David Cumbie is a valued customer, friend, and Shoals Cycling vet! There's lots to learn from him and we tried to pick his brain to provide a little more insight on the Shoals Cycling scene! If you're looking for a fun group ride, this is your guy.
What kind of bike do you ride?
I've currently got 3 bikes in the fleet, 2 road bikes and a TT bike. My main ride is a 54 cm Orbea Onix full carbon road bike with Sram Force shifters, brakes and drivetrain. The backup/trainer/bad weather bike is a 57 cm Orbea Lobular aluminum frame with carbon fork and rear triangle outfitted with Sram Rival. The TT bike is 54 cm Orbea Ordu, full carbon, with mostly Dura Ace components....this is a sad bike cause it doesn't see the road much; I bought it to compete in duathlons and don't ride it much because I prefer riding with friends and the TT is more of a solo steed due to the handling characteristics.
How long have you been cycling? What got you into it?
My first foray into cycling was back when 10 speed referred to the total gears available, not just the number of cogs on the cassette. Steel was real and a light bike was anything under 25 lbs. Shifters were still on the downtube and the 2 front chain rings were so close to the same gearing that I often didn't bother to shift them. My bike was a Gitane Tour de France and I rode mostly solo for recreation and commuting some to college. After getting married and going to work, priorities changed and I dropped the cycling until about 11 years ago. At age 50, I found myself needing a little larger pant size than I preferred and figured a return to cycling would be good exercise. Started riding again and got hooked up with the guys/gals of Shoals Cycling Club. They gave me plenty of support and advice and as I've progressed some as a cyclist, I try to return this to other "newbies." My focus on riding is to keep it fun and safe. Riding with friends helps both. I'm not into racing but am more of a recreational/endurance rider doing metric century and century rides. Even with having lost weight, I'm still a "big frame" guy and hills are a challenge. I used to say "I never met a hill I didn't love to hate." But with experience, I'm actually beginning to like the challenge of climbing, although you'll never see my name next to a Strava KOM on a climbing segment (or any other segments, lol).
What’s your favorite aspect of riding in a group?
The DRAFT! I can "suck wheel" with the best; and if possible will sit there, preferably on third or fourth wheel and let others pull me all day long. That 30-35% reduction in energy is sweet! Also, I enjoy the comradery of riding with friends and the additional safety it can provide. A group is more visible than solo, and it's always nice to have others available to lend a hand if you have a mechanical issue, or even worse, potentially an accident.
What’s the most useful cycling accessory you use?
That's tough...probably all my HiViz Bontrager clothing items. Got arm warmers, leg warmers, jacket, shoe covers, sun sleeves, socks, gloves all in the HiViz. When I'm on the road, I want to be seen!
Where is your favorite place to ride in the shoals?
Man, it's hard to beat the Natchez Trace. Good roads, great scenery, varied terrain, moderate traffic that typically is respectful of cyclists, and few if any dogs to give chase. Western Lauderdale county is a favorite also, partly because it's close to home, but also because the roads are well maintained, the traffic on most roads is relatively light and we ride in the area frequently enough to be a familiar presence. With the network of roads, there are lots of route options here, for the beginner as well as intermediate/seasoned rider.