Mark Kantner is a pillar of the cycling culture in Richmond, and it is easy to see why with his cheerful demeanor, ready smile, and eagerness to help new riders. When we open the doors at 1717 Summit Avenue at noon, chances are high that Mark has already logged an impressive amount of saddle time for the day. With his passion to push the pedals you might think Mark’s focus was on racing, and although he can be found on the starting line at local events, it is not his primary motivation.
A self-described “soul rider,” the bicycle is, for him, an escape from the 9-5 grind; a tool used to take the urgency out of life, and a means towards healthy balance and perspective. Mark’s ride resume includes multiple double centuries, huge epics, and a five day voyage though Death Valley. It is not unusual to catch Mark throwing down seven hour rides on his days off work. He cites the importance of mental strength and a positive outlook as the best tools to push beyond perceived physical limits.
Mark's goal for 2015? 12,500 miles. His tool for the task: a custom modified 2013 BH Prisma.
A long-time Campagnolo user, Mark recently made the jump to Shimano Ultegra Di2. Having battled wrist and thumb issues for years, he self-prescribed electronic shifting to alleviate the pain- which he says has worked wonders. However, Mark's Prisma was routed for mechanical shifting, so before the switch could be made, some special changes were required. Happily for Mark, Wilson loves putting his mind to work solving just this sort of problem. After removing old cable guides, some holes were gently enlarged for new wiring, others plugged and sanded smooth, and an internal battery was mounted to complete the sleek and very custom Di2 gruppo accommodation.
The end result of Mark's “Prisma project” is a great example of how much we enjoy connecting great riders with the perfect bike for their needs. There are certainly a lot of different people on two wheels out there, and we know that there are as many variations of bicycle- if not more. We like to think it is our purpose at RBS to connect the rider with the machine best suited to him or her, even if that means a trip to the workshop before the match is complete. We're here to help you find your two wheeled mate, and who knows, maybe the next Cornbread will be about you and your ride!