Kenny Boettger - store owner who wishes he was still a bike mechanic...as long as he could still go heli skiing.
So you're in Lake Placid to finally indulge in all 112 miles of the Lake Placid Ironman bike course. No, wait. You're in town to ride all three of the infamous Logger's Loops. Whichever.
Cloud nine. All of a sudden, your bike breaks. Game over, insert coin. You walk six miles up Route 86 to the Sunoco station and politely ask (with as much confidence as can be amassed while wearing lycra in a gas station) who in town might be able to repair your trusty steed. Without looking up, the attendant gives a one word answer: "Kenny". Relief. Success. Someone in this quiet mountain town can fix your baby. Probing for more information, an address, a phone number, the attendant finally looks up, annoyed that you haven't yet heeded his advice. "Take your bike to Kenny's".
Should you follow this prophet's advice, you'll end up at Placid Planet Bicycles, a hometown bicycle shop founded in 1993 by Kenny Boettger and Julie Voss, now located in it's shiny blue home on Saranac Avenue. Few adjectives can describe Kenny's celebrity career and lifestyle, but the word on Main Street has it that he did his first half century ride at the tender age of 5, on a single speed Schwinn. The seventies saw Kenny begin his career as a bicycle technician and the nascence of his unspectacular career as a triathlete, road and mountain bike racer.
He can custom fit your new bicycle to be more comfortable than your La-Z-Boy recliner, or as fast as Lance's. He can tune your "beyond-all-hope" Schwinn Varsity so well you might have Yaroslav Popyvich knocking at your door to borrow it for Stage 14 of Le Tour. And, he can make you laugh the whole time with a complete gamut of the corniest cycling jokes you've never heard.
Bill Schneider - Store Manager - the dream boss.
The only thing we've seen to come out of Bowling Green, Kentucky, that packs more oomph than his hometown's distilled moonshine, store manager Bill Schneider is the go-to man for absolutely all your cycling needs. Avid road rider,singletrack superstar and local mountaineering guru, if it happens outside, Schneider's been there and done it. .
Bill also happens to be a F.I.S.T. and SICI Serrota Certified Fit Technician and can use our Dartfish video editing software and CompuTrainer program to find the most efficient and comfortable position for your new ride. Trust us, this man among boys will have already ridden a half century and downed his third cup of our famous espresso before you've hit the snooze button for the fourth time, so we know he's serious about cycling and about sharing his expertise with you. Spend fifteen minutes with Bill, and you'll be so "pumped" for your next ride that you won't even notice that he practices the most textbook golf swing of any non-golfer you've ever seen.
If he's not ripping off repeats of the steepest sections of the Whiteface Toll Road in preparation for is dominance of the GMSR, then he's enjoying a little down time: roto-tilling, gutter cleaning, linoleum scrubbing, or all things which pertain to new-home maintenance. But we know that kickin' it with awesome wife Lori and a plate of vegan food tops the list.
Julie Voss - Store Owner who was quite happy sailing and sampling rum in the Caribbean until she got talked into this bike shop gig.
Raised in Illinois and saturated with traditional Mid-Western charm, Co-Owner Julie Voss is the PFD which keeps Placid Planet afloat. To translate that into language which we can all understand, Julie is to Placid Planet what April was to the Ninja Turtles. Organized. Calculated. Orders the pizza. Besides being the administrative Queen, Julie is resident expert on all this apparel. Not only can she be the one to finally expain to you how the ‘wicking' process actually works, but she's the one to ask for a frank appraisal of your clothing purchases.
In her most fleeting of spare time, Julie enjoys riding her delicious Trek Madone around the pristine back roads of Lake Placid and, during the white season, showing the big boys at Whiteface exactly why she and other Mid-Western rooted stars, such as world champion Kristina Koznick, can simply do it better.
Karl Miller wears several hats here at Placid Planet. Most often it’s a weathered Team CSC Pro-Tour hat, but Karl is one of our most seasoned techs in addition to serving as our mapping specialist. Think of Karl as our very own “Vasco da Gama”. While he didn’t discover the Spice Trade to the East, Karl is responsible for opening the door to the plethora of world-class on and off-road cycling in the Adirondacks. His GIS and GPS cartography skills produced the high-quality topo maps which we offer (for free!) at the shop, which will undoubtedly make your girlfriend swoon over your seemingly effortless route-finding skills.
An avid trail rider, Karl can often be found burning tubeless tire rubber on the steep and gnarly sections of our local singletrack. A trusty wrench who can fix any piece of equipment born to roll, we really love Karl for one reason. (Two if you count cleat jokes...) Ever hear those ambiguous terms floating around bike shops such as, “carbon nanotube technology”, “virtual pivot point”, and “ISIS hollowtech”—the ones you’d swear were in Portugese if not for the Shimano label on the package? Yeah. Karl speaks fluent Shimano. Best of all, he can tell you what that darn stuff does, and why a virtual pivot point will make you clear those elusive log obstacles 60% of the time, every time.
So stop in to Placid Planet to hear about Karl’s extensive voyages in the local backcountry. Or to figure out why your damn “Kona Magic Link suspension” just seemingly ain’t so magic. Don’t worry, Karl’s got your back.
Dr. Donald Ream
Most people know Donald Ream as perhaps the most seasoned and experienced cycling technician in the North Country. Yeah, yeah. He can rebuild and dish your Zipp rim/Powertap SL hub combo in 48 seconds flat, and overhaul your suspension fork using only chopsticks and a tube of chapstick. But few know Donald Ream as a shrewd businessman. He confided in me once that he plans to start a business revolving completely around fixed gear machines. “Home Spun Fixie” is his grand scheme—I can picture it now. An elaborate, night-club esque storefront with scantily clad hostesses greeting every single fixed-gear customer upon their flying skid stop dismount into the shop.
But given that Donald is one of the elite who ride their fixed gear chariot up and down Keene’s East Hill for repeats, we worry that his client base may remain dangerously elite until Graham Fraser concocts the “Spruce Hill Gran Fondo”. Which is precisely why we’re lucky enough to have Donald Ream on staff here at Placid Placid Planet!
An intrepid on and off road cyclist who is deterred from his daily commute by neither black ice, tsunami nor scorching heat, bring your trusty steed to Donald to have it running smoother than soft serve on a summer afternoon. And if you’re looking for beta on a nice afternoon cruise, don’t be surprised to find that the que sheet he’s handed you entails you completing the “Tour de High Peaks”, the 130 mile saga through Newcomb and Blue Mountain Lake which separates the age groupers from the Faris al Sultan’s. Come hang with Donald. He’ll fix your bike and put the fun back between your legs.
According to our most recent calculation, the addition of Kelly Rose to the list of Placid Planet bicycle technicians puts our total years of experience around 1,784. Not impressed? Consider that while you were probably tottering around on your first tricycle, Kelly had just dismantled, greased and repacked the coaster brake bearings of his red Schwinn.
His extensive cycling resume should leave you feeling similarly inadequate: since becoming the North Country’s first S.I.C.I. Serotta Certified Bike Fitter, he’s lent his expertise to over three hundred bike fits, mostly to Ironman participants. If not reducing frontal area drag on your new P4 with one hand and truing your wobbly Mavic Cosmic Carbone with the other, Kelly can be found enjoying some freshly groomed Nordic tracks on the Porter Mountain Loops, or strumming a handmade six-string. Best of all, he’s been voted "World’s Best Dad" fourteen years running, and he’s got a rack of coffee mugs to prove it.
So join the throng of Kelly’s fiercely loyal customers who repeatedly seek out his S.I.C.I. Serotta certifications, and swing by Placid Planet for a consultation with this true guru. A healer as much as a mechanic, a mere touch of his hands will often resurrect an ailing bike. And take our word for it: this expert Luthier will soon have you cycle and body spinning in perfect harmony. Cause ain’t that they way it should be?
Brian likes doing anything outside and holds some unofficial record as the first one in the lake each spring - nude.
He checked off 33 the Adirondack 46’s in 30 days, running many of them and is now putting his hard-headed stubborn energy into cycling on his new Scott road bike.
Three weeks into his employment, Brian mentioned in passing he likes three week long holidays... When he’s not rafting the Rangitata in New Zealand, on Safari in Botswana or some other far-away place, Brian can be spotted on a local road, trail or bar stool.
He spends a bunch of his time working on his property with his two dogs, Daisy and Colby, sniffing around nearby and showing off his mad bartending skills whenever possible.
Known for taking in wayward cycling tourist, ask Brian about his lakeside camping sites if you find yourself without a place to hunker down while in the ‘dacks.
Ever casually snap up an issue of Men’s Health while killing time in the waiting room, anxiously hoping that those tests the doctor ran on you and your ex were as negative as the current balance in your checking account? Hrrr-hem. Excuse me.
Anyway, picture those profiles they do on super-cool guys who seemingly do all the shit you always wanted to accomplish in life when you were an eight-year-old boy scout. Come on it’s not that hard— those rad dudes who build electric guitars for a living. Fashion kayaks and surfboards out of wood types you thought were exotic strains of cannabis. Have facebook pictures of them big wave surfing off the coast of New Hampshire—while in full wetsuit guear—in January. Ride a single-speed hardtail yet hold a USAC Pro Mountain Bike License. Can fix a creaky bottom bracket by nudging it with their foot. Yeah, those guys. Well, that’s Shane Kramer.
Yeah, he also works at Placid Planet. End of story.
Oh, and good luck on those tests. Hope everything works out alright.
Palmarès: (pahl-mar-rays) noun. A list of athletic achievements. See Bob Tysen.
Know anyone elected to a Sports Hall of Fame? Let’s introduce you to Mr. Bob Tysen.
Without a doubt, the most accomplished endurance athlete around these parts, Bob has a level of experience that is difficult to even fathom. Like road cycling? Bob did the RAAM, got the qualifying record (530 miles in 28 hours) and held the National 24 Hour record for years. (436 miles? Really?) Like mountain biking? Bob’s raced the MTB World Championships a few times and spent several seasons banging bars with legends like Overend, Juarez and Tomac. Not a single sport kind of guy, Bob won the Canadian Masters Cyclocross Nationals, got a 200 mile Ride a Trail record and was on the National Dualthon team for both the United States and Canada. Somehow he also fit in running a 2:28 marathon, won 33 consecutive speed skating marathons, 6 National Speed Skating Championships and a few other records along the way.
His tireless quest for peak performance had Bob owning a popular athletic club and acting as strength and conditioning coach for several NHL players. (Real" Big League" stuff!)
Bob will fill out his day fly fishing, walking his faithful dog, assembling the largest collection of sports team Tees and hats ever imagined, selling the occasional house and, hopefully, having some quality time with his sweetheart, Gail.
So, if you happen to see a guy in Lake Placid pounding out a brisk 10k before dawn, that’s our Bob. Hopping on a Cervelo P3 for another 60k afterwards? That’s our Bob. Stopping in at Placid Planet for the real lowdown from one of the most knowledgeable and experienced guys on the planet? That’s our Bob
To the woefully naïve individual, Barack Obama’s predecessor may be regarded as the “King of Vacation Time”. I mean, “W” spent more cumulative vacation and sick days at that damn Crawford ranch than most folks spend behind the desk in a given year.
But if you think that George W. Bush is the true “King of Vacation Time”, you’re just plain wrong.
Matt Young is our recreational activity specialist here at Placid Planet Bicycles. Get this - his day job entails coordinating radical outdoor activites for the youth of Lake Placid as director of Physical Education at the Lake Placid Elementary. Forget dodgeball and rope climbing— the Jugend of LP spend winters cross country skiing and building sweet jumps behind the school.
Oh yeah, vacation time. Talk about this for epic vacations in one year: a 25 day kayaking trip on the Colorado, gunning it through the Grand Canyon. Half a summer spent raft-guiding the rivers and fjords of Norway. Shredding the infamous slopes of Mont Blanc’s Vallee Blanche in Chamonix, France. All while, somehow, some-way, receiving a full time paycheck. We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy!
Matt embodies the soul of the bicycle enthusiast. Zipping around town on his fixed-gear Kona Paddy Wagon. Mini-triathlons. Downhill mountain biking. Thursday night road races. Hopping single-log rides on the new X-Terra trails. Matt does it all. His motto: “I’m not a racer, I’m a rider”. So if you’re not in town to throw on compression socks and duke it out on the Ironman course, but rather to ride the bejeesus out of the entire gamut of LP’s cycling offerings, come see Matt. He’ll be holding office hours 9-9:18am, on bi-monthly, non-holiday, leap year only Wednesdays.
Born and raised in Baltimore, MD (and darn proud of it, too) Carlyn is returning to Placid Planet for her seventh season after having wrapped up her degree at Champlain College in Burlington. We are very proud to say Carlyn is now a full time teacher at North Country School and – of all things – a house parent too!
Her idea of a perfect ride entails cruising down Main Street a la cruiser bike and flip flops, hair flapping in the breeze beneath her Giro Skyla helmet.
Widely considered to be our most bubbly and friendly employee, come chat with Carlyn to get the skinny on which shoes will truly match the accents on your Cannondale Synapse, and get the stamp of approval on all of your “gifts for her” purchases at Placid Planet.
More refreshing than the elastomer insert in your oversized gel saddle, yet more pliable than the expander-plug inside your bolt-on handlebar mirror. Undoubtedly more of a loose cannon than Greg Lemond at any pre-Tour press conference. Periodically walks around the shop wearing nothing but loafers and a 2XU “grip and rip chamois”, mumbling incoherently about the lowly condition of professional bike racing. He’s delightfully tacky and often elegantly unrefined, but David is more than qualified to help you select your next Adventure series Cannondale bicycle.
Just remember to keep shiny objects in hidden in your pockets, and avoid sudden movements. These may frighten David into retreating to the office to peck away at more delusional shop employee biographies.