One of the things Mark and I love about announcing races - and one of the things that gave us the idea for this podcast - is getting to meet all sorts of interesting people. We started to realize that the people we meet have really cool stories to tell. Well, add this week's Midwest Cycling Podcast guest, Thomas Prehn, of Arsenal Cycling, to that list. Now, Thomas doesn't currently reside in the midwest, and I initially balked at the idea of having him on the podcast for that reason. In fact, I scoured the internet for a map of the Midwest that included Colorado but I couldn't find one. But that's ok because Mark made one for me, so it's all good, everyone. Plus, as you'll hear, it turns out Thomas is a Midwest native and has quite a few ties to our beloved region.
Thomas is a former professional bike racer and national road race champion. He retired from pro cycling and began a career in market research and development with Nike, then moved on to Cateye, and most recently has started his own company, Arsenal Cycling. He just completed a successful Kickstarter campaign for Arsenal's first product, the 4Sync Synchronized Lighting System, which we talk about for quite a bit, because they are truly a cool set of lights.
As I mentioned earlier, Thomas currently lives in Boulder, CO, but he is technically a midwest native, having been born in Illinois. That's right, friends, he's a FIB: a Friendly Illinois Bicyclist. (Ha! What did you think I was going to say?) We talk about his experiences racing Superweek back in the day, and how much he enjoyed the heat and humidity. (Yes, you read that right.)
We also learned that he appeared in the pilot episode of the Breaking Away spinoff featuring Shawn Cassidy. (Shawn Cassidy, people!) (And yeah, there was a Breaking Away TV spinoff!) And Breaking Away took place in Bloomington, IN, so even though Thomas lives in Boulder, the midwest ties are strong and deep. (Ok, maybe I'm exaggerating a little.)
Classic stuff, my friends. Classic.
4SYNC SAFETY LIGHTS
Oh my goodness! Check these out! Do it. Seriously, they are awesome. I was hit by a car once in broad daylight, and I can't help but think if I'd had even a regular blinky the driver may have seen me. If I had a set of 4Syncs, I'm certain he would have seen me. This is a really, really smart idea. I think once the lights hit the market, they're going to be one of those "Why didn't I think of that?" items. Check out the link to Thomas's Kickstarter below and see for yourself.