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Employee Profile: Peter Finklea

Peter Finklea is a Mellow Johnny's institution. Not only is he exceptionally knowledgeable about all things cycling, Peter is one of the most humble, thorough, and hard-working employees we've ever come across. Currently managing our rental department and all of our warranties (A thankless job he handles with aplomb), Peter is a busy man. Learn more about our star employee below.

1.You've been in the industry for years now, can you give us a snapshot of your cycling related work experience?

I've been in the bicycle retail industry for almost 30yrs and have held several positions. A mechanic for the first 20ish years w/Sales mixed in (Austin). Service Manager for two years (Palo Alto). Purchasing of Parts & Accessories for six years (San Francisco & MJ's). And most recently Manager of MJ's Rental Dept. and Warranties.

2. What got you interested in bikes initially?

I realized from a very early age, bikes were the most exciting and accessible way to establish independence. Just get on your bike and go. In my high school years we had a Bicycle Maintenance class in the Industrial Arts curriculum. It was taught by a teacher that had ridden across America and maintained his bike. Now he was passing his knowledge on to fresh minds. I was hooked. A couple of years after high school I landed my first bike gig at Cothron's Bike & Lock here in Austin, and the rest is history. I have worked in other industries over the years, but always come back to the passion of bicycles. In the last two years, I have been passing my knowledge and passion on as a coach of the Austin High Mountain Bike Team. Go Maroons!

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3. As manager of our rental fleet you recently had a run in with a few dishonest characters that resulted in you receiving a medal from the city, what happened?

Back in November, we rented out two carbon road bikes that were not returned. As I was collecting the needed paperwork for APD to report them stolen, I started calling around other shops that rented to warn them; Bicycle Sports Shop, Barton Springs Rental, University Cyclery, Bike World in San Antonio, and West End Cycles in Houston. West End had contacted our GM and he passed them to me. After talking to all of them, they had reported stolen high-end rental bikes by the same people that rented from us. I started making a list of stores, what was taken, how many times, and the dates. I then turned the list in with our paperwork in the APD. A couple of weeks later a different detective called and said that he was taking over our case and the notes I took, connecting all the other stores was the key piece of information that elevated this offense to an organized crime level offense.

Three of the four thieves were arrested and the detective let me know that there was going to be a press conference and would like me to attend. BSS was also notified and during the press conference, the Chief presented us with the Chief's Medal for serving the community.

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4. You've got some pretty tricked out bikes, What's your favorite?

Building a bike from parts is so rewarding. Putting your own creativity into something is awesome, so picking my favorite is a tough one. I would have to say my current favorite is a Richard Sachs CX w/ Campagnolo Chorus components, Belgium rims w/Chris King R45 hubs, and a Zipp Service Course cockpit.

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5. Di2 or mechanical, and why?

Di2 or not to Di2, That is the question. For me, I would have to say no to Di2. Price is one issue. Maybe it's the old school in me, but I like to be able to repair a bike without having to worry about electronics. Also recharging another device, or hoping you can make it through another ride before the battery drains completely isn't very appealing. I am fanatical about mechanical, but can see the advantage in Di2 for wet CX environment, or to help those with carpal tunnel issues.

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