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Bob Downs

HQ Phone: (414) 271-8000

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Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin

1845 N Farwell Ave Suite 100

Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202

United States

Company Description

The Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin is a statewide, nonprofit bicycle-advocacy organization with thousands of members. We inspire, motivate, and unite a strong community of civic, business and political leaders, motorists and bicyclists to move bicycling ... more

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Background Information


Planet Bike

Web References (44 Total References)

Bicycle Federation of Wisconsin [cached]

Bob Downs: Designing a better planet

As Gary Fisher, renowned father of the mountain bike, once put it, Bob Downs possesses an extremely keen perception of the obvious.
Downs founded Planet Bike, a bike accessory company, in 1996.
"I just observe how I interact with the product," is how Downs puts it.Lately, however, he's been stretching his perspective.
Downs got his start at Trek, based in Waterloo.He went from the customer service staff to product management simply because the company dictated that employees use only their products.This compelled him to keep offering tips on how to better design accessories.Pretty soon, they were patenting his ideas.
For Bob Downs, Planet Bike is more than just a bike accessory company.He is in it to promote bicycling and the types of vital communities it fosters.Planet Bike donates an amazing 25 percent of profits to nonprofit bike advocacy groups.
Why do all this?
"I just really believe in bikes and what they can do for people," Downs said.

For Bob Downs, who founded ... [cached]

For Bob Downs, who founded Planet Bike in Madisons more than a dozen years ago, aiding bicycle advocacy groups was and remains a way to help his company grow. Since its start in 1996, ...

Planet Bike to End Elite Team Sponsorship | Cyclocross Magazine – Cyclocross News, Races, Bikes, Photos, Videos [cached]

"I am currently in talks with a party that has a great deal of interest in acquiring or investing in Planet Bike, and it looks good that something may come of it," Planet Bike owner Bob Downs told Cyclocross Magazine.

Downs first broke the news to their last-minute summer signing, Katie Compton, to give her plenty of time to work on finding sponsors for next season.
"Bob saved us this season and none of Katie's results, including [leading] the World Cup overall, would have been possible without him," said Mark Legg-Compton, Katie's husband.
Downs had already verbally committed to sponsoring Jonathan Page before talks of the sale had commenced and plans to honor that commitment.
"I will likely have to pay him out of my pocket for next season, if there is a sale," said Downs.
The Planet Bike USGP races in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, will continue in the 2010 season, but beyond that will potentially be up to new owners. "The feedback we got from that event last year would seem to indicate that it is one of the best races on the calender, and I'll do my best to keep that event going long term," said Downs.
"Our roots have been in local Wisconsin 'cross, and we will continue to sponsor the Wisconsin Cycling Association Cyclocross series that has been going since the 1980s," said Downs.
If the sale of Planet Bike goes through, Downs is open to whatever possibilities will present themselves, but he's certain that cyclocross will continue to play a large part in his life. "I am a believer in the Joseph Campbell philosophy of 'following your bliss,' so I'll likely continue to ride my bike and travel. I am very focused on achieving one of my life goals of winning a Stars and Stripes jersey...I also would like to see if I can make it up on the Worlds podium next season and perhaps have a sniff at a Rainbow jersey in Louisville, if the Euro hot shots don't show up."
Although Planet Bike's days of cyclocross sponsorship may be ending, Downs still promises to be out there. "'Cross is in my blood," Downs says.

Wisconsin Cycling Association - Wisconsin's Competitive Cycling Resource [cached]

Bob Downs 608.256.8510 608.256.7990

For Bob Downs, who founded ... [cached]

For Bob Downs, who founded Planet Bike in Madisons more than a dozen years ago, aiding bicycle advocacy groups was and remains a way to help his company grow. Since its start in 1996, ...

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