Our First Rodeo

Toby Ricco shows an Elevate-equipped bicycle

Our First Rodeo

Toby Ricco shows an Elevate-equipped bicycle
Toby Ricco showing off an Elevated mountain bike

Bimotal is an early stage startup, so everything’s a new and exciting experience. Even though some of our team members are already well versed in bike event organization, Bimotal is a new venture with a new product, Elevate. For us then, it’s truly energizing to see peoples’ enthusiastic responses, engage with their curiosity, and get their feedback.

Coaches and student athletes were interested in Elevating their bikes
Coaches and student-athletes alike wanted to know all about Elevating their bikes

Our first big promo event was last year, the virtual Sea Otter Play in September 2020, followed by a few low-key demonstrations to groups of two or three people here and there. Last weekend though, we attended our first big live event, the National Interscholastic Cycling Association’s NorCal League race, at Six Sigma ranch, May 15-16.

The Berkeley High School team lines up for the start of a team time trial race.
The Berkeley High School team ready to go. This race was a team time trial format

So how did it go? It went great! Really, it’s hard to imagine how it might have been better. Okay, we know we still need a backdrop for our tent, and there are a few other tweaks, but we made more pre-sales, and the feedback was so overwhelmingly positive we’re now champing at the bit until our next event comes up.

At times it got so busy we needed a PA system

The most common feedback after a test ride? “It’s so much more powerful than I thought it would be!”

Other than that, here are some of the choice quotes from booth visitors: 

A middle-school principal was really excited about it: “My husband can use this! This is amazing! Now we can stay together on rides, he will be able to keep up with me!”

Another visitor said, “Holy, holy! Seriously? This can go on multiple bikes? This is it! This is the answer!”

And a third, somebody who practically lives in the bike industry: “This is the most creative thing I’ve seen in a long time.”

Dirty Kanza winner Yuri Hauswald dropped by to meet Toby and check out Elevate
Dirty Kanza winner Yuri Hauswald dropped by to meet Toby and check out Elevate

Bimotal’s founder and CEO Toby Ricco was present of course, heading up the demonstrations, as well as myself, Lauren Duensing. Also in the booth was our photographer/customer/product fan (and my fabulous husband) Mike Duensing. Our software expert Matt Rounds made the trip and offered up his valuable insights to Elevate’s inner workings. 

Bimotal software engineer Matt Rounds explains Bimotal's battery controls.
Matt Rounds giving up some of the secret sauce in Bimotal’s battery pack

One thing we heard repeatedly from booth visitors was frustration with the price of ebikes when they already own a bike they’re attached to and which in many cases cost a lot. The refrain we kept hearing reflected something we’d encountered during our early market research: “I just went to keep riding the bike I love and you have solved this!” 

Bill Colbran, the event announcer was most interested in the Elevate
Toby and I talking to announcer Bill Colbran. The T-shirt says it all!

On the personal front it was great to get reacquainted with an intern, spend some time with my former colleague and dear friend, NorCal League’s director Vanessa Hauswald, and of course our mutual old friend and NorCal League and NICA founder Matt Fritzinger.

Toby Ricco, Vanessa Hauswald, and Lauren Duensing watch a test rider on an Elevate-equipped bike
Toby, Vanessa and I watching a demo ride of the Elevate

Talk about starting on a high note!

Lauren Duensing is the vice president of business development and operations at Bimotal.

All photos courtesy of Mike Duensing.

By Lauren Duensing

Lauren is the VP of Business Development and Operations for Bimotal. Lauren is an entrepreneur, executive and manager with 20 + years experience in business development, systems management, training and team building. Prior to Bimotal, Lauren helped get thousands of kids and coaches on bikes at NICA. Lauren is passionate about bikes, and is excited to continue her work of getting people outdoors exploring on two wheels.