Shane Bresnyan: My experience was the biggest sense of being helpless. I wasn't at home. I had gone to Calistoga, where the fires originated, to spend the night and do a photoshoot and ride in the morning. I was woken up at 3:40 am to hear the house was gone!
My wife called and said, “Fire's coming down the hill. What do I take?” “The dog. Go,” I said. “Call me when you make it to the highway.” So she called and said, “I made it out. I'm good to go. The house is gonna be gone…and I'm on 101 and it's 4:00 am but it's completely packed! I don't know what's going on. I can only go five miles an hour!” I'm getting this information. And at that point I got out of my truck in Calistoga and I was surrounded by fire. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen!
Glenn Fant: I looked around at [everything in the store]. I thought everything was gonna go. It was real to me. The shops. My house. I looked around and I was like I can't take all of it so I don't want to take any of it. It was kinda like, none of that matters. I was looking at this rack of bikes and I didn't take anything.
SB: Shit got simple really quick!
GF: “I got Specialized [and] all our suppliers to extend a discount to fire victims because I knew we were gonna sell a bunch of bikes during this time. As a business owner, I didn't want to take advantage of the situation. As a bike guy, that's how I can help. This is what I can do.
In any other world it would seem so weird. It would seem so weird to a non-cyclist. ‘A bicycle?’ For the kids in Coffey Park, their parents are thinking the first thing they go buy is not gonna be a bicycle — that was my thinking. If we can get them a bike, the kids would be stoked! But as cyclists, that's how we cope with stress. That's how I’ve viewed the world since I was, like, nine. Everything from the seat of a bicycle.
SB: Glenn decided to pay everyone for their normal hours [even when they didn’t work] during the time of loss. He's not gonna speak of it, but as a small company, it speaks volumes. It's a bike shop, but it’s also a family environment, and to be able to allow people to take time off and process, however they want — that makes the company that much more special.