Rapha North America president departs to join Runway Group

Brendan Quirk, the current president of Rapha North America, is to depart to lead a drive to make Arkansas a leading cycling destination in the USA.

Joining the Runway Group as the Cycling Program Director, Quirk is tasked with positioning Northwest Arkansas as a leading region nationwide for the incubation and recruitment of cycling-related brands, an innovator in cycling infrastructure, and a bucket-list destination for bike tourism.

“Tom and I are thrilled Brendan is joining the Runway Group,” says Runway Co-Founder Steuart Walton. “He will bring leadership and strategic thinking to our organization’s cycling work across many formats, and we’re thrilled to add another passionate cyclist to the Bentonville community.”

Quirk was co-founder and CEO of Competitive Cyclist, a Little Rock-based startup which eventually grew to become North America’s largest eCommerce cycling company. In 2011, it was acquired by outdoor eCommerce retailer Backcountry.com, where he served as Executive Vice President of Customer Experience. Most recently he served as North America President for Rapha Racing, LLC, a London-based brand of cycling apparel and accessories.

“Northwest Arkansas is setting an all-new standard for how cycling can meaningfully add to a community’s quality of life,” Quirk said. “The development of the Razorback Greenway allows residents of the whole region easy bike access to school or work or the grocery store. The Oz Trails network of mountain bike trails gives riders of all levels access to the sort of high–quality mountain biking you’ll otherwise only find in Colorado or Utah. And the region is integrating cycling into the Physical Education curriculum in the schools to ensure all kids have access to bikes, regardless of income level. In Northwest Arkansas, the opportunity exists for cycling to touch everyone’s lives.”

“The nationwide cycling community is taking notice of the ambitious work underway here,” Quirk said. “It’s why events like the IMBA World Summit and the Outerbike Expo are choosing to come to Northwest Arkansas instead of sticking to the Rockies or the west coast.”

“The folks working to build the cycling infrastructure and resources have already accomplished so much, and their momentum is super-strong. I’m thoroughly excited to join and help Northwest Arkansas achieve its goal of becoming the most desirable community in America for cyclists of all types, whether that means safely running errands on a bike, or trying to become a champion mountain bike racer.”

Runway Group, LLC is a Bentonville-based organization focused on engaging civic and corporate leaders to develop public-private, quality-of-life initiatives throughout Arkansas.