In Fast Company

I’m partial to any occasion that gets people into a bike shop for a reason other than pure commerce. Bike shops have always been a part of my sense of community, even if that shop is 100 miles away. The best shops find ways to make themselves part of the social fabric of the cycling community and when it does happen, the benefits can be profound and unexpected.

Cynergy Cycles, the flagship among Specialized‘s Concept Stores, held a charity event to benefit Right To Play. The organization targets children in areas ravaged by war and disease, using the transcendent power of play and sport to heal those children and help them chart a better future for themselves. The tie-in to Cynergy came through Specialized which sponsors Team HTC-High Road, one of Right To Play’s Global Corporate Partners.

The shop sold 100 tickets to the event at $100 each. For that, attendees got a dinner catered by Wolfgang Puck (it was quite good), wine, beer or coffee (perhaps all three?), a gift bag and $25 gift card to Cynergy. Better yet, they got to meet the HTC-High Road squad for the Tour of California and were entered in a drawing to win a Specialized S-Works HTC-High Road team frame set.

Another 10 folks got their picture taken with the team for their $250 donation.

Emcee for the event was Phil Keoghan of The Amazing Race and NOW: No Opportunity Wasted.

And while I was pretty jazzed to see Mike Sinyard and meet Allan Peiper, it may be that the biggest stars of the evening had neither the last name Goss or Van Garderen. Specialized was showing off one of a handful of the McLaren edition Venges and the local McLaren dealer was on-hand with both a chassis and working MP4-12C. You’ll pardon me if I tell you it was the sexiest thing in Santa Monica that night.

I’m keen to learn more about the McLaren edition of the Venge. I’m aware that it enjoys its own layup room, its own (much lengthier) layup schedule, not to mention its own blend of carbon fiber. That’s probably as close as I’ll come to the bike though; at $20k, I doubt they’ll be loaning any out for bike reviews. So far, they seem to be most popular with McLaren customers, who are picking them up as the ultimate fashion accessory.

Stuff like this just doesn’t happen often enough. A few PROs, a cool new bike, an amazing car and more than $12k raised for charity. Not bad.

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7 comments

  1. Robot

    So is there a roof rack on that McLaren (car) or is it one of those trunk mounts with all the goofy straps? I gotta know before I write the check.

  2. Scott G.

    I think you have the fashion accessory thing backwards.
    The car is the fashion item, the bike can actually be used
    at 10/10ths, the car is like a 747 parked in the driveway,
    neat to look at, but not really useable at it’s full capability.

  3. Phil

    I agree – bike shops need to do things like this more often to get the community more engaged in cycling. Curious onlookers are more inclined to walk into a shop if there’s something in the window that looks more socially acceptable than a man in lycra.

    However, $20,000 for a bike strikes me as a tad ridiculous. So does owning a car that can only be used to its full potential on a race track, but I have strange thoughts about many things.

    I just noticed Allan Pieper in the pictures – he looks like my Dad, but with hair. Strange.

  4. Lachlan

    Definitely all good – but one does wonder that perhaps selling one of the bikes for the charity would be a nice touch…. adding 20k to the 12k raised. Heck, they could get some McLaren drivers + some HTC riders to sign a special one and auction it for god knows how much…

  5. LD

    the car is amazing. looks like they’ll have their own showroom on Wilshire too. As jaded as Jensen Button and Lewis Hamilton are when it comes to High Tech candy I bet their both jonesing to get their own personalized versions of the Venge.

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