Domenic R.I.P.

The one and only Domenic Malvestuto. In Arizona, he was known by one name alone. And that was Domenic. He was born in 1943. His bicycle shop was known as Domenic’s Cycling Imports. Or, simply, DCI.

Cancer, I heard. I received notice tonight via a text message. I poured myself a stiff one, took a deep breath, and went to sharing the sad news. I realized then how many folks in my life are connected to this man. I started sending out text messages, and I lost count at 40 people.

I worked for Domenic for several years. I’ve got stories about those times that would stretch out for miles. This website started while I was his employee. Man, what grand time it was.

Oh, the memories. That damn Salt Mine. Breaking big rocks into little rocks.

The action that went through that shop. I can’t begin to tell you. An entire generation of fast men raced for Domenic. Anyone who is anyone in Arizona is connected to DCI.

From the webpage:

Domenic Malvestuto
Feb 3, 1943 — October 6, 2011
Our founder, Domenic Malvestuto, passed away on Thursday. Domenic was a fixture on the valley cycling scene for decades, and has touched thousands of lives, always in a positive way. He will be greatly missed. Domenics 2 Wheelers will be closed in his honor Monday October 10, 2011

Please help us celebrate Domenic’s life…

Viewing: Saturday, October 8, 5-8PM
Funeral: Monday, October 10, 10AM

Queen of Heaven Mortuary
1562 E Baseline Road, Mesa, AZ 85204
(480)892-3729 directions

The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to
Hospice of the Valley
1510 E. Flower St.
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Domenics 2 Wheelers will be closed in his honor Monday October 10, 2011

I will attend the viewing on Saturday. Perhaps I will see some of you there.

I’ve got one of my DCI jerseys next to me as I type this. I will be flying the colors for the next few weeks. Thanks for the memories, Domenic. Thanks for everything.

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About big jonny

The man, the legend. The guy who started it all back in the Year of Our Lord Beer, 2000, with a couple of pages worth of idiotic ranting hardcoded on some random porn site that would host anything you uploaded, a book called HTML for Dummies (which was completely appropriate), a bad attitude (which hasn’t much changed), and a Dell desktop running Win95 with 64 mgs of ram and a six gig hard drive. Those were the days. Then he went to law school. Go figure. Flagstaff, Arizona, USA

42 thoughts on “Domenic R.I.P.

  1. Shit. Domenic was my very first sponsor. He gave me one of those late-80s crazy paint funny bikes to race triathlons with. He taught me to adjust my own derailleurs. He gave me advice when I was thinking about entering the rep game. He loved bicycles, and his love of the sport encouraged me to do the same. Domenic Malvestuto was a baller… In the truest sense of the word. RIP big guy…

  2. To the best of my knowledge, Domenic represented the American Dream. No matter if he offended some, He worked hard, even in his later years, and made a success of his cycling heritage. I was fortunate to have been on his team in the late 90’s. I learned a lot. And all those goddamned 3 hour fixie training rides, because old school was his method? Hell, my taint will never forgive him for that.

  3. Rest well amigo. You will be in good hands with the cycling legends of yester-year. My old mentor always asked me what kind of thumbprint I’m leaving, meaning what evidence is there that I’ve been here, that I’ve left my mark. Well, Domenics paws are all over this city, intertwined in the hearts, souls, and Camapgnolo chainrings of cyclist in this town for thirty plus years. He brought European cycling to Az and spread and grew the culture like no other to date. He opened a bike shop becuase he loved it, not for the money or fame, but just because he loved it. Thanks Domenic, keep on keeping on.

  4. Wow, that’s bad. Condolences to Judi and the rest of the family. I still remember seeing his new house just after he bought it and was fixing it up. The backyard was a mess. Dominic says in his usual Italian accent, “Yes, the man a before, he had a the two horse.” Thanks for all the support, Big D.

  5. I worked for him for a short time in my AZ wrenching career. First “pro shop” I had worked, and my first experience with tubulars. Seems I was constantly changing sew-ups on his wheels, and he wanted ALL the old glue taken off too. Pain in the ass. Guy was old school all the way to the core though, and I learned alot from him in a short time. R.I.P.

  6. wow that is sad news. the man was seriously old school… once i saw him seat a tubie on a wheel like i would blow my nose – without even thinking about it. favorite Domenic quotes? “two by two — two by two or i get the 2×4” or maybe “Culo grasso…” R.I.P. my friend and Thank You. my thoughts go out to the family…

  7. Big Sigh…
    Man, I’m really sad to have read this.
    I remember going into his old shop next to Tempe High to just dream.
    I used to buy parts to upgrade my piece of crap 10 speed hoping someday to make it like his beautiful Benotto’s or house brand bikes…

    Onto the 80’s and getting my clock cleaned out by team Strada and guys like Wolfe, Idzorek, & Loveday and then seeing it blossom into Tem Plymouth.

    I can remember racing for ASU back then and hanging out in the shop and feeling I had earned my stripes when he would freely talk to me.

    Shoot, the guy worked and worked and worked to bring cycling to Arizona. Somehow, he managed to get LeMond here at his peak every year. The Tempe Grand Prix was a spring event to the scale of a real NRC race. Huge crowds, huge participation, huge payouts. He did it right.

    I’ll think about this guy today on my ride and the impact he has made.

    Ciao old Maestro….

  8. I learned patience from Domenic. I won’t lie, I was frustrated by his Old World ways frequently. What I found, though, was a respect for his knowledge in a way that made him seem fatherly. And my siblings there, brothers and sisters like Big, Gnome, Angry Hippy, Yardsale, Husky Midget, Cuth, Amy, Vanessa, Dru, Kyle . . .

    We all should feel so fortunate. He sewed a very important chunk of my life. Thanks, D.

  9. I would not be doing what I love ….BICYCLES…. w/o the help Of D and J. Very Sad to hear of his passing. I thank you Dominic. Nik

  10. Thinking about it, didn’t he appear for about 2 seconds in American Flyers in front of his legendary Domenics van?
    I swear it was…

  11. Hell yea Luis! That’s what I’m going to watch tonight.

    The more I think about my time with Domenic, working in his shop and riding for his team, the more I realize how important that time was.

    Domenic Malvestuto

    Background on Domenic is on located on the Strada website.

  12. Yep. Big D and the van were both in American Flyers. I searched for a pic online, but was unable to find one. If anyone else does, hit us up.

    I spent a lot of time in that van. Driving bikes back and forth between shops, following Dan McGehee around the Furnace Creek 508, sleeping in the van at mountain bike races. If that van could tell stories, we’d all be in jail.

  13. …wow…take what you guys knew of domenic & go back maybe 15 or 20 years…that gentleman won the ‘ontario provincial road championship’ after moving to hamilton, ontario from italy, years before heading south…

    …(((a 15 year old bikesgonewild used to hitchhike the 50 miles from newmarket to hamilton to dry-hump a young lady in what passed for teen sex in those days…hey, sorry, just sayin’)))…

    …the point is, there were always neat old school european guys like domenic that owned little hole-in-the-wall shops in canada when i was a kid & they really were the cats who brought the sport to the new world…

    …there’d be all the requisite ‘new’ stuff for sale but that back corner would always have the owners french or italian racing bike that had just been ridden or was about to be & you just sensed it was different because it was ‘imported’ & oh, so special…

    …your life, domenic, was a celebration of cycling, one of the best things in life & you shared your passion…saluto…

  14. Quanto mi dispiace nel sentire che Dominic e’ morto. Lo incontrai di nuovo a un Casino’ con Judi months ago e sembrava che stasse meglio, invece non era cosi’. Mio marito se lo ricorda sempre quando siamo in Italia e lui parte con i suoi tubolari su per gli Appennini verso Sulmona. Ultimamente se ne parlava ricordando quei grandi muscoli possenti che tutti i ciclisti avrebbero voluto. Lui se n’e’ andato e anche mio cugino, un altro velocista in Umbria, sta soffrendo a stessa sorte, chissa’ forse competeranno in paradiso.

    I am so sorry t hear of Dominic’s passing. I met him and Judi a few months ago and he looked well, but I guess it was not so. My husband remembers him when we are in Italy and he departs with his Tommasini with the tubulars gong on the Appennini toward Sulmona. Lately we were talking and remembering those huge muscles which all cyclists wuld have liked. He left and also my cousin, another velocista in Umbria, is suffering with the same fate, who knows, may be they will be competing in paradise.
    To all the family, our condolences.
    Maria Grazia and Jim

  15. RIP Domenic, Truly an icon in AZ. Anyone that came up through the scene pulled a support wheel from the van at one race or another…

  16. I did not always agree with Big D. But I did learn a lot from him and respected tremendously. Thank you Domenic. R.I.P.

  17. Heard from a vet racer that back in the day Domenic would give water support on the climbs of the race course & ruthlessly slam water into his riders faces to get the blood up & piss em off.

  18. I started working at Domenic’s Cycling about 16 years ago.
    They hired me as a cashier and I didn’t even know what the hell a derailleur was.

    Shoot, I didn’t even know who I was until I started riding.
    My love of the bicycle began at the shop on 10th and Mill, and I still ride everyday, it is major part of my life.

    Thank you Domenic, Judy, and everyone in the bike community.

  19. Domenic was a true man, a do it yourself guy. He could out work anybody half his age. I remember pushing wheelbarrows of wet cement up his sloped driveway for his bacyard pizza oven. My back was done by the end of that day. Domenic and Judy made it possible for many people to earn a living working with what they loved, BIKES! A lot of good people worked at Wheelers and Domenic’s in the early 2000’s. Those were some good times. The corner of 10th and Mill is not the same without Domenic’s there. Domenic & Judy, thank you for everything.

  20. The guy spent two or three weeks with us during a National Team training camp in Tempe back in ’85. Showed us where to find whatever etc. and full of good life advice. What a great guy. Not often have I felt such a genuine connection with a dude that I didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with. He’d help anyone in any way he could at any time. Sorry for everyones loss of a great man that was in their lives. Two or three weeks, 25 years ago and I still remember well his good stories.

  21. went and payed my respects to him tonite… nice touch of the campy pin on the lapell of his suit…..good man will be missed. Ride On VikeAz

  22. The foot of Big D’s coffin was covered with cycling jerseys. And, a Bianchi was leaning against the side. Flowers everywhere.


  23. Wow. Lots if incredible sentiments here. This guy really touched people.

    Sorry I never got to meet him.

    RIP Mr Malvestuto.

  24. I was a rep for Giant bicycle in Arizona for many years, Domenic and Judy were my biggest and most supporting customers. In truth, I wasn’t really a bike racer until I started riding for his team. Many meals with big D, and many nights watching the A race at the Tuesday night crits listening to Domenic tell me why a rider was doing what he was doing, when I didn’t understand tactics at all. If you ever had a breakfast with Domenic, you know he liked his coffee with half and half, and his joke that never got old to him…”half a cow, half a goat”. Before Armstrong was winning tours, Domenic knew the benefit of “more spinding”. Around the mountain, rides to Casa Grande, and so many races where he was out and supporting. I’ll miss you big D. I’m even thinking about going round the mountain next Sunday, in full Domenic’s team gear.

  25. That is a great idea Greg. Anyone else want to do a around the mountain tribute ride next Sunday?

  26. I’ve known Domenic for over 20 years and in that time, I’ve never heard him say a bad word about anyone, even when he had the right to. He treated everyone with respect and always saw the good in people. He was the first to bring aerodynamic bikes to AZ for crits and that photo of him with the Cinelli disc tire and aero bars was the first of its kind here. Not too many bike shop owners in AZ have personal relationships with Benotto, Bianchi, Campagnolo and Tomassini but Domenic did because they believed in his shop and loved what he did. Dust off your old Domenics jerseys and wear them when you can.

  27. Not really about Dom himself, but DCI. What a great place to work in the 80’s…So many stories, but one really sticks out.
    As bored bike shop employees one of our favorite things to do was to see what people keep in their seat packs. One day we hit the Jackpot!!
    No, not money or drugs or jewels… it was a 10″ dildo…along with that was a custom spot sewn on the bottom side of the customers Fancy Furry Seat cover for a most interesting ride. Even better we made the new guy, who was extremely homophobic, ring him up at the register. He walked out out the back through the swinging doors, immediately turned about face when he saw the guy and ran out the back door screaming….
    Thanks for the good times Domenic…
    Peace Gitty

  28. Domenic was the ultimate Italian gentleman. He gave me my first real road bike to race on, and later on, being one of the very few women that raced for him, he put me on the team with full sponsorship. I will never forget what he told me about racing, he said “You have one job, just one, and that is to win.”. He made it seem easy, and it inspired me to achieve things I would not otherwise have achieved. I’m so thankful he was a part of my life.

  29. He’ll be missed. Like others here, I had the pleasure of working for him and learning a ton from him. I remember one time he saw a fellow employee eating some microwave meal for lunch and he said, “you can’t live off that, that’s garbage” and he bought us all lunch from Nello’s. I agree, the american dream.

  30. I just found out today. Very sad to think that I wont see him again. Worked for Domenic and Judy for a long time and they always treated me like family. Thanks to Domenic I have a list of funny sayings that I sometimes think about when I ride. Of course I hear them in the accent. I still have a bottle of wine that he made. It will make for a fitting toast to all of the good times.


  31. There are so many great memories associated with Domenic. I still remember his sage advice that “the glass you see does not cause flats”. He also taught me some critical Italian phrases. I wish I was in Arizona so I go find Scopa trail in his memory.

  32. Domenic was the Man. I worked for him from 04-06. It was nice to meet a guy so passionate about the classic road stuff like I always have been. It was also the last bike shop I worked for professioanlly and without a doubt one of my favorites. Though I only knew them a short time Domenic and Judy were always very kind to me and treated me like family. I saw them both on a trip back to AZ in 07 and while there I picked up a bike for my neice at Wheelers. Her first bike. Seems appropriate that I got it from Domenic. I’ll never forget that accent! Rest in Peace Dom!