City Bicycle Works

Attending the Amgen Tour of California sounds fairly glamorous, but it’s actually pretty hard work when you do it the way we did. Our team spent most of the time working the expo booth at the finish line of every stage.  Set up, work all day, tear down and move on to the next city.  The nomadic lifestyle can challenge even the most energetic of our crew. Amidst all the hard work, there are plenty of bright spots sprinkled around during the week as well.  This was the case when we joined Hincapie customer, City Bicycle Works in Sacramento, CA.

City Bicycle Works threw a big party after Stage 2 (which ended up being stage 1 with the snow cancellation from Tahoe).  They had live music and “refreshments” for everyone to enjoy.  They didn’t let a little drizzling rain dampen the fun and we enjoyed hanging out with them for a while. It’s always great for us to hang out with our customers in a fun environment like that.  We were able to thank them for their support of our brand and spend a little social time to get to know them better.

L-R: Courtney, Diana, Rich, Judy Polakoff, Lynn, Nikole, Ricardo, Patti, Andrea

If you’re in the Sacramento area, make sure you stop by and say hi.  Tell them Hincapie Sportswear says hi. They will take good care of you.

Profile Hincapie: Andrea Housley

Providing great customer service requires good listening skills, excellent working knowledge of our business, and a friendly attitude. These are some of the many traits that Hincapie Customer Service Representative Andrea Housley utilizes when helping service our dealers and consumers.  She’s the first person you get on the phone when you call the office, so we thought we would focus on her for this week’s Profile Hincapie.

Andrea came to Hincapie Sportswear a couple years ago when a friend recommended that she contact the company.  “I’m not a cyclist, but I knew about Hincapie Sportswear from the local media coverage of George,” said the Alabama native. “My friend did boot camp with one of the employees and she said Hincapie was looking for a new customer service rep. I jumped at the chance to work here.”

We were looking for a customer service rep, and when we found out Andrea could do more pull-ups than half the guys around here, we knew she would be tough enough to handle any situation that might arise.  As an avid runner and cross-fit devotee, she is passionate about her fitness.  That athletic discipline carries over into her professional life and helps her keep track of all the activities around the office.  It’s good to have some detail-oriented team members like her to keep things running smoothly.

Her southern charm and her willingness to chat up the customers make her an excellent asset at shows and events like the Tour of California and USA Cycling Championships.  She’s looking forward to making her second trip to Cali, but her real dreams take her much farther away.  “If I wasn’t working here, I would be a professional chef,” she explains. “If I could, I would take a 2 month tour of Europe and take cooking classes along the way.” I think I’m going to start petitioning the boss for some continuing education credits so Andrea can master her Bouchees and Beignets.

This Bama-Girl has mad skills with a bush hog too!

If you call and talk to Andrea on the phone, tell her you read about her on the blog.  You can even send her some recipe recommendations.  Just leave out the “Paula Dean Pound of Butter” stuff.  We’re trying to stay fit for the racing season around here.  Thanks to Andrea for all that she does around here.  We’re glad to have her as part of our Hincapie extended family.

P.S. Happy birthday to Andrea. She's traveling with the Hincapie crew at the Tour of California this week but some friends surprised her at the office with some balloons before she left. It's bad when you have to celebrate your birthday when you are out of town on business but its not as bad when you're hanging on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Happy birthday Andrea.

All in the Family

If you’re one of the lucky thousands of cycling fans attending the Amgen Tour of California next week, you will see the Hincapie Sportswear truck and trailer in the vendor expo at every stage finish.  Hincapie Sportswear is the official jersey supplier to the Tour of CA and we set up a booth every day to show off our clothing.  The trick for us is getting our huge Hincapie rig out to Cali and back without taking more of our employees away from their day to day jobs.  This year, George and Rich Hincapie’s dad Ricardo and Uncle Jorge stepped up to make the cross-country drive to Tahoe.  That’s right, Papa Hincapie and his brother are the pilots this year and they’re doing a fantastic job so far.

Look for the Hincapie Trailer in the Vendor Expo at every stage finish.

The duo left Monday amid news stories of flooding along the Mississippi River and possible snow showers in the west. These reports were not enough to dampen the spirits of the Hincapies.  As it turns out, Ricardo is a very thorough and accomplished trip planner, so every detail of the trip has been documented and scheduled to ensure that they make it to Lake Tahoe on time this weekend.  Rich never knew his dad was such a detailed planner, but we were all pleased to figure that out.

We also had reservations about sticking these guys with driving a huge trailer not knowing how much experience they had with backing up such a gigantic vehicle.  All fears were silenced when we found out that Ricardo was actually known as “the backup guy” for many years at United Airlines.  Ricardo worked as a Ramp Service Supervisor at United Airlines in NYC for more than 30 years.  Apparently, when the guys had a tricky situation with a crowded hanger, they would call in “the backup guy” (Ricardo) to shoehorn the plane or cart into just the right position!  I can’t tell you how pleased we are now that we know we have “the backup guy” at the wheel to help us get into just the right position at the finish line every day.  Maybe I should go get some of those orange flashlights to help him land the trailer in the expo…ha ha.

If roll up on these guys on the road, make sure you give them a wave.

There are some additional benefits to having Ricardo and Jorge driving our Hincapie truck and trailer to Cali. Ricardo has been a huge backer of his boys and their cycling for many years and this is one more opportunity for him to provide that moral support that is oh so important to a professional cyclist.  We will enjoy our time with Ricardo and Jorge and I know that George will race better because they are with him for the week. We’re hoping for great things in the race, and we know that George will give it his all.  But in the end of the day, it’s just nice to see all the Hincapie boys together at a bike race.  Just like old times…but with a huge 50-foot Hincapie truck and trailer instead of an old ’75 Pontiac station wagon.

See you in Cali!

Volunteer USPro Weekend and Get Close to the Action

Greenville, SC will be the place to be this Memorial Day Weekend as the GHS USA Cycling Professional Championships roll into the city for the 6th consecutive year!  One of the best ways for you to get up close to the action is to become one of the many volunteers it takes to host a successful event.  You don’t have to be a cyclist to help out, and there are a wide variety of jobs available to choose from.  Volunteers are needed to help with media, parking, course marshaling, and hospitality!  Please volunteer today and help us make this the best event we’ve ever hosted.

Sat., May 28, volunteers are needed from 8AM until about 1PM.
Mon., May 30, volunteers are needed from 10AM until about 4PM.

If you can help, please contact Kimberly Morgan, the Volunteer Director at usprovolunteer@medalistsports.com or visit the official website: www.usacyclingchampionships.com

Profile Hincapie: Emily Pitts

Family is the core of Hincapie Sportswear, and that concept extends beyond blood relatives to the people that make our company what it is today. Every week we will give you a look at one of our valuable team members to help you get to know Hincapie a little better.  This week, we will profile Graphic Artist, Emily Pitts.

Emily joined Hincapie Sportswear almost 5 years ago and, as she says, she’s “been making spandex pretty ever since.” She was designing t-shirts at a regional shirt company and longing for a better way to use her creative genius.  We swiped her resume from the pile of candidates at a local design firm and dialed her up.  We’d like to think it was love at first…interview, so we’ll leave it at that.

One of our strengths at Hincapie Sportswear is providing our clients with professional design services.  Emily is a big part of our success with helping our teams and clubs create the most attractive kits in the peloton.  It’s really amazing the way she can take the random inputs from a customer and crank out something that looks great and turns heads on the road.  This Greenville native is good at what she does, but it’s not the only thing keeping her going.

“I’d like to say I love spandex, but really, it’s my coworkers that make this an awesome place to work,” she said. “Well, that and the candy in the jar at the office coffee bar and the wine Wednesday socials at 5 o’clock. I mean, what’s not to love around here?”

Emily enjoys getting out on her bike now and then to relieve the incredible stresses of custom clothing design.

It’s an extremely exciting year for Emily and her husband Jonathan, as they are expecting a baby boy in September.  It’s actually been quite a distraction at the office with all the naming ideas being thrown around.  Some current suggestions include Muscles, Artimus, Day’quandray, Tiny, and our favorite…Little Don Ricky Georgie.  Obviously they need some help with the names, so feel free to make your suggestions.  Emily will bounce them all off Edward the guinea pig and get back to us with her final choice sometime around September.  Regardless of his name, we’re all excited to be welcoming a new mini-member to our extended Hincapie Sportswear family.

We want to send a big thanks to Emily for all that she does to help make this the best cycling apparel company in the world.  If she designed your latest kits, send us a picture of your team. If you’re looking for a new design, give us a call.  Emily is bursting at the seams with creativity (it’s not just the new baby).

We are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby Pitts.
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