Why We Ride: Andrew Miller
“Riding has gotten me through a lot of ups and downs; my dad passing away, Covid… the comfort in meeting other bikers and being able to be creative in tinkering around with my motorcycle opened up so many doors for me.”
Andrew Miller has always lived and loved an active lifestyle, integrating physical endurance with a wild sense of adventure into his life of industrial design. Defining cause and effect comes with the job, but being able to recognize the positive impact that two wheels has had on managing stress, loss, and grief as well as celebrating growth, creativity, and a community that continues to support him is a rare gift.
From Pedal Pushing to Revving Up
Starting off riding non-motorized bikes led to an exciting racing phase in college for Andrew.
“I actually started riding bicycles for health-related reasons; towards the end of college, my father passed away, and I needed something to help process my thoughts and, at the same time, get out of my head. A few of my friends were racing bicycles for our school team and I just started going out and riding with them. I didn’t have to think about anything that was going on in my life if I didn’t want to when I rode; I could just focus on what was in the present - you pretty much have to for your own safety.”
Finding a sort of temporary escape pedaling through the streets and racing round tracks made Andrew curious about what was next.
“The most natural progression from pedal bikes is riding motorcycles. I figured they also had two wheels, so if I could do one, I could do the other. Having a couple of co-workers with motorcycles also encouraged me because I knew I would have other people I already knew to ride with and learn from.”
Andrew cashed in on his bet and bought a 1976 BMW R75 - the set of wheels that would lead to his passion for building and redesigning bikes.
The Creativity to Customize
After riding his first whip for two years, he decided it needed some updates. Most of the fixes were purely outdated maintenance that demanded attention. But after fixing came the passion to custom curate a ride that suited him.
“That motorcycle has left and re-entered ‘project status’ multiple times. My engineering mind is always designing new concepts I want to build out. I have a vision of what I want that bike to be and when things in my life don’t fit my ideal, I learn to tinker around until I find it.”
Currently, Andrew is designing a new esthetic for his first motorcycle with a custom-built seat - a completely reimagined bike customized to suit him specifically.
Nothing is one-size-fits-all in Andrew’s line of work, which leads to one of the many respects he holds for Catherine’s AV designs.
Through his many stages of bicycle and bike rebuilds, Andrew has not only discovered a whole community to belong to, but a best friend. A friendship so great, Andrew asked him to be his best man in his wedding.
“We actually met before I went off to college, totally by happenstance. First, I sold some car parts to him but didn’t meet him face-to-face; I left them out in front of my place for him to pick up. But then, a little while later, I noticed he was selling some bicycle parts online and scooped them up. When he came by to drop them off, he asked if the car out front was the one I was selling parts off of. I was a little confused by how he knew that until he told me he was the guy that had bought them. We met again after by fate through a shared friend… all these instances seemed to cement our friendship pretty fast.”
Together, the pair have supported one another through life’s difficulties, sharing similar experiences in loss and personal growth - a dynamic duo that may never have met if not for things with wheels driving them to one another.
Andrew stands proud in his passion and journey forward through innovation, freedom, adventure, and perhaps most importantly, the relationships he builds along the way. Including that of Catherine, whom put their heads together to create a new vision for motorcycles and the world they ride through often.