DAVID PILGRIM: In Search of A Multifaceted Life
David Pilgrim runs the Mojo Cycling rental department. It’s a tough -- & often thankless -- job. Bikes come & go constantly. It takes an employee who not only keeps the bikes in top mechanical shape, but can also keep each bike’s rental calendar in order. When riders arrive, David must fit each one to their bike & set the suspension correctly...often, while a crowd of other guests waits excitedly nearby. Additionally, his position mandates that he keep the varying charges for each customer correct. It’s a high-pressure job that takes a keen attention to detail in many differing physical & mental ways.
How did David land in this position?
David Pilgrim grew up in the mid-nineties in the small town of Oologah, Oklahoma. He notes: “You’ll never find it. It’s a nowhere town.” It’s a small rural outpost with “one stoplight, one Sonic & one & a half gas stations…There were a lot of cows.” But living in a small town didn’t mean that David had narrow ambitions or a bland skillset. He grew up racing motocross in a family that also built & raced sprint cars. “We dabbled in a bunch of kinds of racing.”
In his mid-teens, David got injured in a motorcycle wreck that ended his racing career. Not one to sit around, he “started playing drums & joined a band...We travelled around, playing in bars & roadhouses...I wasn’t even twenty-one. So, I had to have affidavits to even get in & play.” The smoke, seediness & rabble of the bars rubbed David the wrong way. He winces as he asserts that “as a result, I’ve never been interested in going to a bar or hanging out in them.”
When asked how he got into mountain biking, or found his way to Mojo, David leans forward in his chair, elbows on knees. You can feel a well of excitement brimming. He begins by referencing his brother, Dylan (who manages Mojo’s Service dept). Dylan got into biking, eventually moving to Trestle so that he could work & ride his bike. David followed soon after. He muses; “I figured out what mountain biking could be...I didn’t like Cross Country [riding] & that’s all there is in Oklahoma. It’s totally flat. I found gravity riding in Colorado & knew that it was the REAL mountain biking for me. That was that.”
Eventually, David moved back to Oklahoma so that he could complete his university education. He states that he attended school so that he could work with his father at the family business. But his father had burned-out after years of tough & stressful work. Consequently, the family business wasn’t an option. So what would David do with the stunning dual degree that he had in Business Management & General Business, with a minor in International Business? He gets vague… It’s obvious that this period of his life was not a highlight. He was searching for a place that fit his life...a life that seemed to be driven by two antithetical ambitions. David squirms in his chair. It’s apparent that this is a conundrum he has wrestled with. The “closed” environment of an office is obviously stifling to David. “I wanted to be outside. I wanted to ride a bike & be outside doing things, rather than sitting in an office & being part of the corporate life. I want to be active while I still can.” He wanted to land in a career that utilized his business acumen, but also provided a venue for action...for excitement...for creativity.
David muses about the inspiration that he had right after graduation. “I used the money that I got for graduating college to buy a van. I took my bike. I wanted to travel & ride.” David leans forward in his seat with a wry smile: “I found out that I wanted a shower & a bathroom. When you wake up in the middle of the night, it’s those conveniences...The van life makes you appreciate the little things.” Soon, David was home again. He struggles with the question of where & how could he support himself, while still retaining his overwhelming desire to ride & feel free of restrictive office-type work environments.
David’s brother, Dylan, may have unwittingly provided him with the outlet which he pursued. The two brothers had been coming to Bentonville to ride “for a while.” Dylan made the step to move to NWA permanently & he’d recently joined the Mojo Cycling family as the Service Manager. One day, Dylan noted that he had a brother who would be a good addition to the team. When David showed-up for an interview, Shawna & I knew immediately that he would be a great fit to our crew. It was obvious that he was a critical thinker who possessed great interpersonal skills. We hired him on the spot...despite the fact that he never told us about his exceptional business education & skills. (Really David?)
David has been a Mojo Cycling employee for a year. He has quickly diversified his original job description, expanding the position to work more closely with the service department. He worked with Mal to integrate a new rental computer program into the structural mechanics of the shop, changing how we help customers navigate the rental process. (It’s not an easy task to knit all the diverse activities of the shop into a new program.) He asserts that he’s been creatively minded since “I was just a kid, when I worked with my dad at his fab shop.” His business education & analytical abilities will definitely be one of the feathers in our cap. David is poised to help our team to move forward & grow with more confidence.
One of the reasons that the staff of Mojo believe we can be the heart of cycling for NWA is that we have such a diverse & talented team. Each of us brings multiple talents & differing perspectives to the table. Anyone who has a talent or skill has the freedom to fill a gap in our services to our local riding community. The love of riding a bike is what unites us. Our individual talents are what make us successful.