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David Balkin
 
  pixelDavid Balkin -- aka The Great Balkini -- is a very long-time resident of Kittery Point, Maine. He averages about 5000 recreational miles a year on a road bike. Dave rides mostly on local roads that he describes as "the best anywhere". His love for riding brings with it a passion to teach others the simple secrets to successful cycling and to share the bounty of quiet, almost traffic-free, scenic roads that meander throughout the Maine and New Hampshire seacoast region.
pixelDave began his cycling career in Miami 37 years ago as a rider, racer, team manager, bicycle clothing designer, and bike shop owner. Throughout the 1970’s his shop, Dade Cycle, was the winter headquarters for the elite riders of the day, many of whom went on to national prominence.
pixelFor example, the legendary parts manufacturer Campagnolo contacted Dave to be the spokesperson/driver for its first-ever race support van n the U.S. Dave assigned the job to Bill Woodul, Dade Cycle’s service manager, who went on to become the head mechanic for the U.S. Team. From there Woodul became a fixture at national and international races. He was elected to the bicycle hall of fame and became a living legend before his untimely passing.
pixelAnother Dade Cycle alumnus, Chris Carmichael, began his cycling career at 12 as a gofer but his riding skills quickly became apparent and he was affectionately known as “The Kid.” He grew up at Dade Cycle telling anyone and everyone that one day he would ride in the Tour de France, which he did. Carmichael is best known as Lance Armstrong’s coach, while his company Carmichael Training Systems, is recognized as the leader in developing world class bike riders and endurance athletes of all disciplines.
pixelUnder Dave’s direction, Dade Cycle was also a focal point for community-wide bicycle awareness and rider education for which it received numerous awards. 20th Century Fox hired Dave to promote the cult classic bicycle movie "Breaking Away." The shop also founded, promoted and directed the Tour of Coconut Grove -- the biggest single day race of its time in the United States. It is still a major event on the American professional race calendar.
pixelReturning to his New England roots Dave took a break from the bicycle business and pursued a career in fund raising and journalism. As Director of Development for the Seacoast YMCA Dave directed a successful building campaign that resulted in a full service facility that serves the needs of some 3000 members. Always a rider with a desire to see more participation, Dave built and ran a BMX track on Y property that attracted 200 riders weekly.
pixelDave also did a two year stint as a radio talk show host and did another two years writing a weekly opinion column for a local daily paper. During those times he was also a partner in a public relations firm that specialized in health care issues.   
pixelDave’s current cycling project – part of his life-long effort to promote the joys and benefits of riding a bicycle – is producing detailed, easy to use road maps for cyclists of all persuasions. These maps are just one small step for Bicyclekind. They are the product of thousands of rides over these roads by The Great Balkini, who knows them better than anyone. These maps reveal a network of back roads that cyclists will find uniquely user-friendly.
pixelDave’s mission is to get more people riding bicycles – for fun, for exercise, and for intimate daily encounters with the world that surrounds us. In each locality throughout this great land there are cyclists that know the best roads to ride a bike. Now it’s time for knowledgeable and interested riders to share this information. Remember the adage “build it and they will come”? Well, the expensive part is done…the roads are built.
 
     
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