-Since we first met Brandon, he has evolved from a newbie road cyclist into a seasoned Ironman triathlete.-
1) What kind of riding do you do or enjoy most?
Most of my riding is structured training so at this point I most enjoy a ride that doesn’t have a targeted wattage to hit. Nothing beats an early morning spin through Boiling Springs/Mt. Holly Springs right after the sun comes up on a cool summer morning.
2) What was your first bike?
Giant Defy 1 - purchased fall of 2014?
3) How many bikes do you own now?
2 – my Giant road bike and a Cervelo P2 TT bike.
4) What is your favorite bike… why?
My Cervelo P2 – from a pure speed perspective it’s the faster of my two bikes and the one I purchased after I fell in love with and committed to the sport of triathlon.
5) Where is your favorite place to ride?
Anywhere in Central PA really. From my house I can head south through the rolling hills or if I feel like tackling more intense elevation I can head north over the mountain range.
6) Who taught you how to ride a bike?
I imagine one of my parents did but something tells me you’re looking for more than that so I give that credit to the local legend, Mike Hebe. I bought my Giant road bike after an injury forced me away from heavy weight lifting and Mike casually advised me in preparation for my first sprint triathlon. He then proceeded to coach me through my first Ironman finish.
7) What was your most difficult day on the bike?
About 6 weeks out before Ironman Maryland 2017 I had a 100 mile training ride to complete solo. It was a rather cold morning for mid-August and 10 miles in it started pouring. I stopped to refuel in Shippensburg and had my wife offered to drive down to pick me up I would have let her. It was by far the most miserable day I’ve had on the bike, however one I gained much needed mental toughness from.
8) What was your best day on a bike – or best memory on a bike?
My first ride with Mike Hebe takes the prize as my favorite cycling memory. I had been riding for about 3 years at that point but not yet terribly serious and it was that ride that brought it all into perspective. At that point I had my P2 and Mike took out a 10 speed with a pink frame (pretty sure it had a basket and streamers also). Tucked away in an aero position I tried with all my effort to keep him in my sights as he barely broke a sweat. That single ride has served as a source of motivation for years!
9) How has cycling added to your quality of life?
Not only has cycling improved my overall health, but as part of my triathlon hobby it has allowed me to continually set and achieve goals. I’ve adopted a sport that I can participate in well into my later years of life and that’s exciting.
10) What category of cycling, that you have not previously been involved in, are you most interested in trying? Mountain, gravel, touring, road, racing, cross, etc…
Mountain Biking - That style of cycling has clearly taken off in popularity as one look around the Holmes shop will confirm. Being closer to nature, along with not having to worry about traffic is what sparks my interest most about Mountain Biking.
11) Where would you dream cycling vacation be?
France – anywhere in Europe really. I’m sure my competitive spirit drives my desire to see if I could handle the insane climbing you see on the Tour de France.
12) Do you ride year round – how do you manage in the winter if yes?
I do ride year round but 80% of my winter riding/training is done on a Wahoo Kickr smart trainer. Indoor riding is not great, but combining a trainer like the Kickr with Zwift and a good movie makes it tolerable.
13) How frequently do you ride?
3-4 times a week, with longer rides 3hrs+ on Saturday.
14) How has Holmes helped you throughout your cycling adventures?
Holmes has been a critical piece to my path into cycling and I really can’t say enough about the service I receive at the shop. In the spirit of transparency, when I explored purchasing my first bike I initially stopped at a competitors shop because it was closer to my gym. The experience was terrible as they treated my like the novice I was and seemed as if they couldn’t be bothered. At that point I went to Holmes and the rest his history so to speak.
Over the course of two visits, JC and Steve listened to the goals I had for purchasing a bike, and made several suggestions allowing my to test ride numerous options. They guided me to a sound, most importantly economical purchase when they could have sold me a higher end bike I didn’t need for where I was in my cycling career. It was that initial experience that made me a life long Holmes customer!
I’ve since bought my first TT bike, upgraded several parts, use them for all my service, and most importantly trust their knowledge and experience.