of our staff step towards this incentive. I have been tempted by it for a few years now. It wasn’t until I secured an old road bike from Sara’s dad that I finally had the tool needed to join in. Here’s how it works: The first 250 miles you bike is a $25 dinner gift certificate, 500 miles a hydra pac, 750 miles is a sweet bike jersey with Zoar’s logo. If you run or paddle its double miles. Yes I’ve paddled home from work too, in the wild water race kayak, which is just awesome when all the dams are releasing.
I’ve had such a fun time this summer working on the road bike. One of my kayaking students pinned it around a 1976 Raleigh Grand Prix. I’ve torn it apart to re-grease all the ball bearings I could find, and slowly have been replacing the parts that squeak or were too old and sticky to function correctly. I can finally say it runs pretty awesome now.
I remember a conversation I had with Bruce Lessels a few years back related to an article about road biking and getting more people into the sport. The point was not to be shy about equipment. As soon as folks start to feel like we need elite equipment less people feel welcome into the sport because the entry cost becomes too high. The reality is we should just get folks on bikes and get moving. The same holds true for kayaks as well. There are quite a few old designs that are becoming popular again.
Another favorite toy this summer is an old wildwater kayak. It too has been a big fixer upper project. I got it cracked and fiberglass it back to life. The first weekend of use I cracked it pretty good again. Guess I’m used to plastic boats, what can I say? This one evil rock on the Dryway cracked another wildwater boat once on me in a different boat years ago and twice now on this boat. No I’m not always a quick learner either. This last fix I went all in. I sanded the bejesus out of it and added lots of fiberglass patches all over. I then decided to use up some old gel-kote I had lying around. Of course it wasn’t enough gel-kote so I had to get more and still have some leftover. Which will probably come in handy when I meet that darn rock again.
Long story short, I’ve been able to sneak up to the Dryway more this summer and get in more mid-day fun laps for shuttle runs. Really been enjoying this new toy too. Stay active my friends.
Here is a photo of me in the kayak taken by Richard Reynolds. http://footprintsoflight.zenfolio.com/p515151528/h4EC18D8D#h4ec18c20