Friday, April 16, 2010

Staff Profile: Bob Soroky

Bob Soroky, 44, is unlike other Century Cycles staffers for two reasons. The first is that he is our newest full time employee, having just joined the Medina store sales team on March 1. The second reason is that the Parma Heights resident is also the only Century Cycles employee with his own radio show. You can listen to Bob’s weekly broadcasts of “Table Talk” online at Prefer your cycling advice to be written? Then you can read Bob’s blog at

Q: When did you take up bicycling?

A: I’ve ridden a bike all my life, but I got serious about it back in 1986-1987. I had been hit by a car when I was away at college and the doctors recommended cycling as a way to recover from the injuries to my leg. After I recovered, I took up bicycling as a sport and started doing tours.

Q: How many bikes do you own?

A: I have two. Since the late 1980s, I’ve been riding an old Raleigh Peak. It’s a hybrid mountain bike-type bike that I’ve ridden all these years, even on long tours. I finally decided to get a “grown up” bike last year and I bought a 2009 Giant Defy Alliance from Century Cycles. I’m a familiar story – one of those really happy Century Cycles customers who became an employee! I was going to de-commission the Peak, but then I had the amazing mechanics here give it an overhaul and now I’m going to keep it, partly for sentimental reasons and also to do more casual riding with my girlfriend.

Q: I was going to ask you “road or dirt?” but I think I know the answer…

A: Yep, it’s road. I never really go off-road. The Towpath Trail is as off-road as I get.

Q: What’s your favorite bike ride around northeast Ohio?

A: Among organized rides, my favorite is the MS 150 Pedal to the Point. This summer will be my 15th year doing it. For 13 of those years, I did it on that old Raleigh Peak, so doing it last year on the Giant Defy was such a change. If I’m just tooling around near home, I always head to the Metroparks. I grew up in Parma and for as long as I can remember I’ve biked the Metroparks. I never rode the Towpath until I did a Century Cycles Night Ride last year. Of course it was one that poured rain, but now I really like the Towpath Trail, too.

Q: What’s the best bicycling advice you’ve been given?

A: I got it when I started working here and now it’s the advice I give most often – how to lean a bike up against something if it doesn’t have a kickstand. You don’t want to lean it against the frame, because it might scratch the frame. If you lean it against the front wheel, the bike might move and fall over, so the best solution is to lean it up against the back tire. Also, make sure not to lay the bike down on the derailleur side. It’s basic stuff, but a lot of people don’t know that.

Q: What was your first bike?

A: One of those old ones with the banana seat and the big handle bars. I remember being 6 or 7 years old and riding with a neighbor girl on the handlebars. We had a big crash – she cracked a tooth. I remember that bike because of that crash!

Q: What do you like about working at Century Cycles?

A: I like it as an employee for the same reason I liked it as a customer – you get to spend a lot of time with people listening to what they need and finding the right bicycle for them. Recently a couple was shopping here and they had been back five times, comparing our bikes with a competitor’s bikes. They finally decided that the bikes were virtually identical, so they had to compare based on the store experience. They bought their bikes here because of all the time we spent with them.

Q: What non-bicycling activities do you enjoy?

A: I have a lot of hobbies, like reading, Xbox, and even getting paid to make "Captain Jack Sparrow" appearances for corporate events, but my passion has always been aviation. As a kid I wanted to be a fighter pilot, but my eyesight kept me from doing it. I’ve taken flying lessons and now go to as many air shows and air races that I can.

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