Yes, Bruce remembers the very hour he took over Healthy Habits. He readily admits the last almost 20 years had its share of berms and flats, but as the saying goes, “You gotta pay the toll if you wanna rock and roll.” And in so many ways, Healthy Habits has proven to be an outlet for Bruce to live an incredible dream that started at the age of 4 riding a red, white and blue freedom rig with a banana seat . . . that got stolen!
Though he will forever search for this long-lost steed, it was his Huffy Thunder Road that got him hooked on bikes. Bruce continues to prove he will ride any surface: road, mountain, BMX, cross . . . “if it has wheels, I ride it.”
First race: A mountain bike race in Morrison, Il., through muddied and cow-patty’ed pastures and creeks.
What makes cycling great: “You can go anywhere you want to, as fast or slow as you want to, on a bike.”
Favorite ride/route: The gravel roads of northeast Scott County
Bucket list: Touring through Europe
Favorite bike accessory: King Cage Stem bolt water bottle mount.
(Secret Question) What's the last race you podium’ed? Illiniwek Abermination 2017. “I took first place in the open division. That was the first mountain bike race I’d done in over year after having a couple of bad crashes in late 2015 and mid 2016. I rode most of the race with Luke Guyton, and we paced each really well. It was a huge relief to find out I can still ride fairly competitively after that much time off and smacking my head on the ground a few too many times.”Words to live by? “Concussions are a lot harder on you than I ever knew.”
Bruce Grell, 10 a.m. January 1st 1999
Dan Adams, 2010
Our ever-present leader Dan is very-much the face of Healthy Habits since he took on managing in 2011. Reflecting a true “love of the game,” Dan will take on any surface with any bike (he does, however, leave the serious BMX stuff to the professionals). Like a lot of kids, he got his start on a 20” Huffy, skidding through tires and at the age of 7 getting clipped by a car. Those who know him, also know this would not be the first of many bike-related “incidents” that have dominated Dan’s approach to riding: Go big or Go home...by way of the hospital!
His first real bike is one he’d been drooling over at triathlons when he first started competing: a Quintana Roo Seduza. During his second season of racing, he landed it. Since then Dan has owned a menagerie of rides, his current favorite being the Santa Cruz High Tower.
With a mind for mechanics, Dan is often found jumping in on mechanical jobs at the shop, figuring out the odd, vintage road brake or researching some crazy hub. He is a walking encyclopedia of cycling information including specific bike welds, carbon quality and nutritional odds and ends.
First race(s): Splash, Flash & Dash triathlon, Scott County Park Road Race, Illiniwek Abermination, & the Frozen Fat Fondo Fest.
What makes cycling great: “Cycling is just fun, no two ways about it.”
Favorite route/ride: Interstate Powerline Park in Dubuque
Bucket List: Dixie National Forest in Utah.
Favorite bike accessory: Garmin Edge 520
(Secret Question) What would your super power be? “Flight! So as the bike is crashing I could just fly away to safety. Or just increased riding ability so I crash less.”
Our quiet, but most-trusted head mechanic, Adam let’s his skills do the talking.
Up for any kind of weird mechanical conundrum or sketchy mountain trail, name the challenge and Adam’s likely game. His joy in riding began at the age of 4 on a Huffy with a coaster brake and since then he’s rolled around neighborhoods, bombed hills, raced down roadways and banked berms. His first “serious” bike was a Gary Fisher HooKooEKoo, but notes “if the HooKoo is not serious enough, then it’s his Salsa El Mariachi.” While Adam loves all surfaces, he's presently drawn “mostly mountain and gravel these days.”
First race: Sugar Bottom Scramble years ago.
What makes cycling great: “It's fun and it's good for you.”
Favorite ride/route? Sunderbruch for local stuff. An occasional trip to Northwest Arkansas is fun too.
Adam VanderLinden, 2008Head Mechanic
Bucket list ride? Galbraith Mountain in Bellingham, Washington. “I would like to get out to Pysgah sometime, too.”
Favorite bike accessory? 5.10 Stealth Rubber Shoes because “they’re super grippy!”
(Secret Question) What gets you most psyched about riding? “Probably seeing the local trails open after they had been closed for days, weeks or MONTHS. Getting out for a ride after a busy day in the shop is really nice too.”
Alex Freeborn, 2015
Our resident expert in all things 80s rock, Alex “Freebird” Freeborn, got his biking start on a Huffy’esque 20” tricked out with dinosaurs. Eventually upgrading to the good stuff with a Specialized Allez, Freebird notes an experience with a Hyper Urban Impact hardtail gets a “dishonorable mention” because he was lured into a box store, woo’ed by the cool look of the bike and was ultimately fooled by the janky’ness of such tanks. The off-road life is the life for He, loving his current whip, a Specialized carbon Fuse.
First Race: “Sadly, I'm perpetually training . . .”
What makes cycling great: “Cycling in a sense, slows down your pace, allowing you to see things you wouldn't see with other forms of transportation.”
Favorite ride/route: Sunderbruch
Bucket List: Baja Divide
Favorite accessory: Specialized S.W.A.T accessories. “They're cleanly tucked away on the bike and easily accessible when needed.”
(Secret Question) What's your favorite band, their best song & if you could time travel: what roll would you play with them? “THE MIGHTY VAN HALEN!!! A favorite song is too hard to answer, seeing as I can listen to every album start to finish without blinking an eye... Currently my two favorite albums would be ‘Women and Children First’ and ‘Live: Right Here, Right Now.’ If I could go back in time and play a role in the band? Eddie's Guitar Tech.”
When not sliding down rails, Jeff oversees the BMX department at Healthy Habits. He was a wee child when he found himself riding around on a Magna “or something like that,” but when he got a Haro Backtrail x1, that’s when the real tricks started. The Backtrail was not only his first “cool” bike, but it’s what got him started on mechanics. It’s a common occurrence to see him bunny hop, bar spin and wheelie around the shop, often all during the same ride. He’s nailed some crazy tricks @jeffoetzel. Though BMX at heart, Jeff’s recently ventured more into mountain biking (cardio, homes) which he admits he needs to do more of. (Don’t we all?)
First race: “I've never raced.”
What makes cycling great: “If you're asking that question you wouldn't understand!”
Favorite ride/route: Skatepark for BMX and Sunderbruch for mountain biking.
Jeff Oetzel, 2016
Bucket list: BMX somewhere in Europe.
Favorite accessory: PEGS! “You can do endless stuff with and on them!
(Secret Question) What’s your favorite food after a session? “Junk food! Any kind of junk food, but I like ice cream the best!”
Will Schorg, 2008
A long-time veteran of Healthy Habits, Will remains a devoted mechanic despite becoming a firefighter with the Davenport Fire Department a couple years ago. He recalls his first ride was a used, yellow Schwinn 16” with a banana seat. “I’m pretty sure it was a girl’s bike.” Eventually he found himself on a blue Schwinn High Plains and was hooked. When not saving lives or bikes, Will can be found riding around the neighborhood with his daughters or clearing out the previous night’s spiderwebs by being first on the trails at Illiniwek or Sunderbruch.
First Race: Devils Cross at Devils Glen Park
What makes cycling great: “The sense of Freedom you get!”
Favorite ride: Mountain bike trails in the Black Forest around Rodalben, Germany
Bucket ride: Dead Horse to Tierra del Fuego
Favorite accessory: a brass bell
(Secret Question) What is one bike component you absolutely refuse to do without? “Tubeless tires/wheels because tubeless technology is an important part of cycling's evolutionary development.”