The Outspoken Cyclist – 10/10/2015

When we think of the greats of our industry – especially mountain biking – Charlie Cunningham doesn’t immediately go to top of the mind. BUT, he was the genius behind the welded aluminum frames (and a whole lot more) and the mountain bike hall-of-famer needs our help.

Here is the back-story: (From an online article in Bicycling this week)

A mountain biking accident in August left Cunningham physically crawling out of the woods for two miles with a major head injury, broken ribs, a broken clavicle, and shattered pelvis. He was only in the hospital for a few days before heading home to custom-build a cane for himself, but six weeks after the accident, his head injury manifested as a subdural hematoma. Today, he’s in the hospital recovering—but his prognosis is questionable.

His wife, single-speed-loving mountain bike devotee Jacquie Phelan**, talked with us about Cunningham, how their love of biking changed both of their lives, and what they’re facing now. Read the interview, and if you’re as touched as we were, consider donating to the GoFundMe site raising money to help with Cunningham’s hospital expenses, rehabilitation, and retrofitting of his home to make it wheelchair-accessible. The cycling community has always taken great pride in taking care of our own, and Cunningham is certainly deserving of a helping hand.

(**click the link to hear my interview with Jacquie back in 2010)

Since that article, Charlie has made some progress – but, he still needs our help. If you are so inclined, go to his GoFundMe page and offer some assistance – even some kind words will help with his healing.

So – this week? We have two great guests.

Josh Poertner was the Technical Director of Zipp Speed Weaponry for 14 years. During that time, he had occasion to meet Claudio Sacchi, the grandson of Felice Sacchi, the founder of Silca – the Italian pump manufacturer. I don’t know of a bike shop that has been in existence more than 10 years that doesn’t have a Silca “pista” (track) pump somewhere – and most are using theirs – 10, 15, 20, even 40 years after manufacture.

So… fast forward to a time that Claudio contracted cancer and as his health declined, so did the company.

In a fortuitous conversation, Josh and Claudio came to an agreement and now Silca is here in the U.S. and is once again heading for the top of the charts with renewed energy, excitement, and innovation.

Josh will take us through that journey up to present day in the first half of the show.

After our break and some news, we head on down to North Carolina to meet up with a most interesting lady. From dreaming about fashion design as a child to a stint in Africa with the Peace Corps and then a short career in Public Health, Reid Miller has come full circle back to her dreams of fashion bringing a classic look to the women who ride their bikes for transportation and recreation.
Hope you enjoy this episode of The Outspoken Cyclist.