When Roy McCauley walks into Uptown Cycles, he is greeted with a familiar nudge from shop dog Maddie. It’s the first of many indications that Roy is not simply an Uptown Cycles customer, but a frequent visitor and friend.
Before we had a chance to ask Roy how he got into cycling and how Uptown Cycles came into play, he jumped right to the point. “The most important thing to know about this place is Chris Sheehan makes you feel like a partner,” he said. “His knowledge is invaluable.”
With a friend’s recommendation about how UC was the place to go for a bike fit, Roy’s partnership began. But it wasn’t the beginning of his story.
Roy has spent his career in auto racing, and for the most part that meant non-stop travel on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series circuit. It also meant unhealthy meals on the road and little time for exercise. This lifestyle caught up with Roy when at age 36, more than 100 pounds overweight and out of shape, he experienced a mild heart attack. Roy knew he needed to make a change, but for this race-winning crew chief, competition – along with continued travel – came first.
A few years later, Roy transitioned into a non-travel position with his racing team and started getting more active. A 24-hour gym had opened up around the corner from his neighborhood, and the convenience of that location was all it took. “I could literally drive through the parking lot on my way home,” Roy said. “I had no excuse not to go.”
Roy began working out every day. It didn’t take long for the results he saw to make him as driven about working out as he was at the racetrack. As he continued to scale up his workouts, he continued to shed pounds. Eventually, though, he realized he had reached the limits of what the gym could offer him – and he knew he had more work to do.
That’s when a friend suggested he join some co-workers on a lunchtime bike ride. Roy was intrigued, because he knew cycling would be a great workout and the technical aspects of the bike appealed to him. But as he struggled for position on the ride that day, Roy also got his first taste of cycling’s competitive side – the thing he missed most about his life on the road.
“That bike ride was a game-changer,” Roy said with a grin, “because it wasn’t about working out anymore. It was about winning.”
At age 42 Roy knew he’d gotten a late start at cycling, but that didn’t deter him. He kept searching for ways to improve his performance and wasn’t having much luck at other bike shops.“I always felt they were giving me their opinion without really understanding what I needed,” he said.
“When I came to Uptown for the bike fit, I knew this place was different.” He states how impressed he was with the time Chris took to fit him and the dramatic change it brought to his cycling. “Instantly, I felt like a better cyclist,” Roy described.
When colder temperatures hit, Roy joined UC’s Winter Power Series CompuTrainer classes. He became such a fan that he now participates year-round in weekly evening sessions and the occasional Saturday class. His reason? The race simulation at the end of class: “It appeals to my competitive side.”
When Roy was ready to move the performance needle up yet another notch, he added Robin Farina’s coaching services to his training schedule. Once again, Roy saw dramatic improvement thanks to Robin’s advice on everything from workouts to diet to mandatory days off. He has since earned personal bests at every level, including winning his division in a local time trial series.
But while performance is important to Roy, it’s not the main reason he keeps returning to Uptown Cycles. It’s because he knows he’s part of a team that has his best interest at heart. “I have come to view Chris as a mentor, because he has always been as sincerely interested in my success as I am,” he says. “Every time I have a conversation in the shop or with Robin, it’s always about what ‘we’ can do,” he adds. “It really is a partnership.”
Throughout his transition from a relatively new cyclist to an avid competitor, Roy experienced everything Uptown Cycles has to offer and saw continued results. Overall he has lost more than 130 pounds and, thanks to cycling, is now in the best shape of his life. With Chris and Robin on his team, he says he feels as if he “hit the jackpot.” And if you ask Maddie, the UC team likes having him around, too.
We invite you to visit Uptown Cycles and meet the entire UC staff. Come #ExperienceUC – you never know where it might take you.