Since starting this blog, I’ve been lucky enough to meet some really amazing people, who have equally amazing and interesting stories to tell. So, in a brand new series of trying to share these people with you as well, here’s the first of the ‘Interesting Interviews’. Enjoy!
Q: Name, nationality and current country of residence?
A: Terrance Kevin Malone, citizen of the United States of America, living in Switzerland since 2009.
Q: Describe yourself in one sentence (less than 234 words because readers will die without being able to take a breath)?
A: I’m a student of international relations, degreed engineer, cycling professional, music amateur, history lover, second-time husband, father of twins, and writer who doesn’t know when to stop.
Q: Current job?
A: Founder and Managing Director of Terra One GmbH.
Q: How did you get into the cycling business?
A: A lifelong pattern of stubborn refusal to accept any other outcome, with a key turning point in 1989, when the very kind folks at North Star Cyclery in Vermont decided to begin paying me, instead of calling the police to remove me from their establishment for loitering.
Q: What is Terra One all about then?
A: My seven year old son, Jeremias, wants to work with his father when he grows up. I incorporated Terra One GmbH in July 2019 as the first legal step towards achieving that goal. On the consulting side, Terra One helps others envision and execute their ideas for the future of cycling and e-mobility. Balancing this, I design, develop and distribute my own products under the Terra One brand, which help fellow lovers of classic cycling to preserve our history, build a strong community, and ride more frequently.
Q: If you had to live on your own on a desert island, what bike would you take and why, and what music album would you take to listen to?
A-Bike: A 44 Bikes Marauder Ti Ute by Kristofer Henry, who was mentored by Ted Wojcik. Ted was the master builder who made my first mountain bike design concept actually rideable. This was despite any valid experience-based concerns that my theoretical ideas probably wouldn’t result in the effects I expected. Kristofer’s 44 Bikes are relied upon by one local legend, Patrick Strahm of Biel/Bienne, Switzerland, who rides as much in real life as I would hope to on this fantasy island. In this special case, I’d trust Kristopher to tell me what I need from a ‘single-do-everything-bike’, which would prevent my natural instinct to overthink every little detail. The bespoke front rack and bags from the Ute version would ensure that this bike is not only fun to ride, but also essential to moving material around my island prison/playground.
A-Music: The album would need to have been recorded live to provide the palpable illusion of belonging to, and interacting with groups of humans, even during deepest isolation. Ideally. I would have experienced the artist(s) in person, so that listening to the recording would spirit me away to a place and period prior to my present predicament. A mix of inspired, interpretative covers and brilliant, original compositions would provide sorely needed variety. Equal parts of practiced virtuosity and polished performance should ensure that each desert island challenge that is conquered is paid off in an emotional release. Also, a touch of humor to keep me smiling, even if no one is around to see it. Easy choice: Michael Hedges’ Live on the Double Planet.
Q: Favourite food?
A: Fish tacos, Baja California style. Hard to find done well in Europe, and which a couple of my favorite Mexican restaurants won’t even try for fear of serving them below the standards of their other dishes.
Q: What advice would you give to someone starting up in the cycling business?
A: If you’re not in the bicycle business for love, you won’t be in it for long.
Q: Tea or coffee or beer or?
A: Beer, preferably Belgian, quality over quantity.
Q: What’s the best designed, made and performed piece of bike kit you’ve ever had?
A: The Spurcycle Original bell.
Q: What’s your prediction for life, the universe and everything?
A: Don’t forget that “This too shall pass.” This eventually applies to life, the universe, and everything.
Q: If you could wave a world-political cycling wand, what would you point it at to make cycling better for everyone?
A: Specifically, that a self-powered bicycle serves as a pass to access public transportation. This provides some of the benefits of electrically assisted bicycles without many of the individual, environmental & social costs. It also gives one a ride home in case equipment, mechanical skills or pedaling power come up short.
This paragraph has no question or answer, so go straight to the next one please?
Q: How many cycling helmets have you broken in accidents, and what was the worst accident you’ve had on a bike?
A: I’ve cracked three or four brain buckets in accidents over the years, but thankfully never ended up with a concussion. I did once skewer my left ankle onto the lowest mounting position of a multiple bike display stand inside an abandoned, former bike factory, and with no power left in my mobile phone to call for assistance. Thankfully, I was able to tightly wrap an entire box of promotional, lycra arm sleeves (thankfully red) around the gushing wound to apply direct pressure, hop on my bike, throw my injured ankle over the bullmoose handlebar (also thankfully red), and let gravity pull me home, where I caught a ride to the emergency room.
Q: How many bikes have you got?
A: You’re really going to make me count?
Q: Are you a ‘collector’?
A: Certainly, because any other explanation would involve clinical diagnoses. See the previous answer for ample evidence.
Q: What piece of cycling kit or parts have you given away to someone and now wish you hadn’t?
A: No such regrets about any bikes or components that I intentionally gave away. However, one should never trust a primitive, electronic remote control locking device to keep an irreplaceable mountain bike (referenced above in the desert island answer) well secured inside the cargo area of one’s British motor vehicle after returning from a Sunday morning ride.
Q:If the cycling industry erected a statue of you in the car park, what would you want it to recognise you for?
A: Helping so many to enjoy riding bicycles that the world needed far fewer car parks.
Q: Have you ever won a cycle race? If yes, what was it? If no, what has been your best placing?
A: Monday, July 5th, 1993. Despite not having won any stages, I ended up first overall in my class at the end of the inaugural edition of a well-meaning, but deeply disorganized, mountain bike stage race over America’s national holiday weekend. My high placings in Vermont were undoubtedly aided by the Grundig Mountain Bike World Cup races concurrently being held just over the Canadian border in Bromont, Quebec. Having already given away all of their loot for placements during the three stages, the event runners entered the final ceremony without any awards for the overall winners. Quick thinking on their part meant that we champions were rewarded with free entry into next year’s edition of the event, which I’m quite sure that they had already decided was never going to take place.
Q: What’s great about cycling in Switzerland?
A: Switzerland is magical to explore by bike, because nearly every trail, path and road is permissible to ride. There are very few signs which indicate no trespassing, private property, or no bikes allowed. On the contrary, there are often signs which guide you to locations which you’d never expect to be allowed to ride your bike to. Here’s one perfect example below. It is located a few towns over from where I live, and where there is a winding, downhill singletrack, posted with the destination of a Raststàtte, which in English, a highway rest stop (US) or motorway service area (UK).
Many thanks Terrance! Truly interesting!
BTW, You can buy Terra One tyres, or tires (dependant how you spell the word) by clicking the link in the sidebar.
All photos courtesy of Mr T. K. Malone except the desert island bike, which is courtesy of 44 Bikes.