Robert ‘Bob’ Fullem,
Founder and President
“I have so many wonderful biking memories: My Mom running alongside holding my bike as I gamely learned to ride. Later, riding my 3-speed ‘English Racer’ for summer evening water pistol fights with my brother. Then touring England with my Peugeot PX10 and riding throughout Southern Albany County and beyond on my full Campy chrome Frejus and road and track Paramounts; a 24-hour time-trial near Syracuse; touring the San Juan Islands and many camping trips through Vermont, the Finger Lakes and elsewhere with Marilyn or Don, Charlie and Steve; riding a tandem to Cooperstown and at many tandem rallys. Now it’s a Seven, and a folding Brompton for travel. And the life-long thrill continues.”
Josh has worked extensively in bicycle advocacy, planning (for both public and private entities), retail and travel. We love hearing his stores of overseas bicycle travel and adventures. When not at the Downtube, he’s often leading bike tours across North America for Sojourn Bicycling and Active Vacations.
Marty’s an active mountain biker and has been a Downtuber since 2001, working with us whenever his other work as a Guilderland Farnsworth Middle School health teacher permits. Marty says, “The best thing about working at the Downtube is the people … I’ve found life-time riding partners and I get to share my bicycling lifestyle enthusiasm with every potential customer. My favorite bike is my Trek Remedy 9.0.” And if you ask Marty, he’ll tell you about the bike frame he keeps in his classroom as an education aid.
“I first started working at the Downtube in 2000 while working my way through St. Rose College. I started with mountain bikes as a kid, first with a GT, and years later with a Gary Fisher Paragon, which I rode from Daytona Beach to my hometown, Gloversville; I still ride a Gary Fisher Sugar 2+. But my favorite mountain bike is my Flippin’ Green Gary Fisher Mt. Tam 29’r hardtail. It didn’t take me long to also get hooked on road riding; those bikes included a Trek 1200, a LeMond Maillot Juane, a Madone 5.9 SSL, a Madone 6.9. Now my pride and joy is a custom Seven Ellium.” Brian is also a public school educator and in 2011 he was able to be near the Tour de France Stage 6 finish line with his wife Sarah.
Jason is one of our most experienced bike fitters, having trained at the Retul Colorado headquarters and at the multi-day Trek fitting programs, Levels 1 & 2. In addition to his road bike fitting skills, Jason is an experienced mountain biker who plays a key role in selecting our bike line-up every year. His favorite bike? “My favorite bike is always the one I’m riding!”
“My first bike was a metal flake green Rollfast stingray. It was just the beginning. A mountain bike was my full-time transportation by the time I moved to Albany in 1989. I began working in bike stores in 1994, first in Lake George, then for the next ten years in Coxsackie, Windham, Vail and Albany. For a change of pace, I spent the next 5 years in the boating industry and focused on sailing my C&C 35. Now at the Downtube, I get to work with a fun group of people and share my bicycling enthusiasm with customers”
Eric Whalen, Manager and Partner
Eric’s been advising Downtube customers since 1990. Previously, Eric worked in several New Hampshire bicycle stores and also had a Snap-On tool franchise. We are very, very lucky he joined our team. He’s extraordinarily patient and understanding, and a problem solver for all things bicycle. He’s so good Trek insisted on borrowing him for support at the 1995 Tour of Taiwan. Eric became a Downtube part owner in 1997. He’s attended Dan Empfield’s multi-day Slowtwitch/F.I.S.T. Fitting School and the Trek Bike University Fit School, and he’s an experienced Retul fitter.
“My bicycle commuting started during my 2006-2007 year in bike-centric Japan, using a single-speed bike with a huge basket and a bell. Now I’m a bike commuter sharing my enthusiasm every day at the store. I alternate riding my Trek Ion Super road bike, my Grandma’s 1962 Armstrong 3-speed, and my Dad’s old Trek mountain bike.” Becky’s also a recent summa cum laude SUNY Albany graduate and enjoys cooking, tea, books, and home improvement projects.
Adam is our ‘go to’ bike mechanic; day-in and day-out the toughest bike problems seem to end up on his work stand. Here’s why: “Bicycles have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. First just riding and racing, then working at a bike shop while in high school. During college at various locations, the one constant was repairing bicycles. For me, there is something incredibly gratifying about making them work well. Every Downtube customer has a connection to his or her bike and I enjoy being part of that. I can’t imagine doing anything else. This is why I do what I do.”
Jim MacNaughton Jim started biking in the late 70’s during the early wave of the BMX craze. “Biking brought me a sense of adventure, independence and competition. 30 + years later bicycling still gives me that and more: relaxation, solitude and great memories. Recent ones include watching my 4 year old son ride and winning my class at the Inaugural Windham World Cup Citizen’s Downhill Race.” In addition to working with us, Jim is a Coordinator at the Rensselaer County ARC Community Inclusion Project, a career and employment program for people with intellectual disabilities.
Mike’s been a seasonal and steady presence at the Downtube since 1998, when we offered to adjust his work schedule so he could pursue his college dreams at UAlbany and St. Rose. A few years later Eric introduced him to a customer who was a Division Chair at Columbia-Greene C.C. and soon after Mike was an adjunct instructor. Now, Mike is an Assistant Professor of English, Division Chair, Arts and Humanities, and we’re lucky to still have him as a summer employee. Mike’s favorite bike is his Gary Fisher Procaliber.
Joe started working with bikes when he was 6 years old, when he and his father disassembled his cousin’s Huffy BMX, painted it black and rebuilt it in their workshop. “Riding, destroying and repairing bicycles has been part of my life since that day. When my peers were saving for a car, I put my money into a Mongoose BMX. These days my passion is split equally between riding and repairing bikes.” Joe is a Hudson Valley CC graduate and an outstanding bike mechanic. He’s been with us since Howard Westerholt recommended him to us years ago, for which we will be eternally thankful.