National Bike Month: Interview with Mike Barnes, owner of Hill Killer
May is National Bike Month!
To celebrate, we sat down with the founder of Hill Killer, Mike Barnes, to talk about his love of cycling and passion for Hill Killer.
Why cycling? What led you to this sport? It started from the simple idea to get in shape and drop a few pounds, while being easy on my knees. I grew attached to the culture, the sport and of course the bicycle. Bicycles are the amalgamation of evolution, creativity, style, science, and technology - and are (for the most part) still totally human powered. The bicycle is a fascinating tool that serves many purposes and the only way to get it to work is to pedal it.
What's your favorite cycling event? The first time I ever rode with Baltimore Bike Party during their Halloween ride. Picture yourself surrounded by 1,200 other bike enthusiasts adorned in Halloween costumes taking over the streets of Baltimore City. I felt like I was surrounded by my huge extended family and it was awesome!
What have you found most challenging about this sport? Time. It is so difficult to find the time to devote to actually getting outside and on the saddle. I always have to make dedicated days for solo or group rides to stay active.
What have you found to be the most rewarding? The mental clarity I am left with after a long enduring ride. Overcoming the physical challenges I set out for myself helps me to maintain a sense of calm and gravity in life. I’ve become more in tune with my thoughts, physical well-being, and I find that I am an overall happier person after I ride.
Other than the essentials, what's one thing you never leave for a ride without? My wedding ring for luck and my Hill Killer gear!
Where does Hill Killer fit into your cycling story? Hill Killer keeps me interested and involved in cycling in a different way than if I was just a regular enthusiast. I find that I care more about the direction of the industry and community. I feel a greater responsibility to add support where it's needed now that I am in a position to do so. I am fortunate to have my creative endeavors be received with positivity from such a diverse group of people and it pushes me to continue on this journey.
Finally, what do you truly love about cycling? This community is unlike any other. There are so many happy people looking to share with each other and always willing to lend a helping hand or advice. The community is so diverse and is made up with people from all walks of life. It is really inspiring to see so much unity in such a divisive time.
Share your own love of cycling with us all month long! Tag #HillKiller in your social media posts for a chance to be featured on an upcoming Fan Friday.