In 2009, Peter Clancy was watching a rerun episode of Iconoclasts on Sundance, featuring Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder and surfing superstar Laird Hamilton. The economic collapse had put a permanent pause on Clancy’s work as a land developer, and he found himself with an uncomfortable amount of free time with which to watch television. Near the end of the episode, Hamilton rode 75 miles on his bike to watch Vedder in concert, explaining that he’d canceled the limousine because he wanted to “earn the privilege” of enjoying the music. That scene changed Clancy’s life.
“I just grabbed my bike and just started to ride,” Clancy said. “I rode about 10,000 miles in eight months, and I lost 100 pounds and was terribly fit. It kind of saved my life. I was on all sorts of type 2 diabetes medication and just everything to keep me going and control what was going on with my body. Riding and eating slightly healthier made a big impact, and I was able to drop all the medication.”
Through that life change, Clancy got acquainted with Woodinville Bicycle — a shop which he’s now partial owner of. He went in for some routine maintenance on the broken-down mountain bike he started on, and eventually began helping out at the shop.
A few years later, Mike Rabas, then the shop’s sole owner, offered Clancy a partnership, and business has been flourishing since. Together they’ve opened a second shop in West Seattle and are heavily involved with community bike rides — the idea being that if you take care of the community, the community will take care of you. Clancy, 46, often plans the routes and takes photos of the events for free.
“It’s rewarding work,” he said, “watching customers’ kids turn into young adults and hearing how people have seized their goals.”
“I get jazzed when people come in, and they’ve transformed their life or they want something different,” he said. “They want something more, and they pick up the bike again.”
Clancy has been exclusively cycling indoors after a shoulder surgery last year made outdoor biking too risky. He hopes to get cleared by his surgeon soon so he can ride with his 6-year-old daughter. On the following pages, we take you inside a day in Clancy’s busy life.
My Wahoo Kickr trainer (bike stand) combined with Zwift has helped me continue cycling indoors until I have clearance from my surgeon to ride outside.
I prepare breakfast for my daughter; lately she has preferred fresh raspberries, toast, and yogurt.
My daughter and I walk to school, like we’ve done every morning since she was in preschool.
Things are slow first thing after opening, so my business partner, Mike, runs a rear derailleur through the gears. This is when we usually have a window of opportunity to discuss the shop.
Traveling on I-90 to get to a quick meeting prior to visiting our West Seattle store. Traffic was on my side.
Checking in at Seattle-based Gorilla Screen Printing. They do all of our shop T-shirts, and they are helping me translate artwork from my daughter’s class into custom T-shirts.
I arrive at our Westside Bicycle shop, and our general manager, Ted, mounts tires for a customer so she can play in the dirt before the next bout of rain.
At Westside Bicycle, we feel really lucky to be right on the trail to Alki Beach. Today, a group of women riding the full loop from Poulsbo to Bainbridge stopped by and praised the shop, which really made my day.
We shoot photography for up to 48 events a year, so I do my best to frequent local shops like Kenmore Camera. I needed batteries, and they lured me over to check out the new Canon 5D Mark IV.
Picking up my daughter. We talked to her teacher about the upcoming screen print for the class. We are really excited for this project, and can’t wait to see what each child comes up with.
Back at Woodinville Bicycle where fellow cyclist Carl is purchasing a replacement helmet after a car hit him last week. He rides thousands of miles a year and pretty much always has this smile.
Batteries are charged, lenses cleaned, and everything is ready to go for this weekend. Afterward, I head upstairs for some reading with my little girl, finish up a little work, and spend time with my wife.