RICH KRONFELD – Founder, CEO
Rich loves bikes & biking. When he was a kid growing up in suburban Minneapolis, (not far from where the Coen brothers and Al Franken grew up), he rode his 3-speed “Chopper” banana bike around the neighborhood day and night. He loved it dearly and pretended it was his sports car. Lance Armstrong said “Its not about the bike”, but for Rich it has always been about the bike.
So Rich grew up and decided he was going to bike commute to work. Still a bike lover, Rich wanted the fun, the exercise and felt it was the right thing to do to reduce his carbon footprint. After many long, cold, wet, dangerous rides to and from work, Rich searched the Internet for a solution – a bike that was fast, safe, enclosed, protected from the elements and found nothing suitable.
There are some 164,000 miles of highway in America – all off limits to bicycles. The light bulb moment for Rich was when he realized that with today’s technology, a highway speed biking vehicle was actually possible. Then those 164,000 miles of highway – the final frontier for bicycles, would finally be open to the frustrated bike commuter in many of us. And thus, the Raht Racer was born.
Seeing a state grant opportunity for research and development of new vehicle technologies, his wife suggested he apply for it. Rich won the grant and together with a highly talented team, built the first Raht Racer prototype. Now he and everyone else can actually bike as fast as a sports car.