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Ridley was founded in 1997 by Jochim Aerts. He grew up in the small town of Balen, located in Flanders, Belgium. Like many kids living in a land where cycling is such an ingrained part of its culture, Aerts had aspirations of becoming the next Merckx. Inspired by his older brother who competed at a high level as a promising youth rider, Aerts jumped in headfirst. His debut race was at the age of 14. But by the time he turned 19, he came to the realization that his dream of making a name for himself in the bike world would have to take a different path.  From Racer to CreatorFollowing his passion for the bike, Aerts took a job at Belgium-based Bio Racer. He started off as bike painter before moving onto welding. After mastering the ins and outs of bike-building, he made the bold decision to go off on his own to build his ideal bikes. His ultimate goal was to create custom bikes that perfectly fit each individual’s riding style and goals, as well reflect their unique personality.