Wes McWhorter took his first bike trip over 25 years ago with a family friend who noticed McWhorter’s excitement – and how he enjoyed the feelings of adventure and freedom.
Though he immediately fell in love with cycling, he set that feeling aside when he started a new job in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.
Then, in 2009, McWhorter participated in the Pablove Across America cycle event, which raises money for children with cancer. During his 533-mile trek from Nashville to New Orleans, his passion for cycling was revived and he decided to take a leap of faith and open Rouler, a bicycle repair and fitting business, in 2012.
McWhorter got his business off the ground with the help of a $15,000 SBA microloan from Accion, which he used to purchase high-tech bicycle fitting equipment and to create a mobile-mechanic service. McWhorter believes in “worshiping the bike” and creates personalized bicycles designed to help customers physically by measuring clients and adjusting each bike for comfort with the help of his mechanic, Bryan Hair. He also offers men and women’s apparel and bicycle accessories, including a newly designed water bottle.
He envisions building a community well beyond New Orleans. “It’s not about selling bicycles,” McWhorter says. “It is building a community of riders and launching a global lifestyle.”
In addition to managing and growing Rouler, McWhorter creates mobile and Web applications, works as a senior interactive producer for a New Orleans brand studio and continues to raise funds to fight children’s cancer.
When asked to describe his businesses, life, and cycling, he responds with a chuckle and says, “Fun!”