If you happen to be in Santa Barbara, check out Fastrack Bicycles. It's a true road shop with a rich history in elite cycling and plenty of connections to some of the sports great riders. The shop is packed with all the latest road bikes that one would see winning the Tour de France. We had the opportunity to find out a little bit more about the shop and its owner Dave Lettieri.
Acura LA Bike Tour: When you opened, most shops were still in the mountain biking is the bread and butter mode, what made you take that leap of faith to a road only shop?
Dave Lettieri: I thought if I could fill a need and a particular niche, I could have a good business.
ABT: What makes Fastrack different from other shops around Southern California?
DL: I think because the shop is owner operated, and that makes a big difference. Also, not many shop owners do not have the background that I have. Also still riding and participating in local events helps keep me up to date on the newest equipment.
ABT: You have a pretty good relationship with Lance Armstrong. How did you meet Lance?
DL: I knew Lance when I managed Chevrolet/LA Sheriff. (Note: The Chevrolet/LA Sheriff Cycling Team was a domestic based pro team from 1991-1995) Then he started vacationing in Santa Barbara in late 1997 and we became friends.
ABT: What does his comeback do for the sport?
DL: It’s big for the exposure that the sport gets. Every thing Lance does is reported on in the press.
ABT: Does that help with business?
DL: Absolutely, any publicity for cycling is good for the bike industry.
ABT: Has Lance changed the industry?
DL: Yes he has helped everyone from Trek to all the other bike manufacturers. He brings them into the sport. He also helps the coaching angle of the bike industry as well as the bikes.
ABT: You had a pretty successful racing career. Can you tell us how you get into riding?
DL: I did local century tours in northeastern Pennsylvania. Then started track racing in Trexlertown PA on the velodrome.
ABT: You competed in the 1998 Olympics. Tell us about your Olympic experience?
DL: That was great because everyone recognizes the Olympics. It gives a bit of credibility to anyone’s cycling career.
ABT: How do we get young people in the sport?
DL: I think with local events as well as having cycling mentors or coaches to help guide young riders.
ABT: What do you think of the swing towards bike advocacy?
DL: I think its good. If we have more bike lanes, bikeways and recognition for bikes or cycling, it’s a good thing.