If I have ever met anyone whose initials imply a personality trait that is the opposite of his true nature, it is Bob Shaver. There is no reason for B.S. to shade the truth about himself or his viewpoint because his accomplishments are unbelievably extensive. Bob is a Colorado- and American- cycling icon. …and just coincidentally, he is also a really good guy who, of course, absolutely loves cyclists and cycling.
Example 1- Though he had a scholarship to play college basketball in Trinidad, he left school to take care of his grandparents who had reared him until he was eleven years old. His grandfather had been a woodworker who also worked on bikes and had told Bob stories about the velodrome in City Park (yep, in the Park Hill neighborhood back in the 1920’s). Previously, when he was a fifteen year old, Bob had gotten his first bike- a Schwinn ten speed so he could go explore from his old neighborhood. Then, at 19, he saw his first bike race and was enthralled by the sound, color and speed and thought ‘I gotta do that!’.
Example 2- As a friend of Steve Tesich, he was asked if he would like to play a part in the 1985 movie ‘American Flyers’ which featured the lead actor, Kevin Costner. Bob had a business to run- ShaverSport. His company, started in his basement, had been the first company in the US to feature Lycra in cycling apparel and he would not abandon his company for some easy, but extensive, movie notoriety. Diverse ShaverSport jerseys were featured on all the actors/cyclists. Bob said that Steve had once told him “Try to do something nice for someone (with no expectation of recognition).” Bob has lived by those words many times in his life, though it is not easy for him to avoid recognition.
Example 3- Bob provided me with pictures of him and Colorado governor Bill Ritter, the first American Tour de France winner, Marianne Martin, Paul Sherwin, Connie Carpenter and John Kerry, but the most telling picture was of him and Darlene Browning, the 1975 Colorado Easter Seals Poster Child. He raised $6,000 for Easter Seals by riding solo from Denver to Aspen (200 miles) in less than ten hours.
Example 4- Bob likes to quote Dr. Thomas Starzl, the father of organ transplantation, who told him many years ago to keep riding his bicycle because ‘You will meet the nicest people in conjunction with your cycling’.
If you wish to discover more about his cycling career, I suggest that you just Google Bob Shaver and you will find a laundry list of his accomplishments, just one which would be a lifetime achievement award to almost any cyclist.
But when the husband of Gwen Inglis, a pro rider who died in Denver a year ago from an impaired car driver/bicycle collision, encouraged Bob to continue with his memorial ride to honor to Gwen, Bob was thorough, considerate and very organized to promote safe cycling- but even more important- safe driving- to avoid car/bike contacts and to to keep his beloved fellow cyclists from injury- or worse.