Saturday, January 31, 2009

James Balentine: Service Manager & Super Mechanic

Today I thought I would blog about service manager & super mechanic, James Balentine. I might be a little biased, I am afterall his wife. But I think most of you will find that if you were to ask other cyclists/triathletes about James the words "awesome mechanic" might come up!

It was obvious even as a kid that he was passionate about bikes. His parents found him with his first bike...completely taken apart! He wanted to see how it worked and how to put it back together. He was only 7.
James wanted to learn everything he could about bikes so he got his dad to sign some paperwork allowing him to start working at the local bike shop. By 12 he was sweeping up the shop and asking a lot of questions.

His cycling career started around the same time by commuting to/from school and to/from work. From there he started riding BMX bikes, mountain bikes, and even road bikes (though he doesn't ride road bikes that much anymore because there are not enough jumps involved). By age 22, James became a pro bmx cyclist and was racing and traveling all over the country. In 2002, the racing slowed down...he met a certain female triathlete, now wife, and the nights of riding turned into nights of dating!

2003 was full of opportunities. James traveled with me to New Zealand for Olympic Distance Worlds. I made him bring all his tools just in case the U.S.A team mechanic needed help. Luckily he did and James was helping him prep all the athlete's bikes. From that point on, James was a USA Triathlon World Team mechanic. In addition to his J&A work, he also gets to travel about 2 times a year all over the world helping U.S athletes with their pre-race bicycle needs and he also wrenches for the Lone Star Circle of Life Tour.

Next time you are at the shop stop by the service window and say "hey" to James. He might seem quiet but he will appreciate the "hey". He recognizes most athletes/cyclists by the bikes they ride so putting a face to the bike is always a good thing!



1 comment:

brojo said...

Great post Angie. James is a great wrench and a great guy!