Our van drivers have sweet jobs. They’re paid to tour the country carting some of the best bikes made to some of the best places to ride. And then they hang with all of you. Alongthe way, they’ll stop at numerous bicycles shops and teach the staff everything they ever wanted to know about the Diamondback brand.
We’re not trying to make you feel bad. Your job is probably pretty cool, too.
On the off chance you want a break, though, from the “cheese factory,” we invite you to log in and get behind the wheel. We’re going to be bringing you monthly dispatches from these guys, starting now with David Brinsfield. He left Florida a few weeks ago and is en route to Boston.
Without further ado, we introduce you to David.
So David, How long have you been riding and what ultimately go you hooked?
(DB) - I've been riding for as long as I can remember really, maybe since age 5 or 6. Originally, it was just for the sake of learning how to ride a bicycle without training wheels and to simply enjoy biking. I definitely need to credit my parents here. Without them, I probably wouldn't have gotten back on the bike so many times after falling off.
The riding I'm into now is a product of working in bike shops for so long. I was into BMX for years, but I wouldn't have found mountain biking if it were not for the first shop I worked for, The Patuxent Adventure Center in Maryland. Working in a shop exposed me to so many different aspects of the sport…I wanted to do them all! So it's a combination of my dad pushing me down the driveway (repeatedly) and my co-workers taking me to ride "big wheel" trails that shaped me into the rider I am today.
What kind of riding to you like and why?
(DB) - This is always the toughest question to answer! BMX will always be close to my heart, but I get so much enjoyment out of mountain biking. I definitely prefer the more aggressive riding, such as DH (Down Hill) and FR (Freeride), but I also love the physical challenge of XC (cross-country) riding. It's hard to beat the feeling of a well-built flow trail or jump line, but I often get the same sense of euphoria after completing a tough climb. I like being a well-rounded rider because then I can enjoy cycling as a whole, rather than just one segment.
Seriously? That’s so diplomatic of you.
(DB) At the end of the day, I'd rather just be at the local jump lines. I haven't found anything that gives me as much satisfaction as that. There's just something about finally feeling dialed and comfortable on a section that used to give you the chills, but now you've figured it out and ride it like a champ. All the EPO and performance enhancers in the world can't help you there.
What are a few things that you are looking forward to on this Demo Tour?
(DB) - In short, EVERYTHING. I look forward to traveling all the time, meeting new people, and promoting the sport of cycling. Plus I'll get to work on high-end bikes on a regular basis. It's basically a mechanic's dream job. Big thanks to Greg Hamill for recommending me for the job!
As a mechanic, what is one tool you could not live without and why?
(BD) - Another tough question! I'd say my little multi-tool because it's so nice to always have the ability to adjust headsets or align stems on the spot, without having to wheel the bike back to the mechanic area. Obviously, I can't do everything with it, but I'm not going to carry a whole tool kit around my waist either.
What attracted you to the Diamondback Van Tour?
(DB) - I saw it as an immense opportunity to experience a different side of the bike industry and to grow as a person. It seemed like a refreshing change of pace from the normal work week, and I've always wanted to travel more. I've never done anything like this before, but I like going out of my comfort zone because it's both exciting and rewarding. It's also a chance for me to meet a lot of industry professionals that I would've never gotten to previously. Most of all, it's a profession that will demand a lot out of me, but I love cycling and can't think of a better way to immerse myself in the sport.
And finally, what is your favorite beverage?
(DB) - I assume since you're asking a mountain biker that by "beverage" you mean "beer." In which case, my answer is Blue Moon, no matter how much people make fun of me for it. Belgian White FTW!