Written By: roo
My Name is Roo Trimble, I grew up in a family of 8 boys (I am second to the youngest.) Just about all of my brothers design, build or make something or other…a couple of architects, an interior designer/furniture maker, a computer system designer, a bicycle designer/builder, a camera expert and me! (my littlest brother is disabled, if you are counting) That leaves me, I guess, I always did tons of art when I was a school kid. That was just about all that I did in high school! Then I went to a community college for a year, and got my grades up and applied to some schools that I really wanted to go to. I got into Rhode Island School of Design www.risd.edu. I actually was accepted for a illustration major, but quickly decided that I wanted to do Industrial design…and then there was no looking back, I just loved it! At the time, I was addicted to everything bicycle (common in my family) and I had to work hard to explore outside of “bikedom” while I was at school. My thesis project turned out to be a racing wheelchair made from carbon fiber (the closest RISD would let me get to a bike project). I graduated in 1990.
When I was done with school I got a job working for a bike company that was producing a bike, the kestrel www.kestrelbicycles.com, that my brother, Brent had gotten a patent on. When I got out to California, Kestrel decided that they needed me to work with their sister company MCT, that designed wheelchairs and walkers…It was not for me, and It was my first and last “real” job.
Next was a stint hanging out at my Brother Brent’s shop (check out www.trimblemtb.com for some of his work) as I developed an Idea for a mountain bike suspension frame. The suspended mountain bikes of the period were heavy, complicated and inefficient. I was determined to develop a bike that had what I termed “bicycle” technology the “Gizbag” was the result and I think it did a great job of answering the suspension problems of the day.
I then moved back east to Florence, MA to work with a friend, Mike Augspurger, www.titaniumarts.com that was making custom titanium bikes at the time. I had free use of his great shop, and I quickly developed some metal framed versions of my Gizbag design, I then began the process of getting a patent on my suspension system. Mike built several of my bikes in titanium (for a royalty of one burrito each) and I sold the Japanese rights to my design to Bridgstone Inc. I took my design to the big bike trade show Interbike, in Las Vegas and did not have much luck selling the design to anyone. A couple of years later, some of the features (patented) of my design did start to show up here and there on produced bikes, but nothing that I could go after with my resources.
About this same time, my brother Sam Trimble, trimble-architecture.com started asking me to make some custom items for his architecture projects in New York City, This began in about 1994 and has continued since. This work, For Sam, and other clients is my bread and butter. Check out my other website www.rootrimble.com to see some of the stuff I have done. Susan Hanna, began working with me in 2000 helping me streamline and turn ROODESIGN into something that almost looks like a business. She continues to help run things today, as well as using our shop to produce her incredible steel sculptures, check her work out at www.bluemetaldesign.com Susan keeps me real.
About a year ago (2007) I began to dream about building a car that would embody, what I believe are the most basic common sense features of light weight and economy, and so, my ROOPOD project was born!