Born in rural Indiana, it wasn’t exactly the hotbed of motocross activity. In 1985, my mom brought home the June copy of Dirt Bike magazine from the grocery store and my obsession began. Later that year I got my first dirt bike - 1985 Honda XR80. And like so many others, I would ride until it ran out of gas.
Over the years, I lived in pages of MXA, Dirt Rider, and Inside Motocross. I dreamed of being a professional racer like Ricky Johnson and Damon Bradshaw. I would read stories on the founders of brands I admired like Geoff Fox of Fox Racing. Without even knowing it, I was a student of the motorcycle industry. So when my college career ended a few years sooner than I imagined, I started working in a local motorcycle shop called Stoughton Cycle Ranch. We took it far more seriously than simply a job. It was the beginning of my ‘real world’ education.
I would continue to ride and race but my skills were just good enough to make me look good in pictures. Video told a much different story. My pro career wasn’t going to happen and I accepted my place in history as just an avid fan. Then in January of 2000 when everyone was worried the world was going to blank out due to error in computer calendars, I got the lucky nod to work at Fox Racing. I loaded up my truck and moved to California… walking through the doors of a place I had only dreamed of seeing; let alone being an employee.
I spent the next twelve years at Fox Racing getting what I believed was my PhD in Motorcycle Industry Knowledge. I had worked sales, product development and even a little product testing.
I left Fox to help other brands grow and developed a love for building brands. Through it all, I always reminded myself and others that what we did was a lucky place to be - working with dirt bike stuff. How many others wanted to be exactly where I was? I knew I had it good and to this day, still do.
In 2016, it was time to take my doctorate in motocross and create my own brand. Phoenix Handlebars was to become my passion to help remind people how cool dirt biking is. Every awesome memory I have made is somehow connected to motorcycles. While I believe most riders would agree, I think in this hectic world, we lose sight of it. If my little handlebar and grip company can somehow remind you what we do is rad, then I’m stoked. You don’t need to use Phoenix Handlebars products to have fun… you simply need to ride. And that is all we ask - go ride, smile, re-live it, and ride again.
That is the story of how I fell in love with motorcycles. Now I want to hear yours. We all do…so let’s hear it.