Onsite at Oregon’s NICA race
Going back to NICA races is always such a great time for me! You may not know, but I have history with NICA.
In 2007 my 15 year-old son joined the inaugural San Ramon Valley High School Mountain Bike team of 12 students in the NICA Norcal League in California. At the time there were four NICA leagues in the United States. My son’s decision to join a NICA team changed the course of my life.
I became a mountain biker and got a job on the NICA national staff, starting as the program director and leaving more than seven years later as a vice president, after helping grow it to 31 state leagues.
Now, in my new role as vice president of business development and operations at Bimotal, I had the privilege of representing Bimotal as a sponsor of the NICA Oregon League race on September 11th and 12th at Mount Bachelor, near Bend. Toby Ricco, the founder and CEO of Bimotal, joined me in our booth at the event. I cherished being back at a NICA venue.
If you are new to learning about Bimotal, we are an early-stage electric powertrain company, founded in 2019, by ex-Tesla and SpaceX engineers with the goal of being an industry leader producing micro electric vehicles. The first product is Elevate, a patent pending removable, lightweight, and powerful ebike motor that cleverly mounts to a bike’s disc brakes. The motor comes on and off in under 10 seconds, providing an e-bike or pedal bike option at your fingertips and whim. Customers continually communicate with us the wish to “keep riding the bike they love.” It’s rewarding to see their excitement when they realize they can do just that with Elevate.
Though challenging, it’s been fun to get creative and figure out ways to get new hardware-focussed technology into the world with fewer and fewer in-person opportunities. Needless to say, we still have a ways to go but the journey has been adventurous to say the least.
So how did the two days play out? The Oregon League showed up with abundant stoke both days, even though wildfires burned in the region and smoke cut short the second day. Toby and I were amazed by the broad range of curiosity coupled with delight in the product.
Some booth visitors were satisfied by an explanation of the Elevate and how it works, while others needed to get out onto the trails for a test ride. Those that did were impressed and giddy after the ride. Across the board: league staff, student-athletes, parents and coaches all expressed enthusiasm for the utility and power of the Elevate. Many commented on the spirit of innovation, and this unique approach to electrifying a bike.
We sincerely appreciated how many people interacted with us during the busy race days! The curiosity, revelations and positive feedback is truly energizing. We love to see those first impressions as people experience Elevate.
Here are a few quotes:
- “It is stupid fun!”
- “I was shocked by how much power it had…it was so easy to use.”
- “It is dangerously fun!”
- “I was not expecting that much acceleration and I was still in control!”
- “The delivery was super subtle…barely weighs a thing.”
A highlight was just how wowed the Oregon student-athletes were by the Elevate. We learned just how cool they thought it was to transform your bike to an e-bike to ride around town, to school, or to get more rides on the trail. To the student-athletes of the Oregon League: we liked your vibe!
We ended the day with the NICA Oregon League staff, pictured below. We left with the feeling that this is a powerful and resilient community that, like Bimotal, has the goal of making a positive impact in the lives of people they touch.
Despite the fire-related challenges of the weekend the Oregon League staff remained great hosts throughout. Thank you, and we look forward to the next time!
Photo credits: Lauren Duensing, Mike Duensing, Toby Ricco