The People Behind The Name - You're only as good as the company you keep.
We’ve been making panniers, bags and racks for a long time, in the old days, a bike had eyelets to mount a rack and you simply chose the proper panniers and you were set. Today, things are a bit more complex with so many types of bikes and riding styles. Choosing the proper panniers, racks or bikepacking bags for your bike can seem a bit overwhelming. Here at Arkel, we truly enjoy helping our customer friends navigate thru all these options. We love building quality gear that last and our passion is helping you get out there and ride! Our reputation for being as helpful as we can possibly be is our pride.
Meet the gang below:
Paul, Arkel owner, is the company's cheerful leader. He brings his passion for cycling and human approach to operating a business. When he sneaks away from the office, it’s for riding his bike along with his wife Louise, testing new Arkel products in the four corners of the world, Nicaragua, VietNam, Chile, Morocco, Spain, New Zealand, Cambodia to name but a few. If you see him on the road or trail, don’t hesitate to wave hello and perhaps share bike stories, he’s got a few good ones to tell…
Linda will go where no one dares tread. She handles every aspect of the business, beginning in 2003. Keeping all the numbers straight and keeping the bags flowing, purchasing, accounting, payroll, invoicing, all those little daily routines. She hibernates most of the winter, but there’s no stopping her when Spring arrives. Loves spending her Summers on the lake with family and friends.
Sales/Customer Service/Web And Social Media
Yves came to Arkel in 2006 with years of experience in the outdoor / bike industry, bike mechanic and sales fields. When he can sneak out without Paul seeing him, Yves loves to play outside as much as he can, enjoys biking on gravel roads as often as he can. At home Yves lives in an all-women household, with two daughters and wife; side skills are master at braided hair and nail polish (flashy pink colored ones preferably). Yves is the go to guy for all technical questions on fit, compatibility.
Kevin knows everyone in the industry and beyond it. He’s the man who brings customers and bags together. With Arkel since 1999, Kevin has helped design and innovate Arkel's line, when he's not out testing them, selling them or running booths at expos and trade shows. Kevin cycled across Canada with his father and two brothers when he was only 12! Continuing in the cycle touring tradition started with his father he’s toured Europe with his wife and four kids (age: 11 month, 4, 8 and 10!). Later when the kids were a bit older (age: 5, 8, 12 and 14), they spend a year travelling the world.
Cindy has been with Arkel since early 2015. She organizes all that ships and she is often the first voice that you will here when you call. Cindy is very lively, loves to talk with our customers and make them laugh with her quick wit and jokes. Her laughter often resonates throughout the office.
Designer / R&D
Our newest recruit, Adam started in 2016. He loves a good design challenge and always sees opportunities instead of problems. You’ll know that he’s working hard on something when you can hear him sing from the shop. He wears headphones and thinks he’s a great singer… we enjoy his effort.
Louise knows her sewing. She’s been seen late at night at her sewing machine foot to the floor and machine smoking! She stays fit with country dancing 2 to 3 times a week and supervises a great team of seamstresses that work tirelessly day in day out to make our bags great.
Stéphane is a big guy and strong (certainly the strongest one here) with a big heart or should I say a soft heart. He oversees the assembly and packs most of the boxes that head out our door. He’s also the official “cutter”. Once the fabric is layered on the cutting table Stephane comes in with a sharp eye and a steady hand and cuts the fabric for all our bags. Curious of nature, he knows everything that goes on in the shop. Stéphane is car free and rides his bike all the time.
She is the tireless school teacher figure for our lively crew from CRDITED, a social service program for men and women with Intellectual Disabilities and Pervasive Development Disorders. You can read more about their involvement and the great work they do for us here. Denise has been involved in the local soccer league, playing, coaching and organizing tournaments.