Andy Stockman shreds. He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. When I first stopped by Sunshine Bicycle Center in Fairfax, en-route by bike shaking sample tires at unsuspecting buyers, Andy said hi. He didn’t have to, he wasn’t a buyer, but he made a point of saying hello – asked me how the transition from bike shop to bike company went, how the new digs were. He asked and he truly cared, offered a smile that I happily accepted.
And Andy didn’t stop caring. I stopped by again and this time, Andy was the buyer. The shop was busy. Things were going on. He saw me and worked his way through his queue of customers, helping his helping, each one important. Buyers are blessed with the right to ignore reps. It makes sense, we’re there to take, they’re there to make. We’re also there to educate, but that’s beside the point. But Andy doesn’t ignore. He listens and it’s genuine. You can see it.
He heard me out, waited, then told me he didn’t understand why we weren’t doing a gravel tire, we were “missing out.” He was almost upset, I wouldn’t say he broke his cool, but I could tell it disturbed him. I assured him that people like Mike of Black Mountain Cycles and Sean of Soulcraft were equally concerned for our well-being - lot of good people looking out for us. Andy was unequivocal, said it had to happen, we wouldn’t regret it. He was right. Eight months later the Frostbike trade show in Minneapolis also didn’t understand why we weren’t doing a gravel tire. They were all right, everybody.
The craziest thing about Andy is what he does that you don’t know about. I was looking at Trans-Iowa results, wondering how long it takes crazies to pedal across the entirety of Iowa and then it hit me. BAM! A sack full of bricks to the face. Andy Stockman, seventh place – 4th in the Single Speed / Fixed category from five years ago. LoooOOOooonatic. Jeez, I never would have known. I yapped at him about it and he modestly brushed it off. What do I have to do to get this guy to boast? Impossible.
Enjoy Andy’s responses. He cares, he rides, he’s too modest, and he has a funny-witty infectious humor and way of describing things that just makes sense.
Home Shop and City: Currently Wheat Ridge Cyclery in Denver, CO.
Favorite WTB or Freedom product: Current; Nano 29x2.1 TCS... provided the right conditions, there is truly no better cross country tire.
Or, favorite WTB or Freedom related memory (please elaborate): The discontinued 700x38 Interwolf... but that 40mm Nano is coming, right?
Andy, rocking his last WTB Interwolf 38c tires on a long winter rally ride in December with Rafael Milan, featured in the Subculture Cyclery post. Fret not, here comes the Nano 40.
Background, how’d you get into riding, what kept you going with it? When I was 12 my mom bought a Trek 830 for me. At the time she owned a condo in Winter Park. My first rides were on single track outside of Fraiser, just down the road. That alone was enough to get me hooked. Fast forward 6 years, to my senior year in high school, when I unwittingly got the urge to purchase a Schwinn Homegrown (Yeti made I believe.) One of the mechaincs at the shop, who later became my best buddy and introduction to what cycling could be, invited me to join the mountain bike team where I was to attend college. After the first weekend of collegiate mountian bike racing in the Midwest, I was hooked. Familiar faces, parties, rain, mud, spirited riding on countless trails in countless states... endless hours traveling to and from with my best friends laughing, sleeping, and singing along at my side. After that first season it was all I could do to get a job at a bike shop, once I did the look over my shoulder lasted less than 9 months and I have been a “lifer” ever since, 14 years in the making. Work on bikes, ride bikes, think bikes, use bikes.
Andy at the finish of the fifth Trans Iowa race, 340 miles of dirt roads across the state of Iowa, put on by g-tedproductions.com. Correct, one gear - yep, no slacking for this guy.
Tube or Tubeless, why?
Tubeless (for the mountain bike tubes are dead, long dead)
Going to give road tubeless a shot this year....there are some 28’s out there, we will see how it goes. For cross you have a few options with tubeless, but what I really would love, LOVE to see is a 32mm or better 35mm road oriented tire in a tubeless compatible variety
3 most important things to bring with you on a ride? Helmet, safety kit, cookie
Helmet? Check. Andy must have the safety kit and cookie hidden elsewhere. Andy enjoyed his Marin time too, working at Sunshine Bicycle Center in Fairfax, CA
Craziest thing you’ve seen or witnessed on a ride?
When you ride a lot you sure do see a lot, but I think the craziest thing I’ve seen thus far while on a ride happened while riding Trans-Iowa.
It was near 5am or sunrise and I had been crunching gravel for over 24 hours through the rolling hills of the Iowa countryside. The lack of sleep can do strange things to one's sensibility and awareness, especially when on the bike for that many hours pedaling and trying to navigate along the way. I had fallen in with a group of three other guys 10 hours earlier and we were helping each other stay alert and with it as we each experienced the highs and demoralizing lows that accompany said states of sleep deprivation. Cresting a tall roller with discourse that must have sounded like conversing lunatics we began to descend towards the sunrise and down into a patch of fog. Just as the sun was making our surroundings visible and as the fog slowly burned away I could make out a cemetery just up the road. While we had passed many cemeteries on the route this one was a bit more eerie on account of the light, the fog, and the fact that there was a figure wading through the fog among tombstones. Getting closer, I noticed the figure was a man, and while he walked towards the road he was pulling what looked like tissue paper from his shirt and pants. We slowed our roll. At this point I was not sure what was happening. I had a hard time convincing my sedated mind that I was actually seeing a man walking though a grave yard pulling a disheveled copy of the New York Times from his shirt and trousers. Turns out that is what I was seeing.
Hard man Charlie Farrow had found himself feeling very ill while riding in the lead group through the same area hours earlier. Unable to hold down food, he knew he must take a significant rest. Now Charlie is a very smart man, he knew it was going to get very cold in the early hours of the morning so before finding a place to lay down, he stopped at newspaper boxes at the ends of driveways along the country roads. Using newspaper as insulation, he stuffed his jersey and shorts to the brim. Once his garb had reached maximum capacity, he located the safest place to lie down for a bit of respite, which happened to be a cemetery. Thinking about it, his place for rest made total sense. Not many rowdy ranch hands are going to see you there, it was loads safer than lying in the ditch.
As he made his way to the edge of the road, he explained what had happened and suggested we should get a move on so we could make it to the finish before everyone had left, he was under the impression that we were way outside the time limit. To his surprise, we informed him we were well within the time limit and finish lay just a few hours down the road. BOOM! Rejuvenated and feeling better, he joined our small group and helped make large pulls at the front as we headed in to complete the big loop we started the morning before. I do believe Charlie went on to finish 6th on the day.
Andy rolling into the finish having braved fog, sleep deprivation, cemeteries, and even fellow riders emerging from cemeteries.
Most important lesson to teach the groms?
Earn your turns, own your actions
Andy shredding a front range portion of the Colorado Trail.
Left my wallet in... (fill it in):
“El Segundo, I left my wallet in El Segundo...” That first album was out there, but damn, I Love Tribe Called Quest.
Anything you’d like to plug, courtesy of WTB’s blog?
Just the blog (your blog) keep on keeping on.