john pentecost interview-2
john pentecost interview-2

‘International Sales Manager’ sounds like a bit of a boring job, but John Pentecost is far from boring. Around 12 years ago he started off Evil Bikes and e.thirteen components with Dave Weagle, then moved on to a ‘short but eventful stint with Race Face’ when they were going through ‘some upheaval’. He now finds himself at the legendary Yeti Cycles in Colorado. What does he do, “I handle sales, customer service, and marketing for all of our customers outside of the U.S. It’s me against the world!" Here’s his endtroducing…

From Dirt Issue 124 - June 2012

Words by Mike Rose. Photo by Ed H.

Who is John Pentecost?

An average guy who won a mountain bike in a department store as a teenager, fell in love with the sport, and eventually wound up working in the industry.

Where do you live?

I split time between my home in Freeport, Maine and a little crash pad I have near Yeti’s office in Golden, Colorado.

What’s your job title?

International Sales Manager.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

I used to open swimming pools for people after the winter season…you wouldn’t believe the crap that we’d dredge out of those pools!

Where’s your favourite place?

I really like being at my home in Maine during the summer. Great weather, awesome riding, and the ocean’s just a couple miles away.

Where’s your favourite place to ride?

It’s been Whistler Bike Park for years, but I just had a chance to ride Queenstown Bike Park in NZ and that place is great as well.

When are you happiest?

When I get home from a long trip.

What makes you angry?

The middle seat on a long flight.

What makes you happy?

The theatrical stylings of Mr. Keanu Reeves.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Just stop thinking about it, dude."

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever given?

“There are no shortcuts", and “all the old sayings are true".

What are your extravagances?

I had this great Subaru WRX STi that I sold a couple years ago. The dude who bought it showed up and paid for it with almost $30K in one hundred dollar bills!

Who do you admire?

People who can figure out a more efficient way to get things done.

What’s the most important thing in your life?

I’m probably supposed to say family, friends, etc., but man…I really like a nap on a Sunday morning.

What would you never throw away?

I have this cool antique chess table I got from my grandma.

What’s your greatest fear?

Going bald. Luckily, I have a thick, lustrous head of hair.

What was your luckiest escape?

I got jumped by a couple guys outside a bar in Washington DC years ago…they had me confused with some other guy, and it got ugly fast. Fight, chase, but by some miracle, the cops were driving past when all of this happened.

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

Usually check emails.

What’s the last thing you do at night?

I love reading just before dozing off.

What would be your dream meal?

Easy, my mom’s lasagne.

What things do you always carry with you?

Besides the basics, I almost always have a hat with me (bald guys will understand).

Do you have any regrets?

Buying that Hannebrink I put on the front of my Disco Volante back in 1999 ranks right up there!

What’s the most important lesson that you’ve learnt?

Persistence. Just keep at it.

If you could have dinner with three famous people who would they be?

Barrack Obama, Ernest Hemingway, and the guy who invented Milk Duds.

Who is your favourite rider?

I’ve always loved Fabien Barel’s tactical approach to racing. He’s also a super friendly, down to earth guy who accomplished everything he wanted in racing and left when the time was right.

What’s your favourite bike product of all time?

I’ve run Grip Shift on almost every bike I’ve owned for the last 20 years. Love that stuff!

What’s your least favourite bike product of all time?

Those Onza elastomer pedals were pretty awful.

What’s your favourite motto or saying?

“The lady will have the linguini with white clam sauce, and a Coke with no ice." – Mike Damone.

What saying do you use too much?

“Looks flexy" is probably the most over–used saying in our entire office.

What bike are you riding at the moment?

My trail bike is a Yeti SB66 Carbon and my DH rig is a Yeti 303WC.

What are you listening to at the moment?

Howard Stern.

What one thing would you change about yourself?

If I could do it all over again, I’d master at least one foreign language and learn to play guitar.

What are your weaknesses?

Chocolate chip ice cream, Maker’s Mark, and online sports betting.

What does the future hold for you?

I hope to keep selling Yetis and travelling around the world to meet as many customers as possible.

What does the future hold for mountain biking?

I think this 650B thing is going to take off for a while, but my best guess is that we’ll eventually settle back down to 26ers and 29ers. In the long run, I see extremely versatile mid to long–travel trail bikes with adjustable geometry taking off.

How would you like to be remembered?

As a guy who worked his ass off but never missed an opportunity to have a good time.