Happy (belated) Birthday Speedplay!

February 6, 2007

One reason my wife and I are perfect soulmates is dates.  I forget them and she remembers them.  There is not one date I need to remember on my own (we share the same birthday).  As it turns out, she left me out there on this one.

I had some time to kill yesterday at the airport so I started just clicking through some old stories in Cyclingnews and came across this oneSpeedplay pedals hit 15 years old.  To me, it is a important milestone as I have a short but interesting history with the company.

Back in June of 2004, I drove to the USPRO races in Philadelphia.  I bought a VIP ticket which gave me access to a tented area and a shuttle that ran continuously from the Start/Finish line to the famous Manayunk Wall.  Inside the tented area there were some televisions showing the race, finger foods, and some refreshments.

Early in the race, after the riders came through the Start/Finish area, I retreated into the tent to watch the race on TV and grab a drink.  I sat next to a gentleman and we struck up a conversation.  After a while, he was surprised that I followed the Pro scene like most people in the U.S. follow baseball.  After that comment, he asked a question that changed my life.  “What pedals do you ride?”

“Time,” was my reply.  “Why,” he asked. “Because I stand a lot when I climb and I like the platform they provide.  I also like the float.”

“That’s bull!”  I was shocked at his passion.  It was not anger, it was conviction.  He proceeded to tell me about the platform with the Speedplay system. I wondered aloud how a pedal so small could provide the same stability as my Time pedals.  “It’s in the cleat.  The whole pedal/cleat system works together to provide the best riding experience.”  This guy is really into pedals.

I finally asked him what he did for a living.  He gave me his card that read Richard Bryne Founder and CEO Speedplay.  He gave me his personal guarantee that I would not be disappointed with Speedplay.  His passion had already convinced me.  I have been a proud and extremely happy Speedplay owner/user since.

Later that day, Richard introduced me to his wife Sharon Worman.  You will not find two more wonderful people on the planet.  He also introduced me to the makers of Wired To Win the IMAX movie.  I was able to introduce those folks to some people I know who eventually sponsored the film.  I was also able to meet team CSC who were at the race.

So Richard, Sharon.  Congratulations and many more!