Nonsense in their head, motorcycles in their blood, technology on the start line: Mark Roebke and Justin Bradshaw have developed a unique app called REVER, which enables bikers to record their rides and share them with like-minded souls. The two founders from Colorado talk about their ambitions and goals in a double interview.
You have just returned from a motorcycling trip in New Zealand. How was it?
MARK: It was great fun. We took part in a five-day adventure rally and covered around 300 kilometres each day. Sometimes the roads were tarmacked, sometimes there were gravel roads and single tracks. We showed the participants how to navigate with the REVER app.
Biking with the REVER App – how does it work?
JUSTIN: Track, share, discover, and be part of a community: these are the app's main functions.
You can use the app to track your rides and share them with members of the community so that they can discover and trace them too. The app is intended to motivate riders to discover new tours and destinations. Together with friends for instance. Or users find new groups of motorcyclists.
You grew up in a family of bikers. How was it?
JUSTIN: My father, my brother, my uncle, and my kids – everyone rides motorcycles. It brings us together. We discover parts of our country and the world that we would never have seen. I rode my bike to school aged just 15 without a license. Strictly speaking, I had a learner's license. My parents let me ride without accompaniment.
You have been collaborating with BMW Motorrad since 2016.
MARK: The collaboration was triggered by the forward thinking of the employees at BMW Motorrad. We are proud that such a dynamic and successful brand has approached us. We had previously been lacking a visionary partner from the industry with whom we were able to share our passions, ideas and experiences. It's great that BMW Motorrad sought us out as a start up and is so open to our ideas.
JUSTIN: As it turns out, there is a great deal of overlap between the manufacturer and ourselves: we are all propelling the idea of community forward. The community deserves and needs a shared space for interaction, in order to unite and inspire itself. We will drive forward innovative technologies and ensure that the motorcycling experience as a whole will become accessible to even more people.
Where did the idea for this app come from?
JUSTIN: In the past, I made maps for motorcyclists on paper. We received the request to produce a digital format. This turned out to be a much bigger deal, because we saw the potential in creating an app for the motorcycling community. Similar formats were already available for hikers, cyclists, and skiers. But there was not yet anything for motorcyclists. We sensed the opportunity and developed an app that incorporated all the key functions from the biker's perspective.
MARK: We incorporated our own experiences as motorcyclists in the functions. We know which way the wind blows and ride our bikes almost every day. In Colorado, there are so many cool roads. The region is swarming with tarmacked mountain passes, dirt roads and single tracks.
What role does the digital motorcycle play?
MARK: We are collaborating with suppliers in the motorcycle industry on this topic. It will be our challenge and task to design the user interface and connect the various elements in one hub. The goal is for the user to be able to interact with the high-tech vehicle using a single application, instead of operating four or five different apps.
Is there a life without handlebars?
MARK: Everything I have anything to do with needs handlebars: motorcycles, bikes and snow bikes. There's not much in my life that doesn't have handlebars. This is how I like it. Business becomes much more pleasant and productive if you have the required amount of passion.
JUSTIN: Motorcycles are my life. They are part of my job and my passion. There is so much connecting me to this topic: places, perspectives and people.