NICK MOORE – “The Miracle That Happened When Bikers Came Together”
When you meet Nick Moore, the immediate impression is, this is one of
the most kick back individuals you could meet on the planet. He is
known as “Mr. Everything” around Demon Dirt and has come up with some
incredibly innovative designs for protective gear in Mountain Bike,
BMX, and Snow gear.
Like many companies, Demon Dirt is Rider owned and operated. There is
a large degree of passion in what everyone does at the company.
However, if there was a Mr. Stoke, Nick Moore would be a unanimous
decision. Not only does he design, he also does project management,
team management, executive decision making, and just about everything
under the sun at Demon. Perhaps his greatest contribution to both
Demon and the extreme biking industry is his ability to bring people
together. You’ll see what I mean in a minute.
Nick got his start as a designer when he entered a contest to design a
glove for “Grenade”. He had no formal training but raw talent. That
talent beat out nearly 2,000 other people to win. That was two years
ago. A short time later, Nick was talking with members of Demon
International and was offered a position. His focus was initially on
designing protective gear that didn’t look like protective gear. He
created jeans with inserts that allowed the riders to ride while
looking stylish and having a good degree of protection in the event of
a fall. Demon didn’t place any limitations on him and as a result,
the innovations and the promotions kept on coming. Things seemed to
be going along without a hitch when tragedy struck.
While riding his bike, he crashed and shattered a bone. When he went
to the doctor, the arm was taken care of, but during the process of
identifying what happened, the doctor informed him that he was blind
in his left eye. The blindness had begun before the fall. The
diagnosis was a rare disease known as “keratoconus”, a condition where
the body creates enzymes that eats the protein out of the cornea
leading to blindness. That was a hard enough blow, but then another
shocker came up in that the disease was starting to eat away the
protein out of the other eye. This would lead to complete blindness
and the end of a career that just began.
The mood was somber, but with the same determination that lead to his
winning the design contest for “Grenade”, he and his wife set out to
find a cure. The answer was a doctor in California named Boxer
Wachler (awesome name!). They found he had been successful in
treating the disease through a revolutionary procedure in which a
synthetic protein was injected into the infected eye. However, the
procedure was $30k and the payment would need to be made in full as
insurance did not cover it. This was another blow to an overwhelmed
Nick. He began brainstorming and figured he could sell t-shirts to
raise money. Little did he know this would unleash a swarm of support
from all over the biking industry.
He placed a video on the popular site “Pinkbike.com”. The video
let the biking community know what was happening. The response was
immediate, Mountain Biker and Transition Bikes rider Mike Metzger
posted more support. The Transition Bike team called Nick on a daily
basis to ensure that he was alright and to offer much needed moral
support in a great time of trial. Soon there were all types of fund
raising happening all over the place. Pro Rider Aaron Chase, a Red
Bull team member was granted permission from Red Bull to sell his Red
Bull helmet on an auction to raise money, Ryan and Curt at GEAX, Rob
Dunnet at Banshee Bikes, Mike Montgomery and crew at Crank Works,
Nicole at Decline Magazine, the Plus Size Bike crew, Pro Rider Nick
Simcik, the list goes on and on of people coming out of the woodwork
to help out a brother in need.
Perhaps the most touching moral support and donations came from
customers and fans. People wrote in saying that they didn’t buy
something for their bike so that they could donate money, others wrote
kind words on a regular basis, others did events to raise money. The
support was truly overwhelming (nearly had this reporter in tears).
Perhaps what Nick said summed in best, “just when you think the world
is a place where no one cares, something like this happens and renews
your view of others”. It was an event that brought about the best
human spirit. Something that didn’t mean being #1, but focusing on
helping the one.