Cycling addict Bill Bone is no longer the ‘wimpy kid’

Read the complete story on the Palm Beach Daily News – Shiny Sheet

Attorney Bill Bone strives to be well-rounded.

He chose his particular specialty in law because he likes helping people; he’s active in a long list of community service organizations and charities; and, while a bit of an afterthought, he’s passionate about sports.

“I was 32 when I started,” Bone said. “I’m very competitive and wanted to be athletic in school, but I channeled it into leadership positions. I was an awful athlete and it always bugged me.”

But he’s made up for lost time. When deciding to give sports his attention, training to finish a triathlon was his goal, which meant he had to get good at biking, swimming and running.

“I wasn’t much of an athlete as a young man and didn’t have the time because of work to perfect the skills needed to play golf or tennis competitively, but I felt like I had the stamina to do an endurance sport. Triathlon is the ultimate competition in that category and I’ve now finished over 50 races.” He also liked the idea that he could change up his routine everyday, and he likes competing against himself.

He’s giving it his all. He’s been participating in eight to 10 triathlons a year, and in December, he teamed up with the Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches and the City of West Palm Beach to start the Bill Bone Sandi 5K. There’s also the Bill Bone Racing Team, the Bill Bone Pro-Am Series, the Bill Bone Tropical Triathlon and the Bone Grand Prix.

“I haven’t raced in years and I don’t suggest that I do,” he clarifies. “The bike racers would leave me in the dust.” But, considering the above list, his name is linked right up there with sports, and he’s happy about that.

“Me, the wimpy kid, cut from the football team, who couldn’t bat, who couldn’t shoot a basketball to save my life, I love it. People really can reinvent themselves.” And, he notes, a lot of these endeavors can be done in conjunction with a charity.

For example, the Bill Bone Tropical Bike Tour on April 28, which will start on Clematis Street, will benefit the Paley Foundation.

Why do you ride?

Cycling is my release. It’s the “healthy” part of my lifestyle. It keeps me fit and trim, and really, if you think about it, there is no better place in the world to ride than South Florida. It never snows and the terrain is flat. Of course, the sun can be brutal, which is why I ride early in the morning. … I started cycling … because I thought it would be less demanding on my body than running, but I admit the sport can be intimidating. It’s not like running, which you can do in ordinary shoes and shorts. You have to invest in a bike and dedicated shoes and special accessories like streamline clothing, helmets, gloves and even a computer, and that can add up. … A lot of my recreational cycling buddies are high-strung professionals with intense careers and too much testosterone. Like them, I was attracted to the flashy equipment, the camaraderie and the friendly competition.

Where do you usually ride?

I will ride anywhere and love to explore new places. But my first choice is A1A in Palm Beach. You have the ocean on one side and fabulous homes and landscaped hedges on the other. My second favorite place is Manhattan, which is surprisingly safe for cyclists.

What are you riding now and how did you select that bike?

I love my current bike, a carbon fiber Stradalli Napoli. The component parts are manufactured in Asia by Italian designers, but the company is locally owned and operated here in South Florida, where each bike is custom built to the rider’s specifications. It is light as a feather. My gear bag weighs more. The Stradalli exceeds my expectations. It’s definitely my all-time favorite bike.

Do you have a dream bike?

I love classic Italian bikes. I can’t imagine a better bike than the Colnago C40 Gold Edition, owned by the late actor Robin Williams. It was sold at auction by his estate and I bet someone paid a pretty penny for that one.

Do you have any advice for people who want to try cycling?

Choose the right bike shop. In Palm Beach, it’s either The Bicycle Trail Shop or Top Cycle. In West Palm Beach, it’s LC Tri Shop or Bike America. Visit the shop and make a friend. The best shops are locally owned. Practically speaking, the owners and staff don’t work at a bike shop for the money. They do it because they are passionate about the sport. A good shop will frequently let you use or rent a bike when you start so you don’t have to make a big initial investment. They also usually sponsor training or group rides.

Another good way to kick-start an interest in cycling is to sign up for one of the charity rides, or if you have the time and money, take a cycling vacation from a professional travel company like Backroads or Sojourn Bicycling Tours.

What brought you to Palm Beach and when?

Out of sheer luck, I was born in West Palm Beach.

Tell us about your family history and connections with the area.

My grandfather moved to Delray Beach and ran a gas station in 1941. My father grew up here, and he and I attended the same high school. My four children and I were all born in the same hospital.

What’s your favorite thing about living here?

The diversity. Most everybody has deliberately moved here from somewhere else and that makes for lots of interesting people ranging from every day folks to the richest of personalities and unique characters.

What’s your can’t-miss meal in Palm Beach and why?

I am a foodie and never miss a meal: Pecan Waffles at Testa’s for breakfast; grilled burger at The Beach Club for lunch; macaroons from Patrick Léze for afternoon snack; dover sole at Chez Jean Pierre for dinner.

What’s your favorite cultural venue or organization in town and why?

Society of the Four Arts, Tuesday Lecture Series.

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