Born in Suriname then growing up on a sailing yacht throughout the Caribbean, Joёl was home-schooled and attended multiple schools on different islands. Due to this riding a bike was special and every chance to ride was used to the fullest. After life on the yacht Joёl returned to Suriname with his family, where he attended high school. It was here that Joёl’s active lifestyle first started through swimming, making it to a national level. Then came a love for road cycling, often not completing school work to go riding.
After high school Joël moved to the island of Sint Maarten where he started work with an electrical maintenance company. While there, Joёl got into kayaking as a way to keep active. But soon the competitive urge took hold and he started racing; traveling around the Caribbean to compete, ultimately making it to the Pan Am kayak & canoe championships. Sadly the top level of kayaking went down and Joёl found himself with extra time. Because of not owning a car Joёl’s main means of transport was an old beat up mountain bike, thus nothing seemed more logical than to start mountain biking. He was often found on the trails adjusting a derailleur or fixing a flat, sometimes his own, but more often for others. This was noticed by the owner of the local bike shop who approached Joёl if he would be interested in working there. Joёl accepted and learned the trade from the head mechanic, through reading a lot, and making some mistakes… ok, ok a lot of mistakes. While working at the bike shop Joёl revisited his love for road racing and excelled in the sport making it to events such as the Caribbean Championships. Because of his excellent results and very daring way of racing Joёl was scouted by an elite cycling team in Holland. Joël soon moved to Holland on an invitation of this team. Once in Holland and racing, he also started working for the bike shop that sponsored the team, mainly working in sales but also wrenching on the team bikes and other local pro’s bikes. Also through this shop Joёl attended multiple technical seminars from Shimano, Saris (Cyclops), Sram, and Campagnolo. He also went to sales seminars from Batavus and learned the art of wheel building from the shop’s master wheel builder that built wheels for the likes of Rabobank’s continental team. Even though this seems like an ideal situation for any road racer to be in, life did not think so and once again took a turn. For personal reasons, Joёl and his wife Jessica returned to the US, moving to the Lehigh Valley where Jessica is originally from. Joёl got a warm feeling, like coming home to something he knew, when he entered SVB for the first time. He quickly became a regular at the shop and a normal sight at the Wednesday night rides. After a short stint working at LL Bean, Joël joined the SVB staff. After a few years of working for Bicycling Magazine Joël has returned to Saucon Valley Bikes but in a new role as owner.
Joel is married to Jess, our LIV Ambassador. Jess & Joël can often be seen on the trails with Clifford, their dog. Year Born: 1987 Hair Color: brown Eye Color: brown Type of riding: Road, Mountain XC Favorite Place I’ve Ridden: Any place in Belgium with cobble stones Why? It is always warm even if it is sub freezing. Favorite Beverage: Rhum (on the rocks) Pet Peeve: Dirty bikes Tunes: Anybody from the Marley family. But really everything goes depending on the mood Perfect Pizza: There is not enough pepperoni and cheese in the world Best Physical Feature: Legs?