Up Close: Michael Zane ’70
Michael Zane knows his way around a bike shop. He was the founder, chairman and president of Kryptonite Bicycle Lock Corp. from 1972 until its sale to Ingersoll-Rand in 2001. The entrepreneur started selling his innovative U-shaped bike locks from the back of a VW van and then grew it into an international company through inventive marketing and legendary customer service. In looking for a way to support his alma mater, Zane stayed with the bike theme. Longtime F&M supporters, he and his wife, Elizabeth, recently donated 100 bikes to help the college community with its sustainability and athletic efforts. He personally delivered the spiffy blue-and-white bikes, adorned with the F&M logo, to campus on two trips in October and December.
Tell us about the bikes.
The bikes are referred to as hybrids. They aren't designed for intense off-road riding (i.e., mountain biking). Rather, they give the user some flexibility on surfaces that might not be great for narrow, high-speed cycling. The concept is more toward riding upright for commuting or touring.
How did you get them to campus?
I came down in my flatbed truck from Martha's Vineyard. Then I transported the bikes from Luke Shirk's Bicycles in East Earl, Pa., the top-flight bicycle dealer that assembled them, to campus.
Where did the idea come from to donate bikes?
In spring 2006, Tim Downes [former F&M director of athletics] and I arranged for the Saris tech rep to visit F&M. Saris is the manufacturer of the 10 cycling machines that Elizabeth and I donated to the Alumni Sports & Fitness Center in 2005. These Saris cycling machines were used by the Discovery team that won the Tour de France in 2005. The rep ran a seminar for students and faculty for the proper use of this equipment. After a number of successful training seminars, Tim and I discussed bicycles as a great addition to F&M's health and fitness efforts.
What is your vision for them?
My goal is that the students and faculty have access to them for recreational rides or to replace automobile usage when appropriate. Having the school support this effort would be unique and would garner some positive visibility. I'd like to see F&M become a bicycle-friendly campus.
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