Name: Martin Swanson
Hometown: Cedar Rapids, Ia
Current Bike Stable:
-2020 Pivot Switchblade
-2014 Raleigh Furley (Flatbar and 650B and gravel-fied)
-Independent Fabrications Deluxe 26
-What inspired you to work at Cyclepath?
Working in the industry for some time already, I wanted to work for a shop that cared about bikes, cared about riding, and cared about making bikes better. Most of the shops I had worked at before were fueled by a very "it's good enough" attitude towards bikes. This unfortunately led to a trickle-down effect where the customers were fine with a lesser-than experience because it was all they knew. Cyclepath presented an opportunity to bring more to the table, and most importantly, have it be recognized and appreciated.
-How long have you worked in the bike industry?
Since fall of 2006
-What's the most challenging repair or custom job you've done on a bike?
I had a customer in the last stage of a self-supported ride across the country. I was working in a shop in Sacramento and he just came from the east coast and was on his way to Seattle. He broke his derailleur hanger and nowhere in town could we find a replacement. I found an image of the correct hanger online and made him one from out of a block of metal that was in the recycling bin. When It was finished, It was rough and crude but it worked. I had him give me his cell so I could check in on him. He made it to Seattle though. I promptly told him to now go replace his derailleur hanger.
-What is your favorite type of riding?
Technical trail riding. I like rock gardens that go uphill.
-Can you share your most memorable bike related memory?
Mountain biking in Antigua Guatemala with my wife.
-What is your favorite part about cycling?
How versatile it is. I could be doing the exact same thing three different times and get three different experiences out of it. I can ride by myself or with a group and it is always fun. I can ride an easier trail faster and make it more challenging.
-What steps do you think that cycling organizations can take to increase diversity and inclusivity among their members?
Introduce riding to people in a way that makes it relevant to "their" lives. The connection to riding bikes has to be personal. People should be enjoying riding for their reasons and not someone else's.
-In what ways are you involved in the local bike community?
Trail Building with NWTA, and assisting in service clinics with Cyclepath.
-What do you like to do outside of biking?
Spending time with my wife, spending time with my dog, and playing guitar
-Can you share a bike road trip story? What was the experience like?
Had a camping trip and rode all of the Umpqua River Trail. We broke it up over three days riding 73 miles and 11,800 feet of climbing
-What is your favorite local bike route?
Siouxon/Huffman Peak. It is a brutal climb but the views and descent at the end are all worth it.
-Have you ever competed in any bike races/events? How was that experience?
The Growlers Gulch Climbing Championship - Did this event two different years. It's fun and doesn't feel like a super serious race event.