What does a mix of bike racer and bicycle parking nerd look like? He would look something like Dero’s VP and General Manager Andy Lageson. In this installment of Dero’s 20th anniversary series, Andy tells us about his favorite parts of designing quality, secure bike parking and about that one time he got the Dero van stuck in a parking garage.
If you walked away from a fruitless job interview in college, would you expect to be working at that company as their Director of Marketing a decade later? Bri probably didn’t think so. In this installment of Dero history, she tells us about her custom touring bike and what it was like to interview with Dero during the company’s infancy.
How long have you been at Dero?Since June 2013…just over two years now.
Do you ride bikes?Yes!
Where is your favorite place ride?I’m falling back in love with the Gateway Trail. Earlier this spring I was exploring with a friend and we found the connector trail to Stillwater. It was so great to ride 99% trails from my home in South Minneapolis all the way to Stillwater.
What is your favorite bike to ride?My favorite bike was my blue Dawes commuter/touring bike that I had built in Australia and shipped back home, but it was stolen last fall. We had so many adventures together – touring solo in Tasmania, Bicycle Film Festival in Sydney, 30 Days of Biking in Minneapolis. But our engineer Joel made me a new, custom steel bike (via Clockwork Bikes), it’s my new favorite! It was designed for commuting and touring, so it has stable handling and comfortable geometry for long rides, as well as all the necessary braze-ons for racks and fenders. The color I chose is inspired by my trip to Thailand earlier this year. I’ve only taken it on a few long rides so far, and I can’t wait to take it on a multi-day adventure.
What sets us apart from other bike rack manufacturers?The majority of Dero folks are avid bicyclists, so we make sure our products provide solutions for people on bikes. We only make products that we would like to use. Also, Dero has a strong history of advocacy and continues to support organizations all around the country. It’s great to work for a company that gives back.
Favorite rack, and why you like it?Currently, the Cycle Dock is my favorite. It looks amazing – sleek and refined.
Do you have any funny stories from working at Dero?During my interview I had a moment of déjà vu when Andy mentioned that Dero used to be located above Bullwinkle’s. Back in college, I had an interview for an admin position for a bike rack company above a bar. I remember climbing the steep stairs to the office. It had tons of boxes everywhere, and not much else. I honestly thought it was a front for laundering money or something, but that was Dero! (I did not get the job.)
Why do people love Dero racks?People love the quality of our products and our customer service. Our goal is to make our customers and their bikers happy.
Travis, our National Accounts Coordinator, is a man of many talents. On top of being a bike parking expert, did you know he also plays in local psych-folk band Lovely Dark? Today we take another look back at Dero’s history, this time through Travis’ words.
How long have you been at Dero?Six years this July.
Where is your favorite place ride?Next to friends.
What is your favorite bike to ride?Surly Crosscheck.
What sets us apart from other bike rack manufacturers?Our racks are designed by riders for riders and our main engineer is also a frame builder. With many avid bike riders on staff, we try to design our products to help cyclists. We’re a business but we believe in the “Field of Dreams” approach where good infrastructure is what leads to more cyclists and more work.
Do you have any funny stories from working at Dero?In the old space, we would have to shut down occasionally from squirrels chewing through our exterior wires. Our old owner Rolf owned a few model ship websites and we used to field the occasional random call regarding the specifics of model ships. This was not divulged at the beginning but quickly we figured it out. The ships are long since gone but I still have the infamous Swedish ship, the Vasa, perched in my living room.
Favorite rack, and why you like it?Ultra Space Saver. I have a set in my garage and they protected my bikes when it was broken into.
Why do people love Dero racks?We’ve been around for a long time. We’re not going anywhere and there’s a lot of quality and history that goes into our racks. We can also help people realize almost any bike rack and they can be comfortable knowing that it’s going to work.
National Bike Month 2015 is coming to a close, but we’ve made the most of it at Dero. Based on our Dero ZAP commuter tracking and wellness program, the staff logged a collective 1,711 miles biked, reduced 1,185 pounds of CO2, and burned over 53,000 calories. Our rides have taken us everywhere, from overnight camping at Afton State Park to cruising around town using the Nice Ride bike share system. See some of our favorite Bike Month memories below.