Passion. Ambition. Dedication. These words describe the characteristics of all Altairians, and often these traits go well beyond the work environment. Without a doubt, Dragi Gasevski, Altair ProductDesign Principal Designer of Aesthetics and CAD Methods, is a great representation of that principle. For four years now, he has made a transformation in his lifestyle, fighting for both his health and many worthy causes one pedal at a time.
Born in Macedonia, Dragi started a new chapter in his life when he came to the U.S. in 1998 at age 44. Having recently been diagnosed with Type II Diabetes, and now sitting and working at a desk for extremely long hours each day, he knew that eventually he would need to do something to change his deteriorating health. Fortunately, Dragi joined Altair in 2008, and came in contact with a healthier environment and lifestyle, as well as a whole staff of medical and fitness professionals at Altair Health Services ready to help him. With strong encouragement and motivation, he started cycling in 2011 to fight his diabetes, and since then, has transformed his health 180-degrees.
Dragi has since become an extremely avid cyclist, joining many cycling clubs. As a part of Team O2 – Cadieux Bicycle Club in Michigan, the Detroit Randonneurs, and Altair’s Bike MS Team, Dragi bikes everyday when the weather permits, and biked over 5,000 miles in 2014! Not only that, his body could hardly be in better shape; with little sugar in his blood, excellent cholesterol, and little fat, Dragi has made a tremendous improvement in his health and lifestyle.
Altair Health Services, located right in the Altair Global Headquarters, has certainly helped Dragi with his efforts preparing him every year for his trainings and helping him recover after injuries. This year, at age 61, he has already biked over 1,400 miles with an average of 146 miles per week according to his Strava profile page. He is thrilled to be riding in many local group and charity races throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons, including several National Multiple Sclerosis Society Bike MS races that Altairians participate in and donate to each year.
(Altair Bike MS 2014 Team)
So after transforming himself, what could possibly be next for Dragi – the self-described “cycling addict?” Fortunately for Dragi, his two worlds – Altair and cycling – are about to collide.
For months everyday at Altair, Dragi walked by a gorgeous Specialized S-Works bike showpiece that was on display in the Altair Global Headquarters. “It is a shame to see this beautiful bike just sitting there,” he said as he recalled his thoughts. Soon he approached the Altair marketing team to take the bike off the display stand and on the road. “I want to ride that thing,” the man of action told us. And so “Follow Dragi” was born.
Altair is particularly excited to have Dragi ride the optimized Specialized S-Works Venge, a collaboration bike between S-Works and McLaren Venge, that utilized several Altair software products to design and develop a faster, stronger, and lighter professional bicycle. The bike sits right in the center of the Altair building along with various other successes that have been optimized with Altair software. In the design of the bike, Specialized used OptiStruct® to maximize stiffness and perform topology optimization to achieve a 15% lighter frame, and the Zipp wheels were optimized for aerodynamics using the AcuSolve® CFD software. McLaren Racing presented the success story at the 2011 European HyperWorks Technology Conference, and the presentation is available to view and download. Additionally, we are hoping to fit the bike with RaceFace crank arms designed using solidThinking Inspire® and Evolve®. Read more about the world’s fastest bike from Altair ProductDesign Executive Vice President, Tony Norton.
Dragi is also participating in Altair Health Services’ “2015 Waist Loss Challenge” to prepare for this year’s rides. “I’m not biking to lose Calories, but rather, to immerse myself in nature, to breathe in and listen to the outdoors, clearing my mind completely and finding complete stress relief and peace,” Dragi noted, “The one piece of advice I would give to those struggling to get fit is to find an activity just for yourself that you truly love and enjoy, then your whole perspective about health and fitness will transform into something incredibly positive and motivating.”
Through this blog, we are going to follow and support Dragi this year as he bikes in multiple charity events for his quest to stay fit and in control of his health. We look forward to finding out where Dragi will take Altair’s Specialized S-Works bike as we encourage everyone to follow Dragi with us on the Innovation Intelligence blog and Altair’s Facebook and Twitter!