Giuseppe Ferrara: The man who brought the 2003 Road World Championships to Hamilton
entered Ferrara's life in the person of Tom Hughes, a Torontonian who organized a popular criterium race around Queen's Park in the 1980's.
Ferrara met Hughes, who was recruiting riders for his race, and told him he wanted to sell his frames in North America.
"My strategy was to market the frames at golf courses. Why? People who play golf were likely able to afford frames which at that time cost $750 apiece."
When he got back to Canada, Hughes spoke to people about Ferrara and his bike-building know-how. Soon Giuseppe got a call from Jim Miele, a Mississauga businessman. Would Ferrara want to come to Mississauga to design a new line of bikes and then produce them in a factory of his own design?
"I had the authority to design and build a 55,000-square-foot factory and a new line of bikes. It was hard to turn down."
In three years, Miele bikes had become a fixture in the Canadian bike market with $14 million in orders.
But, typically, Ferrara did not see not see this as his life's work. "I wanted to stay only two years but was persuaded to stay three."
Since then Ferrara has worked as an international consultant. "People come to me with something scribbled on a napkin. My first billing to them is to say whether or not it will fly." More often than not he's asked to consult on bike building and marketing -- he gets calls from all over Asia and Europe.
But he's also worked on auto components and on production processes for the steel industry. He's even had a hand in finding a way to convert wood burning to gas burning stoves.
Ferrara lives in nearby Aldershot with his wife Leyland and three young children, Luca, Marco and baby Tosca, born last Nov. 25. While bikes and bike racing remain abiding interests, Ferrara now prefers golf to riding when he needs a break. "I can get away for three or four hours by myself on the course."
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com as we continue our series of 2003 Hamilton Road World Championships background articles.