Ted King here. We thought it was time to profile a few of our clients and what better person to begin than Jay Butler, the first guest to sign up for what I liked to call the Ted King California Wine Sluggin’ Weekender. Admittedly, that’s not the actual name of the tour, but that covered the ground rules of that escapade. We just wrapped up a similar outing three years later here in Paso Robles – a gathering of the inGamba family, both old and new. Jay has been part of this family from the beginning, so we sat down for a chat to see what he really thinks of the whole experience.
Name? Jay Butler.
Occupation? Financial Services Executive.
Number of inGamba trips you’ve taken:
More than 10. I’ve been part of the inGamba experience since close to the beginning. I remember João’s tweet and saying to myself, ‘Now that would be fun!’ While we weren’t able to go on that trip, our first trip was the couples trip to Lecchi with Heidi Swift. It’s a real winner. Very special to share Tuscany, Lecchi, cycling and the whole inGamba experience as a couple. Kerri had a delightful time and was sold on the inGamba way as much as I was.
Your love for the bike is palpable, Jay. You have an ear to ear smile the moment you step over the bike that goes strong straight to the end of a five hour day. What do you chalk that up to?
I have a great time riding my bike every time I go out. I always have an adventure even if it’s the same local route that I’ve done a hundred times. Bikes introduce you to great people, great places and get you to connect with the world around you in a very different way. It’s pretty easy to smile, when you’re doing something you enjoy, getting to see some new or different, and experience places and sensations that you’ve never experienced before! Riding with inGamba makes riding the whole deal extra special. The locations, the equipment, and the whole inGamba team makes riding with them a truly memorable and smile inducing day.
Jay, you work in banking. As a man who crunches numbers all day, how do numbers work into your training? Because as your friend (and coach), I’m pleased to tell everyone that you’re flying right now.
I admit it, I’m a total data nerd. Particularly with my hectic schedule, efficient training is essential. During the week, I have to maximize my time to get the result into the compressed time period I have available. Having a great coach to help along the way and get the results I want helps tremendously too (shameless plug for you there!). During the week, I like to have objectives for every ride, execute against them, and then I like to analyze my progress against my targets minutely. I particularly like to do the comparisons against previous efforts. Naturally, Zwift, Strava, veloviewer, Training Peaks, WKO 4, and Golden Cheetah get heavy use. Why all of them? Well, because it’s also kind of fun to play with the tech toys out there.
What’s the most memorable place your bike has taken you? Although perfectly acceptable, your answer need not be literal.
Literally, the most fantastic place a bike has taken me is to Portugal. Someplace that I would not think of going and exploring on my own. But with the inGamba Team I had my eyes opened to the unique landscape and riding there. Really great food, wine and cycling with awesome properties. Really got to experience a different place.
In a philosophical sense, cycling has taken me back to a place when I was much younger. I spent a while in the military and as a result my body got pretty beat up and I couldn’t participate in a lot of the sports activities that I enjoyed previously in the manner that I liked. I discovered and migrated over to cycling as a way to stay active, healthy and engaged. It has taken a bit of time to really learn how to ride a bike well (and I still have miles to go) but I really enjoy the journey of learning and discovery that happens when I get to commit to something as simple and as complex as riding a bike.
Again, as both your coach and friend talking, it’s time to ask the hard-hitting questions: what’s your strongest attribute on the bike?
Well, I’m not sure this is a strength, but, I think of myself as a grinder. I really just don’t quit. I learned early on in my professional life, that you will frequently fail, so get used to it. But just don’t quit, keep trying, keep working, keep making progress. No matter how many times you get knocked down, get back up and have another go.
Cycling for me is very much the epitome of that philosophy. There is always someone faster, more talented or better on the bike than you are today. So, I keep working, keep figuring out how to be better, and what I can do to improve, and then maybe I’ll be able to stick with the fast group on a hammerfest, or hang with the climbers when those skinny bitches take off, or take that sprint every once in a while.
I don’t like the word weak. So what’s your least strong attribute on the bike?
Hmmm, some might say lacking any natural talent whatsoever …
How about your strongest, and weakest, attribute off the bike?
Strongest: I have a knack for being able to look at things and figuring out how to make them better (well sometimes anyway), and building a high-performing team to get stuff done that needs to get done that has frequently stymies others groups previously.
Weakest: Probably should ask Kerri this one … If you ask me, I’m perfect in every way.
And only because it’s appropriate because you witnessed my interview with the one and only Jim Merithew, when this question caused quite a stir: toilet paper, over or under?
Over, of course! Is there any other way?