Nate may be one of the newer employees here at the shop, but that doesn’t mean that the man is suffering from a lack of experience. As an avid cyclist for over a decade now, Nate has quite the colorful history when it comes to the road and mountain bikes he’s owned. From Q Factors to rare road frames from the 60s, never has a Contender employee been so steeped in myth and questions about who and what he is -He’s the Kaiser Söze of the shop:
So where are you from originally?
I’m a Utah native, born and raised right here in Salt Lake City. Never lived anywhere else.
So you never were a nefarious crime boss?
Are you Hungarian?
I said when did you start riding bikes?
I started riding road in high school, my junior year. My dad gave me a 1961 Paragon he’d bought in Berkeley from the want ads. It was parked in the basement when I grabbed it. It had old Campy stuff on it. I put on new brakes, relaced the hubs to some new wheels and put in a new bottom bracket. I rode that bike for three years.
Talk about the Paragon. Go:
I looked through bike forums on the internet and found the guy that built the frame, Lars Zebroski. He’s passed, but I actually contacted his friend and racing companion, Victor Vincente of America, who rode a custom made Paragon from Lars as well -he told me about the bike and all the history behind it. It’s a cool story. The bike is really one of a kind. And Victor is a pretty important figure in cycling history.
I feel a future post coming up. Why do you like the Paragon so much?
I love the old Campy stuff -the coolest thing about the bike is that it has 52-44 chain rings. It’s called “man gearing”
Speaking of, ever killed a man?
That’s a ridiculous question.
Ridiculous because you’ve killed so many?
So what‘s your fascination with old bikes?
It’s all about the Q Factor
What is Q Factor?
Q Factor measures the width of a pedal, crankarm and bottom bracket relative to the riders foot. There’s been research that says a narrower Q Factor is beneficial to a rider because it’s similar to how a foot tracks when we’re walking.
You’re a nerd. A possibly deadly nerd.
Yeah…It’s a design that Campy uses currently and it’s more prevalent on older bikes. It’s a way to line up the hips of the rider with the crank arms and pedals. Basically you’re bringing the pedals and crank closer to the foot of the rider to increase efficiency.
It’s a cool idea because everybody has a different anatomy
Are you calling me fat?
I’m not calling you fat.
You can call me fat, just don’t kill me and my family. Do you mountain bike at all?
Last time, I’m not Kaiser Soze. But I do mountain bike. A friend of mine sold me his ’98 Jamis Dakar -that was my first one. I have some of my best memories from mountain bike trips to Southern Utah. We’d take the VW van down and just rally with friends.
Sure. Just down there to ride bikes, not run drugs or bury bodies. I get it. So what do you like better, road or mountain?
I like road better because I don’t like to force my off-road confidence, I like it to come to me. But I’m ok forcing that confidence on the road.
What are some of your favorite things at the shop?
I like the Giordana Laser Bib Shorts. They were the first pair of bibs I owned and their seams are better than anyone else’s.
I’m also a big fan of the Pearl Izumi Elite Arrow Jacket. It feels like your basic polyester shell but it’s totally water proof! It surprises me every time.
I just bought a Scott Spark 740 because that thing rips. I love the 27.5 wheel size. I definitely feel like there are more benefits than compromises with that size.
So what do you do when you’re not riding?
I still have a solid group of friends since highschool. We rock climb or play basketball.
So you guys still do some extortion together?
I asked if you’d ever been to Portland together?
No, why would we… weird question. Anyway, I also like to read biographies of interesting people.
What’s the best biography you’ve read?
I don’t know. I haven’t read that many. I should probably read more.
So, as a biography, how accurate is The Usual Suspects? I mean, with regards to you and your crimes and such.
I’m just going to stop responding.
Have any nicknames?
Yeah, ‘Stir Fry Nate’
Not the one I was expecting.
Stir frys man, c’mon! Anyway, If I’m doing well, I’m chopping a lot of vegetables. I love a good stir fry. How long has it been since your last stir fry? I can’t get enough of them.
What I’d like to do now, Nate, is run through a list of common statements made about you and have you tell me if they’re true or not. Sound good?
Yeah man, let’s do that -but then I gotta roll. Kinda jonesing for a stir fry now.
Great. Here we go, first one: Nate only sleeps on his left side
That’s partially true.
Nate has an irrational fear of different time zones
I think it’s pretty rational
I mean, really any fear of time zones is irrational.
That’s true. But what is time? It’s so subjective. That freaks me out.
What about this one: Nate believes handsome people are somehow more genetically similar to orangutans than other less attractive people because orangutans are “one handsome ape.”
Is that a quote? Did I say that?
My sources say you did, yeah.
Who are your sources?
I can’t reveal my sources, sir. Torture me if you want. But it’s not going to happen.
Fine. I don’t want to piss off any gorilla fans out there but seriously, I can’t be the only one who thinks that.