Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bonding with a Bike as a Boy

Last week we kicked off our Unbreakable Bonds series with a story about a father and his son bonding over motorcycle riding. Today we continue that series with a profile of a brand manager at our fabulous UK distributor, Madison.

Here is Andrew Wagerer in his own words....

When I was a child in Toronto I was given my sisters yellow hand me down to learn how to ride. Then as I got older a garage sale landed me an Orange single speed road bike with a coaster brake that I thought was great. As I outgrew that one, my dad took me to the local department store and we picked out a lovely grey 12 speed with 24 inch wheels. I wasn’t interested in the BMX bikes that were dominating the market those days.

The day it all happened was when I swore at the school bus driver for being unfair. The resulting banishment from the school bus at 12 years old put me on my bike as transportation. It’s funny that the banishment was for only two weeks but I kept riding the bike every day, whatever the weather. I discovered how fun snow can be on a road bike and was hooked, never looked back.

I was saving up now for my first real road bike from a proper bike store; no more pretending. I bought that bike at 13 then added a mountain bike to the collection all from my work packing groceries. Realising that speed on the road and that cars were slow I favoured the road bike. Started to learn mechanics and had some fun with spray paint to see what different coloured bikes looked like.

After a few years, a few thefts - where I learnt how important a lock was - and a few new bikes - where I got my favourite bike, a 1993 Bridgestone RB-2 which I love so much and still use today after 50,000 miles - high school ended and I thought what better way to spend a year off then to be a courier in Toronto and with my savings travel Europe.

After that, I started University and when the first summer came around I hounded my local bike store till they hired me. I studied and worked summers in bikes, moving into the workshop till I was in charge after Uni had finished. I hit a brick wall in the industry and couldn’t move up, so my girl and I decided to move to greener pastures and travelled to London, England where I became a bike store manager and then was hired to be a brand manager for a distributor which is where I am today - looking to the future and not sure where it’ll take me, but I definitely know how I’ll be travelling.

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