Monday, January 04, 2010


If you happened over to the Bike Works Website over the holidays and clicked on EVENTS & NEWS you might have seen this:

Kent Peterson to train full time- Bike Works looking for Shop Manager to fill his shoes

Bike Works much beloved shop manager and bicycle celebrity, Kent Peterson is going to leave his full time position at Bike Works in early March to train full time for this summer’s Tour Divide; an epic self-supported mountain bike race along the great divide from Canada to New Mexico. The route is over 2700 miles of off pavement racing, and Kent returns to the race to reclaim the single speed record he set in 2005: 22 days! Kent will still be a big part of the family here, but we are beginning a search for a new Shop Manager. The job announcement is here.
While the tone of this announcement is a bit to gee-whizzy for my taste (Jake, our enthusiastic Executive Director, had something to do with that) but it's true, I'm stepping down as the Shop Manager at Bike Works. Rather than try to patch somebody in temporarily while I'm gone in the month of June, we figured that a better plan would be to start looking for somebody now to step into that role full-time in March. So if you or somebody you know would like to work at one of the coolest places on earth and you have what it takes to manage a bike shop, click the link above and read through the job announcement.

While I am going to be ramping up my training in March and yeah, I'm spending the month of June racing the Divide, Jake glossed over a couple of details in terms of my future. First off, it will take a lot of prep, a ton of luck and something of a miracle for this old guy to crack Chris Plesko's amazing 19:00:21 record for the 2741 mile course. My old record of 22 days and change was for the 2500 mile border to border route. Jake makes it sound like I'm just going to ride up and take the record back. I'm going to ride like heck (at a persistent, old turtle pace) to see if I can do it, but it's by no means a forgone conclusion. I'm racing to find out if I can do it.

Second, I could see where folks reading the Bike Works announcement might think, "hey Kent must be rich if he can afford to take that much time off to train." Actually, no, that's not the case at all. What is the case is that Bike Works was and is more than a full time job, one of those jobs that you love but that can easily suck up way more than forty hours a week. And when you add on the fact that I pile on 3 hours per day in bike commuting, which is sort of training but not the mountain riding I really need to do, it makes for some damn long days. So I decided to make a change to let me do more real mountain training.

I do need to earn money. Not a lot, I live pretty simply, but I need to earn a living. I've got a few sponsors like Redline and Ergon helping me out with gear and all you blog readers buying stuff on Amazon and sending donations help out, but the simple fact is that like pretty much everybody else in this world, I work. I mostly make my living fixing and selling bikes. And starting in March, I'll be doing that at a shop that is four blocks from my place in Issaquah.

Yep, The Bicycle Center, which has been in Issaquah even longer than I have, is expanding. They are moving into half of the old Allen Furniture store right next door to their current location on Front Street. The other half the building will be the new location for Amante Pizza and Pasta. Starting in March, when I'm not on the trails, I'll be working at the Bicycle Center. My new commute is so short I'll walk to work.

But I'll get my miles in. I live at the base of the Cascades and now I'll have time in the mornings and/or evenings to hit the trails that are right out my back door. I'll still be doing the bigger adventures on my days off and in June I'll head up to Banff and then south along the Rockies. Of course, the stories and the pictures will show up here.

Keep 'em rolling,



Eric Peterson said...

All I got out of that was "the Italian restaraunt is going to be closer". Yum.

Anonymous said...

Well, that sounds awesome for you, but I will definitely miss getting to stop by and say hi and ask a few questions and get a few tips when I come to the Farmer's Market.

Good luck on that race!

Cyclin' Missy said...

How exciting, Kent! Good luck, and I can't wait to follow your Great Divide adventure!

DW said...

I wasn't going to post anything, but the Word Verification was "noilywa", so I figured it must be a sign. No Oily WA. That's what we're all after right? Improving our home environment by riding our bikes!

Or maybe I'm just smiling from a misty, but not icy, commute this morning.

Congrats on the new job!

Bob said...

Hey Kent,

Good luck on the job change.

Coach Long Commute has been fired! Hopefully Coach Let's Pick Up Italian for Dinner doesn't take his place.

Will you be posting a letter of intent on


Kent Peterson said...


I hadn't been paying attention to and missed that they'd started posting letters of intent. My intentions were made clear last June and I just sent 'em a link to that. See:

NobbyNick said...

Hey Kent,

How does the Amazon pass through work? My wife is about to purchase a stair stepper contraption from Amazon, and I'd like to see you get a cut if it's possible. Does she just start from your page and click the Amazon link and then magically you get some credit? I thought I'd post this as a public comment in case anyone else wants to know.

I can't wait to follow your progress on the GDR this year!


Nick V.

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Nick,

Thanks for asking about the Amazon link. If you, your wife or anyone navigates to Amazon via my blog (by clicking on some Amazon keyword in a blog post or clicking that Amazon ad that shows up on the right side of the page) Amazon sets a cookie in your web-browser that lasts for 24 hours and lets Amazon know that you came via my site. If you buy ANYTHING on Amazon within the next 24 hours it doesn't cost you any extra but anywhere from 4 to 7 percent of the purchase price goes to me. Amazon sends me reports of what sells, but I have no idea who is actually buying stuff. A lot of folks buy bike lights and other gear that I've posted about but people buy all kinds of things I've never mentioned, things like baby strollers, computer games, text books and such.

Thanks for your question and your support.


Small Adventures said...

Kent,I wish you well on your new journeys (both the gig and the dig),I can't wait to read all about your Great Divide adventures! :)

You'll be in our thoughts and prayers,my go knock em down a peg on that sweet Monocog Flite! (Says the owner/lover of a d440)


Jill Homer said...

Good for you! Sounds like you should have a great month of training. I took the same tack last year, leaving my job on a furlough to "train" full time from April 20 up until the race. I did so much traveling and visiting friends in the Lower 48 during that time that I acknowledge I probably would have gotten more consistent training if I stayed in Juneau, but you can't replace elevation and heat immersion.

Anyhow, good news, and good luck! Hopefully after you get the Divide done you will go full time to writing a book.

chatty cathy said...

how bout a writeup on how ya got yer bike setup for the race? i remember from yer great race story in 2005 how ya noticed that all the other riders were 29er with disks. well looks like ya took there advice, huh? no more blown out rim this time right kent?

Kent Peterson said...

Hey Chatty Cathy,

I've already done some on the bike set-up (check the archives starting around July). It's an ongoing process and I'll keep doing updates as the kit evolves. And, like Mike Curiak, I'll keep a few things secret for competitive advantage (nobody will ever know the secret frequency my bear-bell is tuned to, for example!)

BTW I am now a big fan of 29er wheels, WTB tires and Avid disk brakes!

Stay tuned for more,


chatty cathy said...

ok. race secrets. fare enuf! i see ya didn't go suspension fork. i went ridgid when a Rock Shocks blew on me an i tried to rebuild it. yikes i thought bikes were supposed to be simple? after that only FULLY RIDGID goes between my legs!

Chris said...

FWIW Kent, I think you can do it :) Your ride was a big inspiration to me so get out there and do it again!

I'll tell you this much, from a racing perspective there are holes in my ride for sure.

George Swain said...

Holy smokes! You're living the dream! First I was jealous that you were racing the Tour Divide. Now you're resigning your full time job? Too good to be true. Many of us will be living vicariously through your amazing experiences (via blog and Twitter). It won't be easy, but it sure sounds like an amazing trip. Good luck!

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