Saturday, January 9, 2010

Staff Profile: Drew Rady

At this time of year, you won’t see Drew Rady on the sales floor in the Medina store that often. As the person in charge of taking care of all of Century Cycles’ computers, he spends the slower winter season updating hardware, software, and all the connections that make the three-stores’ computers work smoothly. On staff at Century Cycles since July 2008, Drew lives in Wadsworth with his wife, Ange, and their children Allan, 10, and Sadie, 3.

Q: How did you get your start in the bike business?

A: My brother Adam worked at the Medina store. When Kevin Madzia was planning to take a sabbatical to bicycle to South America with Ray in 2008, Century Cycles needed somebody with IT experience who could handle things while he was gone. I had IT experience, but I didn’t have a lot of bike store experience. I did have a lot of passion for bicycling and really enjoyed bikes, which Petch said was most important.

Q: How many bikes do you own?

A: Personally, I have three, and we have seven (plus a trailer) as a family.

Q: Do you have a favorite bike?

A: My 2006 Giant TCR C2. It’s a carbon frame road bike that is lightweight and fast and I just really like it. I changed the wheelset to an Aero Xerolite and put a DuraAce 7800 crank on it. I’m always changing something – the brakes will probably be next.

Q: What’s your favorite trail or ride?

A: I’m relatively new to riding as a sport. When I started here, I mostly just bicycled with my family, but now I like road riding around Medina county. Last summer I rode 50 miles from Wadsworth to Wooster and back with my sister. It was pouring rain and cold, but we had a ton of fun.

Q: What’s the best piece of cycling advice you’ve been given?

A: I’ve been given a lot of great advice, because all the guys here at Century Cycles are so smart and have so many years of experience. Ultimately, the best was “if you don’t know, ask.” Everyone – my fellow cyclists, our customers, the staff here – is so open and friendly and someone is always ready to help.

Q: What’s the most frequent piece of cycling advice you give to customers?

A: Buy more bike than you think you need. You will use it. I give myself as an example – I swiftly upgraded bikes when I started riding more.

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

A: Everything! The people, the customers, the bikes, my responsibilities. I get to do two things I really enjoy – be around bicycles and work on computers. I like that I’m part of a family. I couldn’t go back to a corporate environment again. I also like the little things, like how Scott rewards us when we ride our bikes to work, which encourages more cycling and a healthy lifestyle. Last summer, I commuted to work by bike 75% of the days.

Q: That’s a great summer of cycling!

A: It was, especially because I also competed in the Twin Sizzler. I placed third in my age group – and there was only a few seconds separating the top three finishers! I never would have been able to do that if I wasn’t at Century Cycles.

Q: What did you do before you worked for Century Cycles?

A: I was an on-call computer technician for residential and business customers. Before that, I was a senior technology specialist for FedEx Kinko's.

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

A: I am currently trying to balance school, family, and community service, plus I’m engrossed in a computer game called Mass Effect.

Q: What three words describe how you feel riding a bicycle?

A: They are somewhat contradictory, but I would say “free” and “connected” – free of things yet connected to a greater whole. The third word is “strong.”

Q: Road or dirt?

A: Definitely road. I am so uncoordinated -- if I went mountain biking, I’d be a dead man.

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