I started riding bikes in a small blue-collar town in Michigan as a 5-year-old back in the 80s. I raced BMX locally, built my own rickety and unsafe ramps with wood and bricks, and spent my summers jumping curbs. BMX was huge in my town, but over time mountain biking became more popular, and I wanted to try it out.
As I got older, I transitioned to mountain biking and never looked back. I raced competitively until 2015, and at one point I was the Number 1 in my class in the Michigan Mountain Bike Point Series. Even now, I take vacations a couple of times a year so I can mountain bike in exotic locations around the world.
When I was a middle school mountain bike coach, I noticed that a lot of kids were scared, so I decided to become certified. My certification is recognized by the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and the Bicycle Instructor Certification Program (BICP), which has become the national standard recognized by National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA).
One day, I was coaching my nephew and he was making quick progress. He was ready for more, so I tried to find a small jump that I could teach him to go off of. Everything I found seemed to be marketed for more advanced riders, so I decided I would just build him his own from scratch. My first prototype was pretty crude, but with a little refinement, we ended up with the Ramp-Age Kick’r.