Employee Profile – Mark Overby

If you check out our website today, you’ll see this image at the top of the page, all about our huge GT sale:

But this isn’t just any image!  The rider in the photo is actually one of the hardworking folks from our Product Development team, Mark Overby.  Mark loves to ride any kind of bike, but he’s got some serious skills when it comes to flying downhill (although he’s a pretty tough competitor in cyclocross too).  This photo is from a race at Massanutten Resort in Virginia, where Mark was 4th place in his age group.  So what better day to introduce you to Mark with a little Employee Profile question and answer session.

What is your name?

Mark Overby

What is your position here at Performance and can you briefly sum up your job?

I work in Product Development. I source primarily hardgood components and a few accessories for our proprietary brands. The goal being awesome products that don’t break the bank. It is a lot of hands-on with product which is what I really enjoy.

How long have you been working here?

I have worked here since August 1997.

What (if any) other positions have you held here at Performance?

Lots. I’ve worked in our IT department, in Tech Support, as a Retail Store Mechanic, and as an Assistant Buyer in Components and Accessories.

What bike(s) do you ride?

I ride a GT Fury Spec A for downhill, a Scattante CFR Team for road, a Focus Mares Team for cyclocross, a Santa Cruz Tallboy for mountain bike, a Schwinn Sprint for riding around town, and an Evil Faction for dirt jumping.

Where would you ride if you could ride anywhere?

Whistler, British Columbia. It’s been a couple of seasons since I was up there last and I’m itching to ride there again.

What hobbies/interests do you enjoy other than cycling?

Reading, hanging out with my Redbone Coonhound and cat, eating good food, drinking good beer, and generally enjoying life.

What one question would you like me to ask the next person?

What’s your favorite color?

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Habitat For Humanity

Last week a couple of lucky volunteers from Performance headquarters got to work on a new Habitat For Humanity house in the neighboring city of Durham, NC.

It was a brand new house and they spent the afternoon shoring up insulation around the foundation so that other crews can start putting up some walls.

Like all Habitat houses, the new homeowners will get a zero interest loan, keeping the house affordable and helping Habitat work towards their goal of reducing homelessness worldwide.  Another fun bonus for this project is that the house is sponsored by another local company, Cree.  If you’re not familiar with Cree, they are the company that’s fulfilling the promise of LED lighting technology.  We can’t wait to see what kind of lights this house is going to have in a couple of weeks!

One of the great things about working at Performance is the opportunity to volunteer like this without taking a vacation day.  Performance gives every full time employee 8 hours of paid volunteer time each year, making sure that we all have the chance to invest in our communities.

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40@20 #11 – Missed Connections

After a mid-summer siesta, the 40@20 is back in action (although ride #10 has somehow been lost in the heat and humidity).  The 40@20 is the regular Wednesday night group ride from our corporate headquarters, featuring (at least) 2 county line sprints, some decent hills and the goal of riding 40 miles at a pace of 20 miles per hour.  This week our scribe, Randy, has penned a “missed connections” style recap of all the excitement:

To the group of bicyclists I followed home last night-w4m (Chapel Hill)

There I was enjoying the North Carolina humidity, driving home with my windows down and the Blaupunkt to eleven, when suddenly I descended upon a peloton of Lycra. Maybe you guys didn’t notice that this isn’t France or that the hills of Chatham are not exactly the Alps, but that didn’t stop you from staking your claim to the entire lane and posturing as if there were hordes of cheering fans waving USA flags while donning Borat swimwear. If only I’d had some extra water bottles, I could have been your domestique. Luckily I was in a good mood, or the 21.2 mph pace would have been torturous. Plus, the heat makes me too lazy for road rage and WKNC was kickin out the slow jams (Barry White could melt even William Foster’s rage) and OK, OK, I’ll admit it, those avocado calves were easy on the eyes!

Since I was stuck behind you—and really not that thrilled about getting home to a veggie corn dog and cold Schlitz—I decided to follow. I couldn’t help noticing the Tyler’s Taproom kits, and I being a drinking woman, figured you were my kind of people. There appeared to be some kind of inner group competition going on, as two riders suddenly shot forward, breaking away from the rest of the pack. I pulled up next to the chase and yelled, “What are they doing?” Quite winded, he sputtered, “County line sprint. Best man wins.” As far as I could tell, the man with the side burns killed it, while the heavier set fella with the golden tan and operatic voice took second. The wee man with oversized glasses and furry legs took third.

As thrilling as it was to watch you guys try to emasculate each other, I did need to get home to brush my cat and dust off my PEZ dispenser collection, so I broke away from you at 54 and Orange Grove, thoughts of oversized quads and undersized chests dancing through my head.

Thanks for the little spark of competition on an otherwise lazy drive home. Maybe I’ll get a bike and join you one day.

RE: To the group of bicyclists I followed home last night-w4m (Chapel hill)

So you were the girl who yelled at us. We all wondered if the heat had given us a collective hallucination or if you really were there creepily playing make out music and ducking under the steering wheel any time we looked back. Glad we could entertain for a short while, but it’s too bad you pulled off; things got saucy for the second half of the ride. We tried some double pace line counter clockwise team time trial rotation business that had this rider (I’m wee man, big glasses, fuzzy leg guy) completely discombobulated and the victim of some harsh scolding by the elders of the group. You don’t know embarrassment until two Irishmen, one Manther, and a Jersey patriarch break you down in a peloton. Side burn guy grew weary of the failed speed wagon and decided a full on sprint down Dodson’s would be more fun. Jersey, Manther, and the elder Irishman gave chase with Jersey eventually blowing by Side Burns and becoming the next rabbit for the hounds to track down. He was never caught, and the group reformed at the Kraken just in time for some light ribbing from a man pulling a trailer of rusty dishwashers and refrigerators, surely to become yard art in front of his double wide.

We ran the cool-down section from the Kraken out to Damascus without incident, and started what would have made you scream with excitement had you still been stalking us. No this isn’t France, nor is it the Alps, but when the Meacham hill appears, we all think we are Lance for at least 800 meters and give “the look”. Manther was lead out with Wee on his wheel. Old Irish and Jersey pulled around on the left, then Side Burns made his move. Wee stood to chase but the cramps shut him down quick. Jersey and Irish gave it their best, but Burns was on the juice and there was no catching him. Jersey took second, Irish third.

Thinking the remainder of the ride home would be a soft pedal, we were all a bit surprised when Irish sprinted ahead for the imaginary Mann’s Chapel line. We’d normally give chase, but I guess your Barry White put a spell on us too.

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Performance Bicycle Racing Team – Riding a Tandem at Nationals

It’s been a little while since we’ve caught up with the women of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team, but that doesn’t mean that they’ve been taking any time off.  As you can see by their results so far this year, they’ve been busy at the races all summer.

But today we wanted to highlight the newest member of the team, development rider Georgia Boswell.  You may recognize the Boswell name from elite rider Evie Boswell-Vilt, and indeed you would be correct to make the connection.  This is a family affair, just not in the way that you may be thinking!  Georgia is actually Evie’s mom, and they are teaming up to tackle the 2010 Masters Road National Championships in Louisville, KY… on a tandem!

The Masters Road National Championships are open to competitors over 30 years old, and divided up into age-graded races to determine the Masters national champions.  For tandem riders, the age groups are sorted by adding together the age of the competitors, so Evie and her mom will be racing in the 110+ womens’ division.

Here’s a video of Evie and Georgia going on their maiden tandem voyage together, and training together for the big race (which takes place on Tuesday, August 3):

Inspiration is a big part of the mission of the Performance Bicycle Racing Team, so it doesn’t get much better than seeing Evie’s mom out there competing with her daughter!  Good luck Evie and Georgia, we know you’ll do great on the roads at Nationals!

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