Michael Geale


I’ve always loved things with two wheels - racing BMX from around age 8, then on to motocross and ultimately MTB (I switched from MX to downhill because my dad thought it would be ‘less dangerous’......). I cross trained in a few disciplines so have learnt to enjoy cross country, 4X and trail riding. 

I remember being a sixteen year old standing in a bike shop that wanted to charge me $60 for a set of brake pads, and thinking there had to be a better way! I had also been struggling to get my hands on top quality MTB products locally, so I teamed up with my riding buddy Tim to convert my parents garage into a shop. It was definitely a battle as we struggled to get supply, and my Dad predicted “you’ll never make a living selling bike parts”.

But we persisted - I would sneak off during my lunch breaks as an electrical apprentice to find a quiet spot with a public phone (we were just pre-mobiles!) to place orders with suppliers! Luckily we were on a winner, we gained a loyal following and within about 18 months we were able to move the shop from under the house to a physical store on the southside of Brisbane. At that point I abandoned my apprenticeship and focused totally on the shop.

I’d always wanted to move into selling online, so when we started to turn our minds seriously to building Mountain Bikes Direct I was pretty excited! Online is the way I often like to shop, so it’s been a natural progression. I’ve always been a bit technically minded, and though I’m no IT expert I enjoy playing around with tech systems. So I work part time managing a lot of our technical projects, and the rest of my time is spent looking after our two little girls. 

Over the years I’ve been fortunate enough to have combined travel and riding, hitting up trails in NZ, Canada, France, Austria, Germany and even Nepal. I’m looking forward to some upcoming enduro races, and getting my little girls excited about bikes too! 

 


Jen Geale 

I started out in the corporate world as a management consultant, where I was told I’d have plenty of opportunity for travel to work on big projects. That all sounded pretty glamourous, and then I went on my first project - which was FIFO to a mine in Central Queensland, where the corporate uniform was hi-vis! But I soon realised I loved that time on the mine more than I enjoyed time in a corporate office, so I decided to ditch the suit altogether and work part time on the bike shop and part time on some volunteer projects I was really passionate about.


When we started tossing around the idea for Mountain Bikes Direct, I couldn’t wait to help turn that vision into a reality! Fast forward four years and I’m responsible for a lot of our systems and processes (yeah I know, it sounds like the boring stuff, but it’s the stuff that keeps the business ticking over so we can offer such good prices!!), as well as lending a hand in customer service. In 2016 I was a Queensland Finalist for the Telstra Business Women Awards which was a very great honour! When I manage to squeeze in a ride (bit of a challenge with the two little ones, who are 1 and 3) I’m on my new Intense Tracer, which is such FUN! 

 

 

Mel McCullough

Hi! My real name is actually Mylene, but my aussie friends have always called me Mel, it’s way more simple!

I’m from Quebec in Canada and I came to Australia to travel around and improve my English. I was aiming to stay for 6 months. Well... things didn’t go as planned as you might have gathered. I met Tim and settled in Brisbane, becoming an Australian citizen in 2011.

My background is a bit of a mix...studied art, children services, business and counselling, worked in hospitality and in the childcare industry for years before embarking on the bike venture. 

When I’m not running around chasing our 4 year old daughter, I spend my days working on customer service, email marketing and any random projects that pop up! 

Winter is just starting over here, but I’m already dreaming of hitting the trails again in Spring on a fresh bike!

 

Tim McCullough

I started my working life as a carpentry apprentice under my Dad, however was soon involved with running the bike shop part time with Michael on the side. On the day I became fully qualified, I handed in my resignation so we could go full time with our Brisbane store. (Sorry Dad!)

Since then, it’s been a wild ride of opening / renovating / moving stores until we settled on the idea of an online store. Now that we’re out of the retail stores, it’s been great to be able to knuckle down and focus our energy on the one business. I get a real thrill from getting customers on the best parts, at the best prices in town. I tend to handle our ever growing catalogue of products and the more technical customer service enquiries.

Riding for me started out as a DH grom, however I’ve ridden and enjoyed all the disciplines. It doesn’t matter if it’s rolling around the skate park/bmx track, slogging cross country single speed rides or enduro loops. I love every second of my time on the bike. I spend most of my time on a Nomad, which is fantastic for a bit of everything, particularly the rough stuff!
I’ve been riding mountain bikes seriously for 16 years and have raced at local, national and international levels - albeit not very successfully in the international ones!

Living in Canada has been a great change - although getting used to snow for half of the year is a bit of a challenge! The riding is fantastic though, riding wet roots is pretty different to the usual Brisbane ride! We’ll be over here for another couple of years, then it’ll be back to beaches, dusty trails and endless sunshine in Aus! 

 

Ori Zacher

I’m one of the fresher faces on the team here at Mountain Bikes Direct. I mainly focus on implementing and improving business systems and processes (read web and IT), and love getting stuck into some of our digital marketing strategies. It’s great building tools that help us offer great products and service to our customers! I’ve worked in this space for over seven years with teams and organisations spanning the education, telecommunications, retail, news media, property and events sectors, as well as not-for-profits and charities of varying sizes.

Though mountain biking is a new discipline for me (Michael patiently waits for me to catch up with him on the tracks from time to time), I enjoy keeping active and getting out for a run or hitting the beach with my family.

 

 

Andrew Schneider

I grew up in a road bike family in the US state of Vermont.  It wasn’t until I rode my first mountain bike that I knew I loved dirt more than pavement.  I moved to Colorado in 2006 to attend the University of Colorado-Boulder, graduating in 2010.  My first real industry job was working in a bike shop in Boulder, Colorado.  A few years later, I moved on to a position at a local bike manufacturer which made me want to continue working in the bike industry.  

It was by sheer luck that I joined the Mountain Bikes Direct family this past year.  Tim and I randomly met on a chairlift in Bromont, Quebec, while participating in an Enduro race!  Joining the team and working with like-minded people has been great!  There’s nothing I love more than riding bikes and sharing that experience with others. 

I am currently living and working from Colorado.  I spend most of my free time trail riding and I'm currently working on getting my Private Pilots license.

 

 

Rob Steep

Like a lot of people, I started out riding a BMX when I was a kid. We lived at the bottom of a pretty steep hill and I used to love riding the nearby dirt jumps and having biggest skid competitions down the hill with my brother. I was about 14 when I rode a mountain bike for the first time and instantly fell in love. Since then I've been obsessed with all things mountain biking, and if I'm not riding my bike, I'm probably dreaming about bikes, or frothing over bike stuff online. 

I've raced XC and DH at local and national level in the past but these days I love trail riding and racing enduro's when I can. In the next couple of years I plan to get overseas and race a big multi-day enduro like the Trans NZ, or Trans Savoie. For now my main bike is a Stumpy 29er but I've been eyeing off the Transition Patrol's we've got on the site for a while now (ooh baby!)

Outside of bikes, I've completed a Chef's apprenticeship, a graphic design degree, and worked in hospitality for far too long. For the last few years I've worked in sales and customer service in the telco' and bike industries, including managing one of the largest bike stores in my hometown of Canberra.

I'm stoked to be part of the team at Mountain Bikes Direct and look forward to chatting with heaps of my fellow bike nuts online.

 

Jacob Briggs

I first threw my leg over a mountain bike in 2012, following my dad into a pairs 25km race.  Since then, the whole culture had me by the ear and dragged me headlong into the nitty gritty of it all. 

Nowadays I can’t go a single day without researching the latest products, brushing up on past technologies and how the industry has moved on since then.  

I’m also a Level 1 certified Professional Mountain Bike Instructor, so I help people out with skills on the trail as well.

I’ve recently flogged off the comforts of rear suspension, and have started racing local and national enduro events on a steel hardtail, so yeah, I’m one those guys.  

I can’t wait to chat online with all those who need help out there!

 

 

Jon WilisJon Willis

My background in riding started when I was a youngster, attempting to keep up with my older brothers on their much bigger bikes! My early years of riding, my family and I lived at the bottom of a hill, which culminated in a cul-de-sac and a playground. My brothers and I were all about building jumps over the gutter and into the park so we could fly down the hill and try and go as far as we could! I didn't get to try out my first mountain bike until I was in my mid 20's, with a Trek 3500D Hardtail. I instantly fell in love with the feeling of freedom and exhileration! Ever since then, obsessed would be an understatement. I live and breathe mountain biking...

I can often be seen racing XC and Enduro at local and national events, but I mostly get out for a leisurely ride with my mates or am training in some manner. After enjoying a trip to the US earlier in the year, I plan on making it to some international venues to ride my bike. My main bike is my Norco Rance c7.3, but I have others that I ride also. Yes, I subscribe to the N+1 theory.

Outside of bikes, I've worked in seasonal fruit picking, IT, Telecommunications, Landscaping, Sales, Customer Support, Writing, and as a farm hand. An odd combination for sure!

As the new guy on the team, I look forward to speaking to everyone about bikes in some way, shape or form!