Graham Greenlee is one of the fine mechanics here at Contender. If you’ve had your bike serviced with us, chances are you’ve seen his smiling mug wrenching and probably mixing up a fresh cup of Tang®. We thought we’d sit down and chat with Graham to gain a little insight into what makes the man such a phenom when it comes to keeping your bike in top shape.
Are you from Salt Lake?
Yep. Born and raised. I went to Highland High School and then I was at Westminster for a while.
How long have you worked at Contender?
I’ve been here since March of 2005. Which means it’s almost been ten years.
What did you go to Westminster for?
A bunch of classes. I had a hard time committing to the school part of school. I think at one point I was going for a B.S. – I also took three semesters of Japanese.
Just decided I should probably take some classes. Japanese seemed like the right way to go.
Got it. Are you married?
I am. My wife Dannie and I have a 17-week-old boy named Jack.
How’d you and Dannie meet?
We went to high school together. Then she moved to Hawaii and I didn’t see her for a while. One day, I was in the parking garage at Westminster. We hadn’t seen each other since our high school graduation four years earlier. She saw me and yelled a hello and we’ve been together ever since.
I hear Westminster parking garages are a hotbed for hookups like that.
Did you wrench before you started at Contender?
Nope. All my training has been on the job. I did work on the sales floor for a year. But then they decided to teach me how to be a mechanic. I liked that better.
So what do you do when you’re not at the shop?
I play a lot of video games and watch a lot of movies.
What are some of your favorite movies?
Mostly anything. I like The Big Lebowski or the Indiana Jones and Star Wars movies. Definitely the original Star Wars more than the new ones.
Did you like any of the new ones?
Yeah. I liked the first one. You know, despite what everyone else says, I didn’t mind Jar Jar Binks.
That’s a dangerous admission, my friend. You sure that’s not off the record?
No. Leave it in. I’ll stand by that.
So how many bikes do you have?
Like, rideable ones? I’ve got four frames laying around and then four bikes that are built up that I ride.
My GT Grade that I use for cyclocross:
…My Surly Moonlander snow bike, a SCOTT Ransom mountain bike and an old SCOTT CR1 that I’ve turned into a single speed.
…Plus I made a stool out of an old TIME RXR.
You’re crafty. I like it. What’s your favorite bike you have?
I love my snow bike, the Moonlander. It’s fun to ride. It’s slow and dumb.
What’s your favorite bike ride?
The Amasa Back trail in Moab is fun.
What’s your favorite part about it?
I don’t do a lot of introspection. I don’t question why I like It. I just know that I like it.
Exactly like Jar-Jar
It’s probably best no one think too much about Jar-Jar. So what keeps you at Contender?
I have no other marketable skills. Actually I have an advanced EMT certificate. So if you ever need an I.V. started, I can help.
I’ll let you know. So your mom is known for her wicked delicious treats she brings into the shop for all the staff. How does she make such wicked delicious treats? And how are you not 300 pounds from growing up with all those wicked delicious eats around?
She cooks and bakes a lot. I guess practice makes perfect. I have really good genes I guess. Plus I have a rigorous exercise routine.
What’s your favorite treat?
Her chocolate cake she makes for birthdays is the best.
Speaking of exercise, do you race at all?
I’ve done the cyclocross series for six years now. I’ve been in the C’s the whole time.
Apparently your rigorous exercise routine isn’t that rigorous.
So what’s your favorite thing we carry at the shop?
I like the TIME bikes. The blue ZXRS we just got in looks real good.
Any plans for the future we should know about?
I plan on having ten kids and living on a farm. I’ll be completely off the grid except for a telemarketing business that I run out of my house. My children will do all the grunt work. I’ll have a little circle of mobile homes.
So it’ll be like a compound?
Yeah. Of mobile homes.
Anything you wished we carried?
Yeah. Tang. It’s good. I don’t know why – that whole introspection thing again. Water feels funny inside of me. It sits too heavy.
As opposed to TANG?!
I can’t explain it. Plus they sell Tang in bulk at Costco.
Has Jack had Tang yet?
Nope. He tried an Otter-Pop once. He wasn’t sure about it. Plus Tang’s not for home. Tang’s for work.
Did you know that in 2013 Buzz Aldren stated that ” Tang sucks.”
He had it in the 60′s. They’ve improved it since then.
Have you ever tried Sunny Delight?
I would call Sunny Delight poor man’s Tang except I don’t know if it’s actually cheaper.