Dominant hand: L
Hometown: Spring Valley Lake, CA
Coach: Pete Tyson
Sparring partner(s) at home: Tigre, Waddy Dog & Flash
Most important win in a tournament and most satisfying win in a tournament: Important-1997 world singles final over DC. Satisfying-2003 US Nats singles
Best tournament ever won: 1997 world singles and doubles championships
How long have you been playing: 35 years
What do you do for work: 2nd grade teacher
What are your goals in handball going forward: I’m all about the past. Resting on laurels.
What are your goals for the SR48 season: get through the matches without serious injury
Favorite handball tournament: SGUSOH
How will you prepare for Houston: like Paul Brady… I choose not to reveal my training secrets.
What do you love about handball: I love all things about Handball equally as much or equally as little depending on how you look at it.
Favorite pro player: Lupe Bike
How would you describe your game: I do the best I can.
What is your best shot: Tequila!
Given the choice, what top SR48 would you most like to play: did anybody else answer this question?
Who has inspired you to play this game at such a high level: David Vincent
Senior Race 4 Eight Profile: John Bike, Jr. (Posted Jan, 2014)
Nearly two years after being inducted into the Hall of Fame, John Bike, Jr. continues to achieve greatness in the sport he dominated in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. During the inaugural WPH Senior Race 4 Eight season, Bike captured SR48 Player of the Year honors for his consistency throughout the season. Bike also defied Father Time by qualifying on the Race 4 Eight tour at the age of 46.
“John Bike is the best 45 year old player in the game and still a top 20 pro,” stated John Bike Hall of Fame Presenter and WPH Executive Director David Vincent. “He keeps himself in great shape and is mentally as strong today as ever before. I considered him a top three defensive threat when he was a regular on the pro tour, even though he was underrated in that conversation, but his brain has even made his defense better as he has gotten older. Now, pushing 47, JB can play defense until you make a mistake and pounce with pro-like offense.”
Bike was the number one ranked handball superstar in the world before passing the torch to the precocious David Chapman in 1993. Bike was one of the few players to excel at 4-Wall, 3-Wall, and 1-Wall, winning pro national singles and doubles titles and world singles and doubles titles in 4-Wall, pro national and doubles titles in 3-Wall, and nearly winning a 1-Wall pro singles national title.
Bike was born and raised in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin where he met his coach, fellow hall of famer Pete Tyson. Bike married Lupita Alvarado, creating the Alvarado-Bike royal handball family. The Bikes and Alvarados reside in Spring Valley Lake, CA and are rarely more than one mile apart. Bike teaches the second grade and credits the daily routine of working with kids in keeping his mind sharp and creative and allowing him to still feel like a kid.
Bike keeps his game sharp by sparring with his brother-in-law and current #4 ranked WPH R48 pro Naty Alvarado, Jr., his son John A Bike, as well as master’s national champion Chris Watkins. The Alvarados and Bikes run the Simple Green U.S. Open, one of the best handball tournaments in the world and Bike’s all-time favorite event. Bike serves on the tournament committee, works the event as the head referee, and plays in the pro doubles.
Bike considers his most important tournament victory to be the 1997 world singles title over David Chapman and his most satisfying win to be the 2003 USHA pro national singles over Tony Healy.
Bike has been playing handball for 35 years and has one of the greatest handball minds in the history of the sport. Bike is one of the finest handball instructors in the world, adept at noticing the slightest imperfections of any swing and being able to offer constructive advice.
“John Bike is very important to the game, like Naty Sr, Fred Lewis and Vern Roberts,” stated Vincent. “They represent current and older times and have vast experience on and off the court, like a former President. They have a library of knowledge that can be tapped into whenever you ask a question. In John’s case, he will elect to give his opinion or wait for you to ask. But, he always delivers.”
Bike also understands his own game and what enabled him to have such a successful career. “I have studied my matches from a number of different years and my style was always different. Sometimes I played with power, other times I shot the ball from everywhere, and other times I predominately played hard pass shots with hop.”
As humble as he is great, Bike states his goals for the upcoming Senior Race 4 Eight season to simply play matches without incurring serious injury. Bike keeps his training regimen very secretive but rest assured that he is preparing himself for the upcoming season.
“I used to watch Bike take on all comers at the University of Texas Rec Center years ago,” recalled WPH Contributor John Egbert. “He would be playing really top players one after another, and after each game he would go out the side door to the track and run 100 yard sprints in the Texas summer heat and come back in and play another guy. I couldn’t believe it.”
The WPH is very proud to have John Bike as one of its ambassadors and top Senior Race 4 Eight players. Tune in to race4eight.com all season to watch John Bike and the rest of your favorite Race 4 Eight and Senior Race 4 Eight stars.