Last day of the Bicycle Retailer & Industry News SoCal Bike Dealer Tour was a big one. Just about 15 riders on today’s route including Tony Lo, CEO of Giant Bicycles who had flown in from Taiwan. A few more Giant staffers joined us for the ride from the BRAIN offices to dealers in Dana Point and San Juan Capistrano, California. It’s been a great week of riding, chatting with fellow industry members and hearing insightful comments from retailers. I took some notes, but so far have just had time to post photos and quick comments about the shosps we’ve visited and some of the people I rode with and met on the tour.
This has been a great concept and all of us basked in the neutral BRAIN glow as dealers opened up to us and expressed their hopes, expectations, results and experiences of the past and future of the bike business. And it was a good excuse to get out of the office and ride a really nice bike for a week…
At Interbike in 2007, I was walking around with a camera crew from Cycling.TV looking for footage of interesting sites and events to capture. I led them over to the MirraCo booth where bmx legend Dave Mirra was supposed to be wrapping up an autograph session. Since the booth looked quiet, I walked up to the guy standing near the entrance to the booth and ended up asking Dave Mirra himself if “Dave was coming back to sign more autographs” later that day. Mr. Foot, meet Mr. Mouth. Without saying a word, Dave pointed to his head with both hands and smiled. Now, I don’t think I can be faulted for not recognizing fellow-bmx kegend, Perry Kramer, he of PK Ripper fame, last Tuesday on our tour, but I was darn happy to see him in the BRAIN office again on Friday so that I could properly introduce myself and express my excitement in meeting the Man. Turns out we’re almost neighbors and he offered to show me some trails near my house. The fact that he is PK would explain why he was jumping every curb and bunny-hopping sewer greats the whole ride on his flat-bar road bike.
Another very familiar face (and new ex-coworker) getting ready for the day’s ride was Robert Roman, now in the employs of Bicycle Retailer. After 9 years serving Interbike exhibitors, Robert decided to make a change and move a few exits north on the 5 freeway to our industry’s trade mag. We’ll miss his wit and sense of humor here, but will hopefully still get to experience his powerful turn of the pedals on a regular basis as BRAIN’s lunch rides frequently go past Interbike’s HQ.
Nice to see Fred Clements, executive director of the NBDA, working from the saddle of a bike. This is why we all work in this industry, right?
Mr. Tony Lo, CEO of Giant Bicycles. Guest of honor on today’s ride and inspiration for the whole tour itself. Tony’s industry tour of Taiwan last year planted the seed for this Stateside version. Tony is an avid cyclist and rides with style and class.
Scene from an Orange County bike path as we wind our way from BRAIN’s offices to our first stop in Dana Point. I believe that’s Kip Mikler of Bike Magazine, Megan Tompkins and Nicole Formosa of BRAIN (L to R).
Robert and Tony enjoying the typically sunny, but unusually hot November OC day during the ride.
First stop of the day: Revo Cycles in Dana Point, CA: Bicycles & Espresso.
Darrin Duhamel – ex corporate suit and current Revo owner, explaining his bike retailing philosophy to the group. Darrin woke up one day unhappy with his life as a globe-trotting executive and decided to go into business in one of his passions: cycling or scuba. Guess which one won?
Kip Mikler with Andrew Juskaitis of Giant listening in at Revo.
Chris Zigmont of Pedro’s doing his job (actually Tyler’s) of spreading the love with bike shop mechanics – the people that use their products the most and the ones most likely to recommend it to their customers.
Revo Cycles’ colors:
Some of the other brands that Revo carries besides BMC, Bianchi and Specialized. I think you can infer the typical Revo customer by these brands.
The tour group stoppong for a photo opp overlooking Dana Point Harbor.
Marc Sani, publisher of Bicycle Retailer on the roads of Dana Point.
Our lunch time rides here from the Interbike offices typically include a swing by Doheny Beach. Below, Lance Camisasca of Lifeboat Solutions and Interbike consultant and Zig from Pedro’s ride by some volleyball players at Doheny.
What am I supposed to do at South Coast Cyclery again? SCC believe in making what they do obvious – no ifs, ands or buts.
Andrew from Giant (center) began his bike industry career in high school here at South Coast in San Juan Capistrano. SCC is Interbike’s LBS, by the way, a short walk from our office.
Passionate owner, Jim Curwood, espousing some of his many ideas for growing the bike industry. Megan doesn’t seems convinced… If you live in Orange County and watch (very) late night television, you’ve certainly seen some of Jim’s homegrown “Buy My Bikes!” ads. He says that the ads that he runs around the holidays have a big impact on sales. A perk of working for Jim? He believes in saying “thank you” to his employees at the end of each day and buys lunch for them daily.
Call me immature, but I love bike industry stickers. My tool chest back home in my garage is plastered with them. When I see a display in a shop like the door below at SSC, I’ll pause for a few minutes admiring all the classic and retro company logos. When a shop’s been in the same place for close to 30 years, there’s bopund to be a great collection.
SCC also have an awesome collection of Rosarito-Ensenada posters. R-E is an anual ride in Baja California, Mexico, with thouands of riders. Tons of So Cal bikers head down for the party on wheels just south of Tijuana.
Karl and Kenny have tended the wrenches at SCC for many years and are a friendly and knowledgeable team. And yes, they speak Campagnolo.
Jim has a poster in the window for the First Annual High School Mountain Bike Series.
In the courtyard in front of SCC saying our goodbyes.
Merry, my trusty Giant Advance 2 treated me well this week of the tour. Too bad I need to give her back.
Waiting for the invite for the next dealer tour…