Thursday, July 15, 2010

Staff Profile: Andrew Copenhaver

Seasonal help doesn’t come much better than Andrew Copenhaver, 19, a student at Allegheny College in Pennsylvania who has worked at the Medina store for the past two summers. You may have read about the Brunswick High School grad recently on our blog and Facebook – Andrew just came in 1st place in the 15-19 age group in the Twin Sizzler bicycle race on July 4. Road racing is not where is heart is, however. That belongs to mountain bike racing.

Q: What mountain bike races have you competed in?

A: This Sunday I’m racing in the NEO Power Series. Last year I came in second in the 18 and under age group. Now I’m in the Sport Senior group and am hoping to win it. I’ve also done the Reagan Park Time Trials, the Vulture’s Knob Groovy Series, and the Manitoc Big Valley Race.

Q: How did you get started in mountain bike racing?

A: Working here at Century Cycles. I was inspired by Tom Wiseman. I started riding with him and realized I could keep up. He has such deep expertise – he gives me advice on racing and bike mechanics, and he knows the people and the scene. I don’t race much at school. There is a far superior mountain bike racing scene here than in Pennsylvania, so I come back to Ohio for some events.

Q: What’s one of the best pieces of advice Tom has given you?

A: He said good braking can make you go faster, so I upgraded my brakes. He’s right – you can go faster in turns if you trust your brakes.

Q: How many bikes to do you own?

A: Three. For mountain bike racing, I ride a Giant XTC with quite a few upgrades. It’s my favorite, because I put a lot of work into it myself and race on it. It’s only 21 pounds, which is stupid-light for a mountain bike. I also have a Kona Cinder Cone, plus a Cannondale road bike for commuting to work. It’s about 9 miles from my house to the store and I bike about 75% of the time.

Q: What has been your proudest moment on a bicycle?

A: My proudest moment was finishing the Manitoc Big Valley Race last year. It was a really muddy course and I had a bad crash about 10 miles from the finish. Even with bent rotors and rubbing brakes, I made it to the finish line. I even came in third place!

Q: What’s your favorite local ride?

A: Vulture’s Knob – it’s the toughest, tightest singletrack in the state. It takes your riding to the next level.

Q: What piece of cycling advice do you most often give?

A: Same thing I was told – buy more bike than you need, because you are going to use it.

Q: What was your first bike?

A: A Dyno VFR. I got it when I was around 6 or 7 years old. My first “real” bike was the Kona.

Q: How do you recharge after a race?

A: Chipotle is usually at the races, so I have a burrito and a couple Monster energy drinks. I figure it’s OK -- I just burned 2,000 calories.

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

A: I go fishing or play basketball with friends. I really like outdoor activities, like camping and fishing, but when I can't get outdoors, I like writing and recording music, and I also enjoy cooking very much.

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