A sad day for cycling - especially Swiss cycling

Andy Kessler - 19-Apr-2018
I am not sure why I write this BLOG. For those of you know that follow our BLOG regularly I am not the man of many words and like to act rather than to talk or write. Also I am not the guy that shares any personal things on social media. You will never see a pic of my family on facebook….

But today I just have the desire to write something.

In my 25 years in this business I had 3 people that really inspired me and helped me to be the person I am today.

  1. Beppo Hilifiker ex CEO of Cannondale Switzerland and Europe. Without him I would be a frustrated Geologist.
  2. Gerard Vroomen: Without him I would be a frustrated employee. I have never met somebody that creative and intelligent (good that at least one of us is…)
The third one died today after a long battle with leukemia: Andy Rihs was my mentor during my 7 years as CEO at BMC. I have never met somebody so passionate, visionary and driven. He had many dreams and he realised most of them.

Without him cycling would not be where it is today in Switzerland. He did so much for it too much to list.

Yes, he was not an easy person to work with and sometimes his dreams where just too big for this world. And yes, sometimes he trusted the wrong persons and did not listen, but I learned one important thing from him: Live your dreams never give up.

Without him I definitely would not be where I am today.

He was one of the richest Swiss guys but one of the few that really enjoyed his money and invested In a lot of good things and Start-Up’s.

He lived the life of a rich guy but in his heart he was still a simple person. When we had lunch break during BMC meetings we sometimes went to Mc Donald’s for lunch. When I was invited to his house for a dinner we had a Bratwurst as he really liked this kind of food.  

He liked to eat and he liked wine. And he always rode much to fast on his bike for his fitness. I was sure…no I would have wished he would have a heart attack on a ride one day in 10 years from now. But life had another plan for him.

Long story short I guess I found out why I am writing that BLOG by now.

What I learned from him beside many business things is:

Live you dream, never give up try to reduce the compromises in your life to a minimum. Don't plan to do something for later in your life do it today because maybe there is no tomorrow.

And what I learned from today’s bad news: Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory… thanks for those moments  I will never forget Andy.

I guess those two things I actually wanted to share with you all the rest is just a personal story.

 

 

Comments & Questions

OPEN
Thank you very much, Andy. I'm very touched about your words about Andy Rihs and how he inspired you. Your words inspire me and maybe many others here.
Post #1 of 29. Posted by Max on 19-Apr-2018 10:19:30 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11687]
OPEN
Thanks for sharing this, Andy. We all lost someone very special today. Sad.
Post #2 of 29. Posted by Andrew on 19-Apr-2018 10:25:21 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11688]
OPEN
A lovely blog and from the heart Andy - thank you
Post #3 of 29. Posted by Sven on 19-Apr-2018 10:26:13 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11689]
OPEN
Thanks Andy and sorry for your loss mate.
Post #4 of 29. Posted by KP on 19-Apr-2018 10:29:17 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11690]
OPEN
Schön gschribe Andy. Vieli Erinnerige ane userodentlechi Person wo nie wärde vergässe go.... RIP
Post #5 of 29. Posted by Fabian on 19-Apr-2018 10:30:36 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11691]
OPEN
RIP Andy Rihs! Thank you for mentoring the awesome Andy Kessler and all of the other lives that you touched and improved along the way. You will be missed!
Post #6 of 29. Posted by Brian on 19-Apr-2018 10:31:42 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11692]
OPEN
Good words- written simple and basic as it is. Right from the heart. Actually two beautiful men.
Post #7 of 29. Posted by Ax on 19-Apr-2018 10:34:04 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11693]
OPEN
Sorry to hear about this Andy! Good and thoughtful blog! Take care!
Post #8 of 29. Posted by Jonas on 19-Apr-2018 10:54:28 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11694]
OPEN
We're all humans after all Andy, for what it's worth I feel for you now. Keep up the good work following your dreams
Post #9 of 29. Posted by Axel BikingMan on 19-Apr-2018 10:55:27 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11695]
OPEN
Andy - thank you for sharing this life story with someone who you most likely will never meet, yet is a supporter of your dreams and the products that come from them. Best to you and Gerard on your life adventure. Sign me , saving my dollars to strap a leg over an adventure with Open.
Post #10 of 29. Posted by Erin Gil on 19-Apr-2018 11:00:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11696]
OPEN
Thanks Andy. His influence in the Swiss cycling landscape is truly inestimable. His legacy lives on.
Post #11 of 29. Posted by Tom Brown on 19-Apr-2018 11:08:38 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11697]
OPEN
Thanks Andy. His influence in the Swiss cycling landscape is truly inestimable. His legacy lives on.
Post #12 of 29. Posted by Tom Brown on 19-Apr-2018 11:08:39 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11698]
OPEN
Andy,
Thank you for writing this BLOG.
I only had the honour of meeting Andy Rihs once, in a field outside the BMC Team Bus at the start of a TdF Stage, where he was standing all alone.
He made a positive impression, even during that brief encounter, and his passion for cycling shone through. May he rest knowing the actions and impact of his life on all of us.
Post #13 of 29. Posted by John See on 19-Apr-2018 11:11:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11699]
OPEN
I wash shocked to read this in 20 Minuten this morning. Very sorry for your loss.
Post #14 of 29. Posted by Andi on 19-Apr-2018 11:22:47 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11700]
OPEN
Nice one, Andy. Words of wisdom and honesty. AR was all that you write, and did a massive amount for sports in general in CH, not just cycling. He passed too soon but leaves behind a dramatic impression and many positive influences. Live your dream.
Post #15 of 29. Posted by MH on 19-Apr-2018 11:35:59 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11701]
OPEN
So sorry for your loss Andy, condolences to Family & Friends, and may Andy Rihs R.I.P.
Thank you for sharing, and may you forever be inspired by your friend and mentor.
Post #16 of 29. Posted by doug honeyford on 19-Apr-2018 11:36:07 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11702]
OPEN
thank you for sharing this Andy. Even though it is really sad I am inspired by the reminder to go for the dream NOW! My personal add to this is I lost my ex wife and very dear friend to cancer 3 months ago... I was so opened up by her passing that one day, by chance, when I saw a brief review of the Open U.P. I knew thats perfect way to celebrate her... so I bought one without hesitation.... it reminds me to remain Opened UP :-) .... really great bike ... life goes on... all the best with the journey of both loss and gratitude.
Post #17 of 29. Posted by Leigh on 19-Apr-2018 12:23:17 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11703]
OPEN
Dear Leigh, very sorry to hear about your loss. Hope the OPEN helps you to have many positive moments in your life. I just recently read a good quote (forgot who it was honestly). If you have problems go and ride your bike for 3 hours. If you have not found a solution to your problems after 3 hours there is no solution.... Many happy trails and great adventures
Post #24 of 29. Posted by Andy Kessler on 20-Apr-2018 05:37:00 GMT in reply to post #17 [11703<--11711]
OPEN
Thanks Andy! I totally agree with the 3 hour ride!
The Open is just beautiful...and a good pairing with my Cervelo RS! (Thats a thanks to Gerard!)
I find it very inspiring that I am able to share such connected conversation with the maker of my 'Ferrari' bicycle! Many thanks for all your dedication :-)
Post #27 of 29. Posted by Leigh on 20-Apr-2018 16:20:50 GMT in reply to post #24 [11711<--11714]
OPEN
Thanks Andy for your good words. I didn’t know the man, thanks for sharing part of him. Rip Andy Rihs!
Post #18 of 29. Posted by Greg D Brown on 19-Apr-2018 12:29:51 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11704]
OPEN
touching and true words.R.I.P and all the best for family and friends
Post #19 of 29. Posted by Stefan on 19-Apr-2018 12:35:14 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11705]
OPEN
so true and so nicely written.
he was such a charismatic person .
I will miss you , Andy Rhis.
Thank Andy Kessler for thé good mémoires .
Post #20 of 29. Posted by Britta Kobes on 19-Apr-2018 13:05:15 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11706]
OPEN
I'm sorry to hear your sad news.
Within the small experience I have had with dealing directly with yourself and Gerard, I'd like to say that I consider you both, and so also your business, inspirational in your own particular quiet, practical way.
I thought of explaining fully, but that would distract from your friend and, in these times, it is truly the thoughts that count, and the above opinion is mine.
Post #21 of 29. Posted by Tony Oswald on 19-Apr-2018 14:05:37 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11707]
OPEN
dear Tony, thanks for the nice words.. Hope we can ride together one day and share more thoughts .
Post #25 of 29. Posted by Andy Kessler on 20-Apr-2018 05:38:47 GMT in reply to post #21 [11707<--11712]
OPEN
thank you for your very personal thoughts and feelings, here, today, trying to live what you feel deeply.
Post #22 of 29. Posted by Fritz Will on 19-Apr-2018 17:42:36 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11708]
OPEN
Thanks for this and I’m sorry for your loss Andy. A huge loss for Cycling.
Post #23 of 29. Posted by Peter on 19-Apr-2018 19:44:27 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11709]
OPEN
Andy Rihs was indeed a very special person within cycling and beyond. He remained earnest and true to his own self despite being succesful, a rare finding. Your blog is a great reminder that being humane is an option, not a given, that we touch others by being sincere, and that investing in people is the best investment we can make in our lives. Thank you Andy.
Post #26 of 29. Posted by Pierre on 20-Apr-2018 07:54:59 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11713]
OPEN
Thanks for sharing. Sorry about that. Reading your words I'm very sure about the special person he was, but he will continue to be present... his legacy and lessons continue in the projects/companies and especially in friends, family and everyone else who had the opportunity to live with him.
Post #28 of 29. Posted by ROrtuzar on 20-Apr-2018 19:57:53 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11715]
OPEN
Sorry about your loss and Thanks for sharing these valuable life lessons.
Post #29 of 29. Posted by Agustin on 26-Apr-2018 22:22:36 GMT in reply to blog [0<--11723]
Content
From:
To: