Profile: Guy Berthiaume

Editor's note: I can't very well say "He's a really nice guy," because his name is Guy. But having said that, he is a really nice person whom I met through my bike shop. And I'm looking forward to going on many rides with him. This "Guy" rides a ton of miles, so enjoy his profile.

Name: Guy A. Berthiaume

Age: 73

Residence (town): Chelsea, Maine

Occupation: Retired

Why do you ride?

I could say I ride to stay healthy, to maintain fitness, or to relieve stress, but the truth is it is more my new established identity now that I have retired. Should you ask my wife, she might say I am addicted. Why would a person need 10 bikes, 13 helmets and 10 pairs of biking shoes?

Guy at 2018 Maine Senior Games.

Do you remember your first bike? If money was no object, is there a bicycle you would really like to have?

I do not remember my first bike, only the one I purchased for myself, which was a new Shogun CR-MO 600. I gave it to my son after I upgraded to the new Shogun 1000. The 1000 eventually ended up with my grandson.

If money was not an object (and my wife was on board), I would get a new Cannondale Evo High Mod, the Black Inc., or the new S-Works Venge, which I think might be selling for about $14,000.

Someone told me you rode more than 8,000 miles last year. How do you keep your riding experiences fresh?

It is true, I ride 8,000 miles a year, which is more than I drive my car. I think the reason I am able to keep the experience fresh is (1) I establish racing goals for the new year, (2) I often ride with good friends, (3) I read cycling material nearly every day, and (4) a good part of my time revolves around my next ride.

I believe you perform a lot of your own maintenance on your bikes. Is that something you enjoy? With all the rapid advances in technology, does it make it harder to do your own work?

It is true, I do enjoy working on my bikes, but when you love what you are doing it does not feel like work. Sometimes while riding with my friends and we start to hear a noise from my bike or a gear might skip, they will ask who my bike mechanic is. This is always good for a laugh.

Do you think Maine is a bike-friendly state? Any suggestions for making it better? Does the state do a good enough job promoting Maine as a biking destination and the link to tourism?

I would say Maine is a bike-friendly state. When a person rides a bike 8,000 or more miles per year they are going to experience the occasional crazed driver who will get your blood pressure up. Many of us have ridden in other states and recognize they have the same problems. As bikers, we need to respect the traveling public. I have seen some bikers who are likely giving the biking community a bad name as a result of their actions. It is my opinion that the state of Maine does a good job of promoting biking.

Do you have a favorite route or event ride?

There is one ride that might be my favorite, which I only do a few times per year. It is about a 50-mile loop, which is located in the Buckfield, Hebron, West Paris area. It has some good hills in it, one being Streaked Mountain.

My favorite cycling event is the Maine Senior Games, held in Kennebunk in September. I always complete in the 40K, 20K road races and the10K time trial race.

And finally, any tips for others on bike safety, bike maintenance, etc.?

I am not one that should be giving advice or tips about bike safety. My bike skills at age 73 could use some improvement. My left collarbone has been broken twice and I have a number of scars that should help attest that my biking skills could be improved.

One safety product that I recommend, if you are willing to spend more than $150, is the Garmin Varia RTL510 Rearview Radar Taillight. It lets you know when a vehicle is approaching you from the rear so you can make adjustments.

Also, build rest into your training program. If you push hard and do not recover, you will get stale or sick and eventually go backward.

I'm looking for other cyclists to profile. If you know someone, or would like to be featured yourself, drop me a comment. Thanks.

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