Monday, January 12, 2009

Staff Profile: Ken Hagedorn

For Rocky River staffer Ken Hagedorn, working at Century Cycles is a family affair. His sister, Kathy, is married to Derrick Kortvejesi, Peninsula's head mechanic, and it was Derrick who referred him for the job over 10 years ago. A classmate of Scott Cowan's, Ken is also a Class of 1978 alumni of Bay High School. He now lives in Rocky River, close to his aging parents.

Q. Even though you work at different stores, are there any disadvantages to working with your brother-in-law?

A. Believe me, they are all advantages, no disadvantages. I've always been into bikes, but I've learned more about bikes from Derrick than anybody else.

Q. What was your first bike?

A. I got a red and chrome tricycle when I was about two years old. I tried to stand on it, then fell over and split my chin open. Funny enough, my first two-wheeler was also red and chrome - a no-name brand I don't remember - and I split my chin open on that bike, too. I also had the Schwinn with a banana seat that a lot of boys had back then. When we were growing up, my brother and I rode our bikes everywhere with a pack of buddies.

Q. How many bikes do you currently own?

A. Five built, three or four in progress. All road bikes.

Q. What's your favorite bike?

A. My 1998 Bianchi Campione is what I like to ride the most, although I haven't been riding for the past two years due to an injury. I own fancier bikes, but the Campione is a classic and I have about 13,000 miles on it.

Q. What three words describe how you feel on a bike?

A. Rhythmic, relaxed, and - even though it's more than one word - enjoying the fresh air.

Q. What's your favorite ride?

A. My regular ride is a 20-mile loop that I can do before work. The most beautiful place to ride is on Chagrin River Road on the east side.

What do you like to do when you’re not working at Century Cycles or riding a bike?

Hunting, fly-fishing, shooting, learning to play guitar, and anything to do with music.

What do you like about working at Century Cycles?

It’s easy to sell something I love. Bicycles are personal and specific, not like some other products. And I love to see the look on little kids’ faces when they see their first two-wheeler.

What’s this I hear about a tattoo?

After 48 years, I figure “what the heck!” I’m thinking of putting a Fender Stratocaster on my bicep. We’ll see.

Has being a cancer survivor changed your outlook?

I try not to sweat the small stuff, although I’m better about it on some days than others. I have neuropathy in both hands and feet as a side effect of the chemotherapy. In the winter, I have to take extra measures to make sure they stay warm. Besides that, it’s not a worry or a daily concern.

What was your biggest accomplishment on a bike?

I rode 130 miles in one day and that was amazing. It was physically exhausting, but worth it. I still can’t believe I went that far on a bike.

What one piece of advice do you try to share with customers?

Easily 90% of the folks don’t know bicycle maintenance basics, through no fault of their own. When they bought the bicycle, nobody ever told them, and they don’t think they need to do anything to it. I try to tell everyone to lube the chain every 100 miles, put air in the tires at least once a week, and get regular yearly tune-ups. Those simple things will prevent a huge repair bill and also help a bike last for years and years.

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