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$3K bike - for free

October 7, 2010

Bryan Miller was in the market to buy a new bicycle.
Little did he know that his new bicycle frame would be the same frame used by Tour de France greats Andy Schleck and Alberto Contador.
Miller, 52, of Conover, entered the In It to Win It: 21 Frames in 21 Days competition at Lightning Cycles in Conover, and he won it - a carbon-fiber Tarmac SL3 bike frame valued at $3,000.
"I thought it was a hoax," he said. "I still did until today."
Miller picked up his new bike frame Thursday at Lightning Cycles, and he still couldn't believe his good luck.
"I really never thought I'd win," he said.
Miller and his family came into the store several months ago to purchase bicycle helmets. Owners Mike and Cindy Owensby gave Miller a scratch-off ticket as part of the In It to Win It competition, and Miller followed the ticket's instructions to enter his card number at the competition's website.
"I passed (the tickets) out and passed them out," Cindy said. "We never thought it would happen here."
On July 15, Miller got an e-mail confirming he was a winner in the competition with more than 15,000 entries worldwide.
"I was stunned when I found out he won," Cindy said. "This was all over the world. This was everywhere. To have someone from (Conover) win, it's just amazing."
Miller is no stranger to biking. He started riding about four years ago with some encouragement from his son. During the summer, he rides more than 100 miles a week.
When Miller's new bike is fully assembled, it will weigh about 15 pounds. The carbon-fiber frame weighs about two and a half pounds.
"It doesn't have a fatigue factor with the carbon," Mike said, adding that the stiff but pliant carbon makes the ride comfortable.
Fifteen of the 21 winners were in the United States, with winners from Hawaii to New York. Miller was the only winner in North Carolina.
The blue, white and black bike frame represents the colors of Schleck's Team Saxo Bank.
Now that Miller has the new bike frame, he's purchasing other items to complete the bike.
"I've spent a fortune on this thing," he said.
Miller participates mostly in non-competitive rides, but with the state-of-the-art technology of his new bike frame, he might start winning races like Schleck.
"If I could just do that, I'd be in good shape," he said with a laugh.

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