Breezer is the namesake/brand of Marin County CA framebuilder, designer and cycling advocate Joe Breeze. Breeze pioneered the first mountain bikes. His prototype, “Breezer 1”, built in 1977, is now in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History. In 2007 Joe Breeze, (along with other early mountain bike innovators), was featured in the documentary film ”Klunkerz: A Film About Mountain Bikes“. Today, the Breezer brand is a full line of mountain, adventure, and commuter bikes still designed under the guidance of Joe Breeze. He’ll be at the 2018 Philly Bike Expo and you can meet the legend in person! In the meantime, I sent interview questions to (and received answers from) current Brand Manager Mark Vanek. I asked him a few get-to-know-you questions.
PBE What did you do before coming to Breezer?
MV I’ve worked in the bike industry since 1993, starting in bike shops as a kid before working for manufacturers in 2000 with roles in sales, product management and marketing. Basically- I’ve loved bikes for a looong time and have been blessed to work in a few different roles that have allowed me to help empower both retailers and riders to get on bikes and have some fun.
PBE What’s your favorite part of your job?
MV Creating bikes that excite people to ride. And not just super-duper high-zoot machines. I’ve gotten the most enjoyment from seeing the look of excitement from inexperienced enthusiasts who buy a bike after not having ridden since they were kids.
PBE What’s one “Philadelphia-centric” thing folks may not know about the company?
MV In 2008 Breezer joined forces with Philadelphia-based Advanced Sports International and placed most of our internal positions here in Philly. Joe Breeze still lives in Fairfax, CA- where he built his first bikes in the early 70’s.
What’s your favorite ride/route/destination?
MV For mixed-terrain riding I have a road & gravel loop that goes through Bucks County and over into New Jersey that has a few water crossings, trail short cuts and beer stops. It’s the best for long days in the saddle! For mountain biking the sierras of central California are pretty amazing and still my favorite place for playing in the dirt.