Felt Lifestyle Product Manager and BMX Racing Legend Alan Foster gives us a little insight into his day-to-day life, his inspiration and of course, the key to success.
How did you get into bikes?
AF: As a kid I loved riding my BMX bike in the woods all day and tinkering around with them at night. By age 15, I was working in a local bike shop. Now in my mid-40s I turn into a grumpy old guy if I’m off the bike for too long.
How did you arrive at Felt?
AF: About 11 years ago, I was at the tail end of a BMX racing career and I got a phone call from a friend at the perfect time. “Would you be interested in helping kick-start a BMX program for a company bringing bikes to the USA next year?” It was the dream phone call and perfect gig for me at the time. My position has rolled from BMX Team Manager to BMX Brand Manager to Lifestyle Product Manager.
Can you explain what you do in 100 words or fewer?
AF: The Felt brand managers, engineering team and creative department give me the ingredients to put together a puzzle. I take the puzzle and work with parts-makers and our factories to create bike gems that the marketing and sales departments hopefully sell to ecstatic riders. If it is a Felt and it has a Schrader valve then most likely that puzzle falls under me.
What’s your favorite bike to ride?
AF: It’s impossible to pick just one. Felt BMX bike on smooth trails/track, Felt Compulsion 10 at any MTB park, Felt Little Bastard cruiser for hitting the beach, Felt Z3 to stay fit or the older Felt X-City for exploring the streets/popping wheelies.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen on the road or trail?
AF: Scotty Cranmer’s skills on a BMX bike, just playing around in a parking lot.
What was the last thing that inspired you and where do you look to for inspiration?
AF: Hard working humble people and the results from their hard work.
What superpower would you have and why?
AF: The ability to function without sleep, I need more hours in the day.
Name three people who recently inspired you:
AF: 1) My older kid’s soccer coach and the amount of volunteer hours he puts in to help the kids.
2) Michael Forte (Felt’s GM) for his ability to break down any tough situation into simple terms for a decision.
3) My Aunt BJ for her resourcefulness.
What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
AF: My wife and two children.
What has been your favorite Felt bike to work on and why?
AF: Wow, that is a tough one. I like the challenge of making the Café 7 mens all black bike, some of the tank cruisers have been cool projects. But, probably my favorite was a 2012 Pyre BMX bike; that bike has a ton of cool hidden features.
Where’s your favorite place that your job has taken you?
AF: Ft. Collins, CO. The first time I visited New Belgium Brewery was an awesome trip.
Coffee or Tea?
AF: Not too often but I’ll go with coffee.
Paved or Dirt?
AF: I enjoy both, but dirt is my first choice (with a few jumps added in)
High-tech or low-tech?
AF: Simple and clean
What’s in your garage?
AF: A crap load of bikes! Each family member needs a BMX bike, beach cruiser and MTB at a minimum. Throw in a road bike, a city bike, a tandem, a three-wheeler for grandma and it is a lot. My constant battle is getting my wife and two daughters to understand the garage is my area and not their storage.
Advice to succeed.
AF: Be honest, be a hard worker, and be real…all while being clean and organized.