Joe Parkin is the only U.S. professional cyclist to have ridden World Championships in three different disciplines: road, mountain bike and cyclocross.
If you’ve read Parkin’s chronicle of his time racing the Kermesse circuit on Belgian and Dutch teams during the late 1980s and early 90s- A Dog in a Hat- you know that he’s not shy about exposing the sometimes sordid world of pro racing and elevating it with his wit and personal insight.
But when I ask Parkin, a first-time visitor to NAHBS and Editor for both Bike Magazine and Paved, what he thinks is the biggest technical innovation he’s seen at the show this year, he uncharacteristically lingers on the question.
“I think it’s the way that builders are using both cutting-edge materials and very traditional designs,” Parkin answers. “It’s as if they’re looking both behind and forward at the same time.”
Asked to identify his favorite bikes he rode as a pro, Parkin lists three.
“You always remember your first team bike, and that was a Zullo that I rode when I was with TVM. It was cool to see [Zullo] at the show this year,” he said.
Parkin went on to cite the Bottecchia that he rode as a teammate of Greg LeMond on the Belgian ADR team as another “beautiful and stable” bike.
But, what took the prize as a backdrop of the photo that I have him pose for is a Serotta of a similar vintage to the one he rode during his final year as a road pro with Coors Light in 1994.