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Meet the Team

Robert Choi, Co-Founder

Hometown: Born in Seoul, Korea – grew up in Lancaster, PA and think I’m a Californian.

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: Everyday at work is like a bike ride.

Favorite post ride food: I love all foods but there is something about a post ride meals at events especially after a 200 milers that is special since it there is no guilt feeling gorging yourself but only the joy in knowing you’ve earned it.  All other times, a good burritos will suffice.

Favorite Ride: Alta Alpina Challenge 8 passes – 200miles and 21,000 ft of climb in the mountains of eastern Sierra.

Interest outside of Cycling:  I love all thing I can do outdoors especially if it involves elevations. I was a beach kinda person living in Pa but living in California for almost 20 years changed my life forever especially seeing Yosemite valley coming out of tunnel of hwy 40.

I fell in love cycling while I was delivering papers on my single speed Schwinn just as I emigrated to USA in 1971 at the fresh age of 10.  My first real bike was a used Swedish made Crescent bicycles.  I wasn’t sure if I loved the bike or the beautiful women on the advertising posters.  I also lusted  for the celeste colors of Bianchi bicycles and finally purchased a Nuovo Record instead of paying for tuition and rest was history. In a way, I accidentally got into cycling industry by thinking I could make a better bicycle safety light from an incident where I was run off the road at an all night 180mile ride from Lancaster, PA to Ocean City, MD This led me to invent the first LED blinking safety light and started a company called VistaLite.  That company was sold to Bell Sports in bay area of California and been smitten by Redwood trees and the Sierra mountains ever since.  While in California, I had the privilege to work at Bell Sports, CamelBak and Specialized.  I fell in love with cycling again when I rode Death Ride, my first real love was with mountain biking in the woods of Camp Mack Lititz, PA.  Riding all day in the hills of Sonoma county, weaving in and out of redwoods was so inspiring that I spent my life savings to fulfill a dream and Volagi was born.  I think riding a double is a great metaphor for life.  No two doubles are the same and takes all the fortitude and resourcefulness to be successful at riding a 200 miles with 17,000 ft of climbing as we do in life.

 

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Barley Forsman, Co-Founder

Hometown: Born in Brunswick, Maine – raised in San Francisco, California

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: It’s an excuse to go for a ride – product testing!!

Favorite post-ride food: Burrito!? (does beer qualify as “food”?)

Favorite ride: New roads in new places – variety is the spice of life

Interests outside of cycling: Hmmm, can’t think of anything – it’s safe to say that I live and breathe bicycles!

I’m a bikeaholic – there, I said it!  For as far back as I can remember, I’ve had some form of self-propelled transportation: a big-wheel at 4, my first (training wheel-less) bike at 5, first BMX at 7, first cruiser at 9, first road bike (we called them “10 speeds”) at 12, first mountain bike at 16…  Since I was 7 I’ve been disassembling, rebuilding, and customizing my bikes.  The bike has always been about freedom for me – a way to escape, first from my house, then from my block, then from my neighborhood, then from my city.  In college, after a few short stints with architecture, graphic design, ceramics, sculpture, and fine art, I discovered (almost by accident) the profession of industrial design where I could actually design bikes and bike gear!  All of my professional career has been within the cycling industry: Bell Sports, CamelBak, Specialized, and co-founding Volagi.  And yeah, I still ride my bike a lot too!  In the past 15 years I’ve completed almost 40 “official” double centuries in California, many randonneuring events including PBP (Paris Brest Paris), the Furnace Creek 508 (on a fixed gear), and all the riding in-between.  So, yes!  I am an addict!  How can something so healthy be unhealthy??  Just don’t ask me how many bikes I have…

SusanSusan Scarlet-Macaw, Co-owner

Hometown: Tegucigalpa, Honduras but raised in San Francisco, California.

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: I get to test ride bikes and still call it “work”.

Favorite post-ride food: A veggie burrito will win hands down, but sometimes french fries can do the trick.

Favorite ride: For a race, I think the Terrible Two double century is one of the most spectacular rides for the scenery, volunteer support and for its time limit regulations. For an everyday ride, I like hill repeats, it seems that most of the rides I do have to have a purpose, even if it’s just to smell the roses. So there could be many rides according to mood or time of year.

Interests outside of cycling: Running, meditation, reading, hiking whenever I can make time for other activities. Lately, I have an interest in mountain bikes and climbing. It is easy to just think of a sport and Utah offers the outside environment to do so.

I am fiercely competitive if I have to be. I ran competitively in high school and college. I was introduced to cycling when I used to rent a bike from my aunt when I was 9 yrs. old. I lost the sport when I was 14 yrs. old but got reintroduced to biking as a form of transportation in San Francisco, I couldn’t afford a car so I rode my bike to school. Then in 1999, Barley introduced me to road cycling, it changed my mind and gave me the taste of endurance cycling. I was hooked the moment I rode around Lake Merced, I was fascinated by the drop bars and the speed I could move the machine under my legs. But it’s not just about the bike, someday I would like to join the Peace Corps and climb at least one of America’s longest trails: The Appalachian trail (2,100 miles), the Pacific Crest trail (2600 miles) or The Continental Divide on a mountain bike.  

omar_web_profileOmar Sison, Reasearch and Development, Lead Mechanic

Hometown: Concord, CA

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: Working amidst overachievers

Favorite post-ride food: Chile rellenos

Favorite ride: It’s impossible to choose just one, but recently bombing down some single-track on Viajes at Sardine Peak with Cody was up there with the best.

Interests outside of cycling: I’m working on it

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Cody Shibukawa, Purchasing/Inventory Specialist

Hometown: Woodacre, CA

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: I get to working with some of the most enthusiastic, driven people who are passionate about cycling, life, and adventure. I have a unique opportunity to see all aspects of running a bicycle company, from engineering, designing, and building bikes.

Favorite post-ride food: Normally any kind of Mexican food, but usually a chicken burrito is what I go for, oh and an IPA!

Favorite ride: On the mountain bike is the Downieville Downhill in Northeastern California! This is one of the best trails I’ve ridden, with a great combination of flow in the trail, and scenic views.  As for road riding, my favorite ride is from Sonoma County to the top of Mount Tam with incredible views of entire Bay Area.

Interests outside of cycling: Really anything that involves the outdoors. I have been River Rafting since I was nine years old, and started guiding rafts when I was thirteen. I love to go backpacking with friends and family, it has enabled me to put myself in some of the most incredible places.  Another outdoor activity I enjoy is fishing—I love fishing. I’m looking forward to exploring the fly fishing around Ogden, Idaho, and Wyoming.

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Ben Teague, Inside Sales

Hometown: Santa Rosa, CA

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: The teamwork it takes to deliver a bike from start to finish—from choosing the parts, to building the bike, and sending it to your local bike shop.

Favorite post-ride food: The perfect burrito.  Grilled chicken fajita burrito washed down with a glass of Horchata.

Favorite ride: The quest for the perfect ride is neverending…

Interests outside of cycling: Camping, hiking, video games and board games.

 

I started working on my own bikes once my dad let me start using his tools. Every weekend I would take my bike apart, all the way down to the bearings, clean everything and reassemble it. I used this passion to find jobs that I could enjoy and learn about the things I love. I had many job opportunities that trained me how to become the mechanic I am today, and continue to grow my knowledge of bikes and the industry. My first love was BMX bikes, which turned into mountain biking when I got too tall for BMX. I turned to road bikes for the utility and versatility of a non-car mode of transportation. Exercise was the least of my worries, it was just the ability to leave everything else behind and just be in the moment.

Chase K. Christiansen, Marketing Coordinator

Hometown: Hooper, UT

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: The ability to ride and promote an awesome set of bikes.

Favorite post-ride food: Wings w/ Blue Cheese Dressing

Favorite ride: Old Snowbasin Road, Ogden, UT

Interests outside of cycling: Guitars, Literature, and Cuisine

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Drew Johnson, Australia Sales Distributor

Hometown:

Favorite post-ride food: Rock Melon and fresh Stroopwafels if they are available

Favorite ride: In Oz the big loop through the National Park in Sutherland, in Europe Mount Chasseral which is in the back yard of mate of mind who loves smashing me over it. It’s spectacular place to ride.

Drew started out in bike industry a little over 20 years ago to support his racing habit! His great passion is Road racing, and firmly believes that climbers are the true artists of the sport of cycling. Although he came to racing a little later than most his passion and commitment lead him to spend a couple of seasons of as he puts it “having his legs ripped off” in Europe. The experience & friends gained during those times has never left him.

Professionally he started out as a warehouse guy picking & packing orders then he worked his way up through the ranks to become the National Sales Manager for Shimano Australia. Recently he left Shimano to join our team.

Over that time he has worked alongside some of the most recognised & loved brands in our industry such as Shimano, Camelbak, Scott, Mavic, Pearl Izumi, Giro & now Volagi. The insight learnt from being exposed and contributing to how these different brands developed has given him a rather unique set of skills and perspective.

Drew continues to enjoy his riding and when the opportunity arises race the occasional 24hr MTB race which are very popular in Australia.

Mobile +61 402 379907

Email =

Postal = PO BOX 735, Alexandria, NSW, 1435

Office = 58 Belmont St, Alexandria, NSW, 2015

EinoEino Holm, Mechanic

Hometown: Crystal Mountain, WA

Favorite thing about working for Volagi: Learning new things. Even though I’ve been in the industry for 10 years, I’ve learned a lot of new things [at Volagi].

Favorite post-ride food: Tacos

Favorite ride: Green line 6, Capital Forest

Interests outside of cycling: Skiing, natural history.