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Nothing will Keep John Kodin from Racing

by John Neugent

Tech articles | Commentary articles |

John Neugent probably knows more about bicycle wheels than anyone else alive. Maybe more about bikes as well. He's spent his life in the bike business, at every level. He now owns Neugent Cycling, a firm devoted to delivering world-class equipment at the lowest possible price. If you are in the market for a set of wheels, please, check out John's site. He really knows his stuff. —Chairman Bill

John Neugent

Author John Neugent

Olympics 50 Craziest Stories

Les Woodland's book Cycling Heroes: The Golden Years is available in the print, Kindle eBook & audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

John Neugent writes:

I’ve known John Kodin since the early ’80s when he was selling advertising in the bicycle industry. He became my official wheel tester about 20 years ago. He regularly rides 12,000 miles a year and has done so for pretty much his whole life. I got this email from him this week (edited for clarity):

“It’s been interesting last four weeks for me. My training was going according to plan and I was feeling ready for the Senior Games races of 5K, 10K TT and then a 40K Road Race all the same morning. That took place on July 30. This was one event for the season that was I peaking for along with the State 40K TT that took place yesterday. Then a bizarre thing happened.

John Kodin at the Senior games.

“On Monday July 24 Dawn (John’s wife) and I had finished lunch and we noticed that there were two Paramedic trucks and a fire engine had pulled up at the end of our block. One of our neighbors has medical conditions. We were assuming that he was at his last days. So I was doing the dishes and I dropped a glass tea mug and it shattered on the sink and the shards ricocheted up and cut both my wrists. My left wrist had a very bad cut so I put pressure on it with my other hand. I had Dawn run ahead of me to the end of the block to alert the paramedics who were just rolling a stretcher into our neighbor’s house. He had me in a tourniquet in under a minute. Now what are the chances that the paramedics would right there at the same time? I had another neighbor me drive to ER where I got 5 stitches to close the wound. The ER doc said I had no nerve or tendon damage. Whew! This is 6 days before the Senior Games!”

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Note the tone here. Despite having what I would call a very severe injury, his biggest concern are the upcoming races. He goes on initially without mentioning that he can’t put pressure on his arm and so cannot stand up on a bike.

“I decided I would ride my recumbent and my TT bike on a trainer since there was no pressure on my wrist to maintain my fitness starting the next day. And then I would decide on whether to race on Saturday. We rolled the dice and I raced the both TT’s without the ability to stand up on the start, hills and turn-around. I got Silvers in both TT events. In the road race I was not able to stand at all and it was a hilly course. I had SRAM eTap shifting so I could still shift gears using my left finger since my wrist could not make the stroke on a mechanical shift paddle.”


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“Moving on to the road race Mark who beat me in both the TT’s and I both made the break and were the only two left in our 65-69 age group. He kept looking back at me constantly waiting for me to attack him. I laughed and rode up next to him and showed my wrist and told him not worry… I was in no position to do that. We do four laps of a 10K course with a short steep climb on the final turn leading to a long straight with a false flat. With about one mile left to the finish line. I had done this course many times know it well. Most riders go hard too early and whither at the end. Mark got a gap on me early in the final straight but I managed to chase him down and got the win! I was very happy with the day all things considered.

John Kodin's Senior Games medals


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“Fast forward to yesterday’s State TT and I was finally able to stand on the bars and got third place. So all and all I guess it worked out. My wrist is going to take about 6 weeks to 3 months to fully heal. I guess you never know what can happen. It also taught me that the kitchen is dangerous place!

“So I ended up getting a Silver Veteran’s division in Ski to Sea relay race, a Gold and two Silvers at the Senior Games and a Bronze at State TT.”

John Neugent was one of the first to establish the making of quality hand-built wheels in Taiwan around the turn of the century. He now owns Neugent Cycling, a firm devoted to delivering world-class equipment at the lowest possible price.