Sunday, September 14, 2008

CC Newsletter Highlight

Staff Profile: Derrick Kortvejesi

If you're a regular customer at the Peninsula store, you probably think Derrick has been there, like, forever. You'd be right. Hired just after that store opened in 1994, Derrick is Century Cycles' longest-tenured employee and - having wrenched on bikes since he was 15 - a kind of bike-whisperer. Century Cycles is more than a paycheck for Derrick, it's also a dating service - Derrick met his wife, Kathy, on a Night Ride eleven years ago. They've been riding together ever since.

How many bikes do you own?
Between Kathy and I, we have about 25 bikes. I really like pro-level, higher-end bikes from the late 1970s and early 80s. Today's bikes work better and are more efficient, but they don't have as much soul and character as those old ones. My old reliable is a handmade Tommaso road bike, but I try to ride a little bit of everything I own, depending on the season.

What's something that customers say that you're sick of hearing?
We call it "JRA." They are always "Just Riding Along." Just riding along and the frame broke in half. Just riding along and 14 spokes fell off the back wheel. Yeah, right. 'Fess up to the crash, or whatever bonehead move you made to wreck the bike. Crashes happen, and they happen to us all the time, too. If you don't tell us what really happened, it's harder for me or any mechanic to properly fix the bike.

What do you do when you're not wrenching or riding?
For about seven years - all through college - I competed in target shooting. Recently, I've been shooting again with an air pistol.

What's your favorite trail or ride?
Any ride that I get to spend a whole day on a bike with Kathy and our close friends. It's more about the social aspect for me. Hanging out, having fun, ending with a nice meal. I did really like the Overland Victory Trail in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. It's a mountain bike trail with an interesting terrain - challenging, yet I didn't feel like I was going to be killed.

What's your advice for someone looking to buy a new bike?
Buy more bike than you think you need. [Editor's disclaimer: Nobody on our staff works on commission!] Better bikes are more fun to ride, and it's always cheaper to buy it up front than to add the better components later. I tell customers to not sell themselves short. You may be in awe of someone riding 25-30 miles, but if you start riding regularly, that will quickly become a normal ride for you. And be realistic with your price range. If you haven't been in a bike store in 15 years, you may not have a good idea of what an accurate price range is. If you spend $250 on a putter, trust me that you're probably going to spend more than that for a bike.

Head on over to our Peninsula store page for more all about Derrick! Not only can you learn more about Derrick but all of our Peninsula staff as well, just click on the appropriate image. Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter while you're there!

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