Canadian Consulting Engineer

Glotman Simpson Cycling Club

Glotman Simpson structural engineers in Vancouver are sponsoring a highly successful -- and growing -- cycling club which is making a name for itself in British Columbia. Geoffrey Glotman, P. Eng., a ...

October 1, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Glotman Simpson structural engineers in Vancouver are sponsoring a highly successful — and growing — cycling club which is making a name for itself in British Columbia. Geoffrey Glotman, P. Eng., a principal of the company talked about the club with CCE.

Q. How did the cycling club come about?

I’m an avid cyclist and an avid triathlete, so I’m interested in the sport. Then about five years ago a friend of mine who races asked if we’d be interested in sponsoring a team.

We have two groups of people. We have a racing team, which consists of 12 riders. They have done phenomenally well in the B.C. Provincial Road Championships this year.

We also have a recreational group that goes out on Saturdays and Sundays for two to three hour rides. There are five or six of us at the company who show up, including three partners. I’m not a racer, just a rider in the recreational group.

The racers that we pick to be on our team are people who have generally been in the sport for a long time. They are a little bit older, in their 30s, and now want to give something back to cycling. So they come out and ride with us and give us tips.

In the last year or two the club has suddenly taken off. It now has over 115 members and we’re one of Vancouver’s largest cycling clubs. I think a big part of it is because we’re trying to create a club that is more about camaraderie rather than just a bunch of racers. So we have all types of riders, including those who are interested in becoming better riders but don’t want to become the best in B.C.

Q. What’s the pleasure in cycling?

Cycling is just a great sport to relieve the stress of the working week, and keep fit at the same time. The average speed is about 30 kilometres an hour, but you can get to over 50 kilometres an hour in certain parts of the ride. So you cover a lot of ground in a short period. And there’s great camara- derie and group effort. For example, drafting is where you ride behind the person in front and they buffet all the wind. The cyclist behind saves 30 or 40 per cent in energy. So if we have, say, 10 people out there riding, we’ll rotate the person at the front of the pack. It’s like birds flying in the sky in a V-shape.

The nice thing about cycling is that it appeals to everybody — the CEO of a company and the guy who works outside. Out there we’re all just riders, so it’s fun.

We’re also fund-raising. The Glotman Simpson Cycling Team is soon to be called the Pancreatic Cancer Research Cycling Team sponsored by Glotman Simpson. (A few years ago, my wife’s mother passed away from pancreatic cancer.) Over the last year we’ve held as fundraisers a Vancouver to Seattle ride, a Kelowna to Vancouver ride, and the Cypress Mountain Hill climb in September. We’re going to raise over $30,000 this year.

Q. Do you see the club as a benefit to the business?

It brings awareness that we’re much more than an engineering firm. It shows that we have people here who are quite fit and competitive, which I think leads people to understand that we’re probably pretty good engineers as well.

I’m a big believer that someone who has the commitment and dedication to do well in sport is also likely to be successful in business.


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