Today we’d like to introduce you to Greg Hardy.
Hi Greg, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
The idea of Rockgeist started from the first trip. I was thrown into the deep end where I barely survived a 3-day ride overseas. Next, I was lucky enough to ride the Arizona Trail Race 300 where I first started testing gear designs. I came back to Arizona four more times which culminated in a finish of the full trail, traveling the length between the Mexican and Utah borders.
But somewhere at that first Arizona race, sleeping in the sand, I decided that I wanted to help enable these experiences for as many people as possible. With my background in engineering and materials, it seemed like gear would give me the best shot at having a voice in the bike packing community and contributing any sort of value.
This sport is challenging. Traveling up and over mountains, being at the mercy of the weather, all while navigating physical and mental abilities. There are feelings of being uncomfortable, uncertain of the path ahead, exhausted, and maybe even lost. But those challenges are balanced with the rewards that are felt when taking risks. There is an appreciation of the simple things in life; shelter, food, water, and freedom.
The camaraderie of fellow travelers. The peace is found in the quietness of the outdoors. A new understanding of yourself and others as you interact with different people and cultures. The sense of accomplishment from starting at the beginning of something and arriving at the end.
I started this company to help share these experiences with as many people as possible.
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The early days of the business were filled with typical struggles commonly felt by startups. Persistence, hard work, and the help of so many others have sustained this dream and gotten it to where it is today.
Most recently the surge in raw material cost, inflation, and higher cost of living has created a new sense of urgency to grow our audience. But we have a great team that is able to solve problems, adapt, and seek out opportunities.
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
Rockgeist specializes in custom and small-batch gear made in Asheville, North Carolina.
We are a cottage gear company; meaning all your gear is built in small batches while prioritizing quality designs, high-end fabrics, and detailed craftsmanship. Our designs are inspired by countless bike trips, brought to life in an intimate workshop, and perfected by makers who take pride in their craft.
What sets us apart is our ability to build custom frame bags and waterproof bike packing gear. We offer one of the largest selection of custom gear options and are the only manufacturer in North America making a full range of welded, waterproof bike packing gear.
We also partner with local machinists to fabricate many aluminum accessories to help stabilize your gear to meet the demands of singletrack bike packing.
What does success mean to you?
Success is defined by the impact we create in our bike packing community.
As a small cottage company, we have the biggest impact by focusing on innovative designs, resources for new backpackers, and initiatives to strengthen our community (e.g., our rental gear program, published bike packing routes, etc)
We strive to build community not only within our home in Asheville but community across our sport. We seek to have relationships with our customers, guiding you through improving your set-up, tailoring gear to your preferences and meeting you where you are in the broad spectrum of bike packing styles.
- Website: www.rockgeist.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rockgeist/?hl=en
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rockgeist/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxJIKrgOdMkuqYY_XhCVD7Q