Words: Jason Delgado
Photo: Nelson Queralta Jr
As you may know from our last post we had the opportunity to hang out with the Drunken Dragon Race Kooks as they call themselves. They’re a humble and inspiring group. At the heart of the Drunken Dragon TKA Cycling team is co-founder Conrad Gomez. Conrad rode professional for a few years and still has a great passion for cycling, along with art, food, music and travel. We catch up with Conrad and he talks to us about his beginnings in cycling and goes into detail about those funky shoes.
MRCC: Hi Conrad so tell me, how did you and the guys start riding/racing together ?
CG: I’ve been riding and racing since I was 13 in New Jersey/New York, I had taken 12 years off the bike after racing amateur and professional.I met Claudio Arone a cyclist from Argentina racing here in the US. My life was a little nuts at that moment and I needed a change to get healthy. He convinced me to get on the bike and took me out to Key Biscayne where I met a few of the guys and hit it off from start with Gabriel Larrea. I quickly started racing Masters and Pro1&2 and got to know Miami’s cycling community. I raced around the states and South America on my Masters’ comeback. 5 years ago I opened Foxhole and put riding on the back burner, then I opened Drunken Dragon and rode from time to time. On my occasional rides with Gaby we would always speak about putting a group of guys together with our businesses Drunken Dragon / TKA. It was like a dream come true riding all my life and now I wear my personal kit. We are a group of business men, some have raced professionally here and in Europe and others started later in life but we all share the same passion.
MRCC: As a businessman what lesson(s) can you take away from the bike and apply to business?
CG: Business lesson from cycling to business is like racing you need a good winter of base miles logged in before you start a specific training such as intervals. In order to have a successful season as a team every rider has a role to take their teammate for a win. I apply this to business. You need a strong foundation and structure to be successful to withhold all the ups and downs. We are all a piece of the puzzle to make the business strive like a team taking a rider for the win.
MRCC: What inspired the shoes?
CG: The shoes are a Homero Ganem masterpiece. One of his relatives owns Strongman, a bike shop in Colombia. They both came up with the idea and we jumped on board. We are now customizing any pair of cycling shoes so anyone can have a one-of piece. You can find the works of Homero and the shoes at the Ganem Studios gallery directly next to the Drunken Dragon.
MRCC: Last question, have you or any of your riding partners had a spiritual or Zen like moment on the bike?
CG: Everyday when we get on our bikes is a Zen moment, it’s our meditation. After 12 years, I got back on the bike and it changed my health, my way of life and thinking. I was living an unhealthy way of life and was headed on to the wrong path; it was my personal spiritual awakening.
Each December Miami is host to its Art Week known to the world as Art Basel. Miami is the perfect venue for creative inspiration. Conrad understands the Miami entertainment scene better than most and his understanding has lead to the commissioning of this one-of “Birdman” Sidis by Homero Ganem at Ganem Studios gallery. These Sidi’s are a representation of art and cycling colliding.