Editors Note: this is the first in a series of posts introducing NWTA Board of Director candidates for 2018-2019. Voting takes place at our January 30 member meeting.
I am a 30+ year bicycle industry veteran with experience in everything from race tech support to founding companies and award winning design. I am a co-founder of Niner Bikes, and was the head of R&D for that company until 2011. I hold many US Patents, including the CVA suspension patent for Niner’s suspension design with many more pending. Either directly, or under my supervision as head of R&D, I designed every single Niner frame, culminating in the Rip 9 RDO as the final bike I worked on before departing the company. My designs with Niner have won two IF Design awards and two Gold IF Design Awards, the most prestigious award given by the IF Design award body, as well as a myriad of other ride awards from around the world.
In 2011, after leaving Niner, I began a two year stint working with and launching Factor Bikes, a new UK-based brand from parent company bf1Systems, an engineering and design firm working in Formula 1 racing, aerospace, and other automotive markets. I designed their first production frame, the Vis Vires (now called the “One”), from the ground up, incorporating some of the design elements from their original concept bike, the Factor001. It was the most challenging project I’ve ever worked on, and has been launched with praise from press around the world for it’s forward thinking design, total integration, incredible ride, and advanced onboard technology. The Vis Vires won the Gold IF Design Award at the 2013 Eurobike show and a d&i Award for design at the 2014 Taipei Bike Show. In addition to designing their first production bike, I led the brand development, bike specification details, and to-market strategy as well as their outsourcing needs. They were my first “soup to nuts” consulting contract. Now, Factor Bikes are being ridden under AG2r and placed second in the team competition at the 2017 Tour de France.
While the Vis Vires was coming to fruition, my mountain bike roots started to creep back into my system, infecting it with a desire to play on the dirt again. So, slowly but diligently, Domahidy Designs was born. I always knew that the brand name would be a struggle, but I was sure it would catch on. Sadly, I was wrong about the name and the branding behind Domahidy Designs, and realized that I needed to make a change to a more palatable one.
After doing my due diligence on at least a dozen names, I settled on Viral Bikes. I loved the way it sounded, the way it rolled off the tongue, the way it looked, and it’s availability as a brand name meant all of the stars were aligning to re-create my vision under this new name.
Viral Bikes is an amazing new brand, and we are going to work on the very edge of cutting edge, creating bikes that are at once exhilarating to ride and beautiful to look at. We are going to have a profound effect on the cycling industry and will strive to exceed every barrier a small company might come up against. Being the small guy isn’t all bad; we are much more fluid and able to shift as we see market trends and directions open up, or create all new ones.
I want to grow NWTA into a recognizable brand that everybody who lives and rides within its borders will recognize and be a part of. My goal for year one is to grow the membership by a factor of four, which is lofty, but I believe possible with more visibility and events that both support the organization and serve to build community amongst the riders of the Pacific Northwest. I want to take NWTA from grassroots to mainstream public policy and mountain bike advocacy. I don’t think small. Everything I tackle, I do with gusto. I jump into the deep end and am not afraid of the hard work or getting dirty. I like to make things happen, and tackle larger, seemingly unmovable obstacles.