On March 20, 2019, Florencio Irizarry, from Puerto Rico, reknown Salt Lake City master bicycle mechanic, experienced a serious heart-attack. For nearly twenty years, Flo has been wrenching in the Salt Lake City area. For the longest time, one could find Flo behind a work-stand at the now closed Wild Rose Mountain Sports. These days, ‘The Bike Whisperer’ has been doing what he loves to do, fixing bicycles at Contender Bicycles in Salt Lake.
Always meticulous, Flo is the guy many ask for and will only allow to work on their bike. He’s the guy that gets the job done right, hard-working, straight forward, and humble.
Apparently, two days after he got out of the hospital and only a week after his episode, he went back to work! Sounds about right. But he figured out pretty quickly that it was going to take some time. One can imagine.
Flo and the medical community are optimistic, even so, there is always uncertainty.
Flo began working on bicycles in his Dad’s garage at age ten. By eleven, Flo was lacing wheels and continued to work on bikes until he enlisted in the US Army at age eighteen. After his Army stint, Flo honed his experience in New York City as a bicycle courier and mechanic. He has stories of how a courier might interact with traffic, especially the traffic that leans towards the aggressive. There is technique involved in retribution, but I’ll leave that for Flo to tell you himself when you visit him at Contender.
In between, Flo was a service manager at a bike shop in the Orlando, Florida area. Ever the outdoor adventurer, the mountains eventually called to Flo, snowboarding on his off days in the winter or hitting the Bonneville Shoreline trail with the Bs after after work. Rubber-side down, we’re fortunate that Flo remains a corner-stone of our bicycle community.
Flo needs time to recover and needs your help to make it through his recovery.
A GoFundMe account to help Flo – FLO BRO 2.0, has a goal of $10,000 and a tentative end date of the middle of May 2019, has been setup by Max Lohmeyer owner of The Hub, Salmon Idaho, and race director of 12 &24 hours Disco mountain bike race.
It states, “FLO will need at a minimum to take a couple months off of work to put his focus on the #1 most important thing in his life right now, his recovery. Maybe he will need more time and maybe not, either way right now he needs recovery time more than anything.”
To contribute, visit: GoFundFlo
-By Chuck Collins