Meet Scott Rice, an Ironman athlete who works at Schwinn (when he's not racing around on his men's road bike, of course)! Learn about what he does and his advice for getting out on the open road.
What do you do at Schwinn?
Scott: I oversee the Parts & Accessories business for Pacific Cycle (PCG). Our team creates and develops products for cyclists to personalize and accessorize their bicycling experience while ensuring safe and enjoyable riding. Our portfolio of products includes helmets, lights, locks, saddles, pumps, tires & tubes, and literally 100s of other items.
How long have you worked at Schwinn?
Scott: I started with Dorel Sports in 2011, with PCG’s sister company, Cycling Sports Group (CSG). While at CSG I ran the Advanced Research Department and led the launch of the Guru Sports brand and fit system business. I transferred to the PCG about 4 years ago to oversee the P&A business here.
What has been your favorite part of working in the Parts and Accessories business?
Scott: I derive a lot of enjoyment from seeing our incredibly talented design, product, and marketing teams collaborate to create, design, develop and commercialize premium products at accessible price points.
Over the last 3 years we’ve completely transformed the Schwinn and Mongoose P&A portfolios. We offer products that are on par with what you’d find at IBD dealers at a fraction of the cost. Highlights include our collection of lighted helmets (Beam, Flash, Radiant), Air Center Pump series (especially the PRO), and our collection of reflective products, which has put enhanced safety throughout the accessories line.
What is something new that you are working on that you are excited about?
Scott: The Cycling market, like all consumer product markets (especially sporting goods), is rapidly moving towards fully integrating the cycling experience with our consumer’s overall lifestyle.
People want to be connected to cool experiences, and cycling is no different. We see big opportunities within the connected accessories space, enabling cyclists to have a more interactive experience. This includes developing products with BLE connectivity, Smartphone integration, and the ability to personalize.
How has biking impacted your life?
Scott: I remember when I was young, bikes were the catalyst to freedom. They gave me the ability to ride anywhere, go see friends, race around the neighborhood, even buy stuff at the convenience store my parents would not have let in the house! Biking still provides a sense of freedom today, expressed as the ability to develop and maintain fitness and health, socialize with others, and create products that allow others to experience the joy of cycling in their own personalized way.
Tell us about your path to becoming an Ironman. How did you begin that journey?
Scott: I started triathlon in my early 40s. I have always been into exercise and sports as long as I can remember, and one of my friends suggested I look into triathlon knowing my penchant for anything athletic. Basketball was always my first love growing up, but I had reached I point where I was tired of chasing around all the 20-somethings who wanted to spend more time arguing than playing!
Triathlon was a natural fit because the skills required to match my personality (disciplined, focused, goal-oriented) and it fulfills my need for competition on a level playing field (Triathlon races are broken up into age groups).
Ironman-distance triathlons represent a continual challenge for me to get faster, get fitter, and push myself. I think it’s very important in life not to get complacent — to do things that you don’t know for sure you can accomplish. Getting out of one’s comfort zone and challenging yourself to do more is fundamental to the human experience. For me, that comes in part through triathlon. And of course, I do it because it’s fun!
If you could tell someone who’s nervous to start biking one thing, what would it be?
Scott: Don’t overthink it! Clear the noise in your head, the most important step to take is just getting out the door. It doesn’t need to be complicated — put your helmet on, make sure your tires have air, your chain is clean, and go! Let the journey take you where it will. Keep it simple — get on a bike, start pedaling.
People always have a reason not to ride. What do you say to these people?
Scott: Like anyone else, there are always days where I don’t feel like riding, or I procrastinate or come up with self-inflicted excuses not to ride. What works for me is remembering that I always feel better after I’ve finished a ride than I do when I start. Endorphins are powerful, and they’re free! All you need to do is start pedaling to release them. And when you feel physically better, it makes your entire life better — you’re more focused at work, more engaged with family and friends, and generally happier, which makes you more pleasant to be around!
If you’re finding motivation lacking, remember how much better you’ll feel once you’re done. And if you think you don’t have time — well, use it or lose it! The body is nature’s greatest machine, and it’s designed to work best when active. There’s no better low-stress, low-impact way to reap the benefits of exercise and activity than cycling. Your body will thank you.
Wearing helmets always seems to be an issue for people – what would you tell those who don’t want to wear a helmet?
Scott: Would you ride in a car without buckling your seat belt? Many people don’t wear helmets because they believe they’re not going to endanger themselves and/or they’re not traveling very far from home so they underestimate risk. However, just like driving, the risk is greatest from other motorists, especially those not paying attention and/or having awareness of cyclists.
Many accidents occur close to home, no different than driving. Cyclists should think of their helmet as their biking seatbelt — a simple thing you can do which will have a profound impact on your safety. There are so many different models and styles of helmets available (PCG currently sells around 150 different models at retail!), there’s a comfortable helmet available for everyone, no matter what your age or size.