NAME: Garnett Whitmire III, aka Crit Whit, aka The Good Steward of Cycling
HISTORY WITH SPINERGY: In his words, Crit Whit is not a band waggoner. That’s clear in the way he approaches, well, everything. And that includes his choices in cycling gear and components, including wheels. As someone who will research something deeply and doesn’t automatically go off big name brands, Garnett was drawn to Spinergy several years ago. As a bigger rider weighing upwards of 220 lbs., the wheels were fast, but still reliable thanks to PBO spoke technology. He was attracted by the color options in the spokes as well, but soon discovered a brand that took his feedback seriously. Whitmire appreciates the durability of the wheels and that getting nicked by other cyclist around him won’t break Spinergy’s proprietary PBO spokes. He finds these road wheels particularly suited to the everyday rider, and people that do grand fondo’s or are in the saddle for a long time. He said, “I honestly don’t think there’s anything better. I really don’t.”
PRODUCTS USED: FCC47 and FCC32
ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 12th Tour de Murrietta, NAACP Legal Defence and Education Fund, 25 Miles for Justice, Member: La Grange Velo Club
BIO: Garnett is natural talker, extrovert, former minister, and servicemen. In 2009 he took up cycling as a therapeutic outlet after deployments in Fallujah and Iraq, just to name a few. It was his first major race in Murrieta, a few years ago where he was dubbed "Crit Whit and things went to another level. He went on to create a YouTube channel that now has 370 cycling related videos. “It’s who I am, with my YouTube channel I wanted to share and shine a light with more people across the world about cycling, because even now there’s so many people who don’t appreciate it for what it is and what it can be. There’s so much more that can be had.” He’s got big ideas:
“1. I want to do a youth program; 2. I want to get cycling as an athletic sport in schools where kids can get a scholarship for college the same way they can for football, basketball, baseball, or hockey; and, 3. I want to get it on a professional level, an American criterium, not necessarily Tour de France level, but more or less criteriums where states or cities have their own competitive teams.” These are huge goals, but as a famous minister once said, “Big ideas come from forward thinking people who challenge the norm, think outside the box, and invent the world they see inside rather than submitting to the limitations of current dilemmas.
And Crit Whit does have some limitations, taking on his ventures solo with no major sponsors. And yet, he’s making traction. In terms of personal goals, he finished the most recent Tour de Murietta in 12th place. And his public impact has been important and inspiring: this year he raised nearly $5k for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. When I asked him about this endeavor, he said, “I don’t think intermittently, or just in the moment, but for down the line, the future, for lasting impact.” Whitmire's goal was to elevate his community through cycling.
Whitmire managed to create this impact by launching 25 Miles for Justice. He jumped on Bonfire and started the campaign with selling t-shirts and by motivating people to do 25 miles of cycling. His kit sponsor, Pedal Mafia, pitched in and created a 25 Miles for Justice jersey. He also organized a public Q&A with a black officer for some of his community. He led a town hall meeting on injustice in America with his cycling club, La Grange Race Team.