My cycling career started when I was very young. I first chased my three older sisters on a tricycle around the outside of the house for hours and hours. Later my parents gave me a two wheeler and I literally rode off the end of the driveway, never using training wheels, and have been riding two wheels ever since!
My first experience at a bike shop came in the 1983 when I started working at a very popular Dartmouth bicycle shop called Ron's Bicycle Shop. Ron was the first person to teach me about bike repairs. The shop was an amazing museum of old Italian parts, and we did a tonne of repairs everyday. Not only did Ron show me the ropes about bikes, he also was my first and only cycling coach. He had an amazing racing career in both Canada and abroad. In fact, he gave me his original racing bike a few years back, and I have it on display in the shop now.
In 1985 I bought my first real road racing bike, a Gardin, from Toronto. I had saved up all the money I had and bought it used from a customer of Ron's. Then in 1989, I moved out west to work, and bought my first MTB, a Shogun Team Prairie Breaker, with the first Shimano XT, and Shimano 737 clipless pedals. It was top of the line!
In March of 1994 I was hired by Greg and Woody (original Cyclesmith Owner's) to be a mechanic. At that point we had just moved into our new 6112 Quinpool Rd home, and there were a total of 6 staff. For the next few years I wrenched in the basement, and fine tuned my skills at the shop.
After graduating from Saint Mary's University with a B.Comm I decided to go out and get a "real job" and worked for 9 months outside the shop, at which point I knew my real job was at Cyclesmith.
In late 1999 I approached Mark and Paul and asked if they would consider taking me on as a business partner. They agreed, and that same year a shop in Dartmouth had shut down, so we decided to open our Dartmouth location, and I ran it for 10 years. In December 2009 we decided to and expand and amalgamate both shops into what we currently know as Cyclesmith.
I started road racing in 1984 and have raced at many mountain bike and road races throughout Canada and the United States. I really never had what it took to be a great racer, but loved competition, so started to coach cycling.
My cycling coaching career has allowed me to work with some of the best coaches and athletes in the World. Some of my coaching highlights include coaching at the Junior World Championships, Aguascalientes Mexico, Tour of PEI Women's National Team, Pan American Championships in Sao Paolo Brazil, Tour L'Abitibi, Junior World Nations Cup (Team Canada), 2005 and 2009 Canada Games (Team NS), and many National Road and MTB Championships and Canada Cups. I also worked at the National Cycling Centre Atlantic, and the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic as a cycling coach.
I not only coached cycling, but I also became very involved in the organization of the sport starting as a coordinator with the BNS MTB committee, and then becoming a Coaching and Athlete Coordinator, and eventually becoming President of Bicycle Nova Scotia. I also am a Road, MTB and Track official. I was also recognized by the Canadian Cycling Association for my work in NS and was a BOD at the CCA for 5 years with them.
Just when everyone thought my involvement was enough, I also became an event organizer, and organized various road and MTB races including creating and organizing still the biggest MTB race in Atlantic Canada, the original and still the best 8 Hours of Gore.
On Dec 31, 2010 Tracey(my wife) and I were at the then, Canada Games Oval, and I saw the huge potential of the oval. That night I contacted a few other local business people and started the wheels rolling. Two month later we had 10,000 names and $1.2 Million dollars all committed to saving the oval, and making it a permanent fixture on the common. What is now known as the Emera Oval has become an amazing year round public facility, which hiondred's of thousnads of peoplke use each year.
Thru all this I continue to help organize our Short Track Series and Cyclocross Series which are both hitting record turn outs for organized cycling in the province. I continue to coach and have been working with the 2013 and 2017 BNS Canada Games Cycling team, and continue to work with some of the best athletes in Canada..
My proudest accomplishment is the birth of my daughter, Adyson, born in January of 2011. She is already riding with me everyday in her Chariot on the trip to pre school. Hopefully I will be able to instill the love for the bicycle in her. I hope she becomes my succession plan for the shop! Not to be outdone, in August of 2016 we welcomed Carter Jakob, a little brother for Adyson, and a potential partner for her taking over the shop. He too has started to see the bike as a great form of transportation, recreation and sport!
In March of 2016, we started the next chapter in Cyclesmith. Mark Beaver, Paul Shaw and I reached an agreement for me to take over 100% ownership of the shop. After many years of a very successful partnership, Paul decided to retire and move onto other projects, and Mark will stay on for five years to help in the succession. The ownerhsip change will allow the success to continue on for many years to come.