Brendan Quirk is the CEO of Allied Cycle Works in Bentonville, Arkansas. Allied’s stated mission is “to make the best bicycles and components in the world, right here in America.” Brendan is also the Cycling Program Director for Runway Group, a Bentonville-based investment firm whose focus is the “cultivation of entrepreneurship and other business activity specific to the cycling industry.” Most recently, Brendan has served as the Non-Executive Director for North America for London’s Brompton Bicycle.
In 1999, Brendan co-founded Competitive Cyclist, a retail bike shop, in Little Rock, Arkansas. He recounts the much smaller, pre-Armstrong market at the time, and how he drove his business forward using the limited capabilities of the early Internet.
The timing could not have been better. As Lance Armstrong rose to fame and eCommerce began to take off in the 2000s, Competitive Cyclist closed its brick-and-mortar office and did business exclusively online. The two-man operation never looked back, and in 2011, Competitive Cyclist was sold to Backcountry.com, propelling Brendan’s career in the cycling industry.
In this episode, Brendan shares his experience serving in varied leadership positions throughout his career in the industry, how he came to decide on Allied’s lofty mission, what makes a bike “world-class”, and the ongoing evolution of cycling culture.
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