Better Bike Industry

National Women's Bicycling Forum
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National Women’s Bicycling Forum: March 4th

On March 4th, 2013, timing around the National Bike Summit, the League of American Bicyclists are hosting the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum. I asked Carolyn, Director of Communications at the League of American Bicyclists, some follow up questions to learn more about what the League has planned for this Forum!

About the National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Join hundreds of fellow advocates and enthusiasts who are working to engage more women in bicycling at our next Women Bike event! Register now for the second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4, 2013 in Washington, D.C.!

With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” this all-day event will showcase women leaders and entrepreneurs in the bicycle industry and highlight the economic impact and rising influence of women in the bicycle movement. (The Forum will end before the start of the National Bike Summit.)

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

With an opening keynote address from Georgena Terry, break-out sessions, lunch plenary, networking and so much more, the Women’s Forum will be an opportunity to learn, connect and network with advocates and leaders from across the country who are working to close the gender gap in American bicycling.

Both women AND men are encouraged to attend!

A Recap of the First National Women’s Bicycling Forum

Carolyn: The first National Women’s Bicycling Forum was really a toe in the water — it was a first attempt to bring the discussion about gender to the forefront and gauge the interest and trajectory of where that conversation could take us at the national level.

First, we tried to pour a number of different perspectives into a two-hour panel. With incredible speakers like Elysa Walk (GM of Giant Bicycle USA), Marla Streb (former world mountain bike champion) and Veronica Davis (founder of Black Women Bike DC) some incredible insight floated to the top — but it was crystal clear that tackling “women in bicycling” is NOT a single conversation. It’s an ocean of content!

Secondly, the response was a tidal wave. We packed the room with more than 300 people, all of whom were just buzzing with excitement and ideas and energy to keep the conversation going. So the take-away was simple: A two-hour forum is just the first drop in a really big bucket. In September, we expanded to a full-day event with more sessions with more specific content, like family biking and marketing to women. In 2013, we’re expanding and sustaining that effort with a full-time program, so we can compile and create new resources, share stories and work on targeted strategies to increase the number of women riding, in between these killer events.

What are the Main Reasons the League is Putting Energy into this Forum?

Carolyn: The Women Bike initiative is really part of a more big-picture effort by the League to change the face of bicycling — or better represent and include the voices of the many diverse communities and people who ride. Clearly, since we’re 50 percent of the population, we need to engage more women if we want to mainstream / normalize bicycling as a means of transportation (like we see in European countries) and recreation, too. And it’s not just about equity in numbers — our voices our powerful. Women are role models for the next generation, decision makers for their households, persuasive political constituencies and ingenious entrepreneurs. Bringing more women into all aspects of the bicycle movement, from lobbying on Capitol Hill to designing product at major bicycle manufactures, is in everyone’s best interests.

What is the Second Annual Forum Focused On?

Carolyn: The second annual National Women’s Bicycling Forum on March 4 in Washington, D.C. With a theme of “Women Mean Business,” we’re focusing on how the industry and retailers are working to close the gender gap and highlighting efforts that are changing the culture of cycling in new and innovative ways.

The speaker line-up is off the chain: Georgena Terry, Jacquie Phelan, leaders Red Bike & Green, reps from industry leaders like Specialized, Giant and ASI; editors from Bicycle Times and Momentum; the founder of Cyclofemme; the woman behind the nation’s largest bike share systems… and so many more. And we mean business when it comes to making this event accessible to all. Bring your kids: We’ll have free childcare. If the $85 registration fee is a barrier, apply for a scholarship.
Be the Change
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Be the Change

Since childhood I’ve had a journal in which I would lay out frustrations, draw desires and jot down quotes that inspired or motivated me to be a better person. Since high school I have found my outlet in typing on a keyboard.

In 2009 I moved much of my efforts of typing to the outlet you see here, Bike Shop Girl, in order to “empower women within bicycling”. Three and a half years later I still find the time to push and promote but my message has started to change. With that I need to mirror my efforts and outlet to who I’ve become.

Read More

Reality Bikes Ridley Owner Appreciation Day
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Reality Bikes Ridley Customer Appreciation Event

This past Sunday I drove down to the Atlanta metro for an event with Reality Bikes in Cumming, GA. The event was simply bringing together Ridley riding customers and new friends  for a ride, celebration of all things Belgium (food and beer) and looking at the new 2013 product.

While I am very biased since Ridley is a brand I represent this event was a very unique way for a shop to hold a non-salesy in store (and bike ride) while influencing customers. The event was well attended, the ride was casual but sporty and there was even a couple hundred feet of gravel road riding thrown in there for our “Pave tested” Ridleys.

Does your shop host any events like this? What was your experience when attending or organizing?

 

 

Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable
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The Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast Episode 90 & 91

Been hanging out every other Saturday bantering about bikes with a buncha guys (and one lady) with the Spokesmen Cycling Roundtable Podcast.

Listen to the last two that I was present on here:

Episode #91

Topics Included:

How to Listen:

Episode #90

Topics Included:

How to Listen:

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This is Why I Do What I Do

I don’t plan on waxing a poetic response to what is going on with Lance Armstrong or the doping scandal of the pro cycling folks. My buddy Josh did a good job of that already, read it here.

This video, shot locally in Charlotte, at a race put on by my friends and teammates of 36th Street Racing. This is why I love my job and my life.

NoDa Grand Prix 2012 from La Storia on Vimeo.

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What Makes a Really Good Bicycle Shop?

I asked the question on Facebook and Twitter:

What makes a really good bicycle shop?

I’m opening up the comments and want a good sound off. I’m not giving you any ideas or going to steer the conversation, I want candid thoughts. If you work/own a shop please state so. If you are a consumer that doesn’t go to a shop anymore because of not being able to find what makes a good shop, please say so.

Ready, set, sound off.

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Open Letter to Marketing & PR Agencies in the Bicycle Industry

Marketing departments, CEO’s and public relations agencies this is for you

It is Sunday evening at 5pm eastern standard time. In 12 hours I will be at the airport on my way to Las Vegas for Interbike. Most of my collegues and friends are either in Las Vegas or on their way. They aren’t sitting by their phone or computer waiting…

We aren’t waiting to get your press release the Saturday night before a show that starts on Monday. We don’t want a meeting invitation hours before we travel. We want planning, we want to be prepared and we want to get your shit at least 5 days ago.

I do my best to walk into a trade show, conference or any meeting (with ANYONE) prepared. Product or person researched. Questions formed. Batteries charged. Clothes wrinkle free and brain ready to rock.

When you send me meeting request last minute, or photos of product being launched… or the best yet, a link to a website that doesn’t even have a page holder but a dead link. You have sacrificed your image and even more, you have put yourself into a class that I don’t believe you give a shit about your product or those you are asking to promote it.

Next time you aren’t prepared here’s a suggestion. Don’t message or email me unless you are telling me to stop by your booth for a free beer. No time commitments, no broken links. Just a text email, text message or phone call that shows you realize you are behind the times but want to connect when I can.

My job over the next 7 days is two fold:
#1 sell product for the brands I represent in the Southeast.
#2 to promote product I believe my readers will enjoy.

It is not to promote a product I believe will let them down, come to market late or backed by people that don’t have their goods straight. You aren’t paying me and every person that emailed over the past 5 days.. I don’t owe a favor to. The people that I owe favors to have been contacted and meetings (or beer) have been setup.

Who am I to say all this? I’ve brought many marketing campaigns and products to market bigger than your jersey or new bike wheel design. There is rhyme and reason to it. Being a class act and putting your best foot forward are PR 101.

Sincerely,

Arleigh Jenkins – Bike Shop Girl.

PS. I may stop by your booth to give you a hard time. I promise I’ll be smiling and I’m not there to piss you off. I want the bike industry to grow, be strong and have standards. Take this as my way of helping you get there.

TN Valley Bikes
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Friday Shop Profile – Tennessee Valley Bikes

As an independent rep for Quality Bicycle Products I travel to bike shops all over the Southeast of the USA. Visiting a great amount of killer shops, doing what they love and each one in their very unique way. Next time you’re close, check one of these out! Want to see more shops? Visit the tag.

Shop Name: Tennessee Valley Bikes (TN Valley Bikes)
Location: 214 W Magnolia AveKnoxvilleTN.
Number: 865.540.9979

The boys at TN Valley created a soft spot in my heart very early into my position. This is a shop that reached out to me right when I started to say “hi.” Normally, as a sales rep it is me doing the calling/emailing and introduction to say hi. Maybe it is due to the manager, Neal Knight, being a previous employee of Quality Bicycle Products. Either way, that “hi” went a long way.

TN Valley specializes in going super fast on dirt (mountain and CX) or setting up some pretty cool touring and urban/commuter rigs. They are the spot in Knoxville to test ride Salsa and Surly Bike, or try on some Lazer helmets when you are there. We currently are working out a overnight camping trip for this fall, so keep your eyes peeled and getting your gear ready!

Stop in and say hi to Scott and Neal if you are in the area!

loose nuts cycles
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Friday Shop Profile – Loose Nuts Cycles

As an independent rep for Quality Bicycle Products I travel to bike shops all over the Southeast of the USA. I visit a great amount of killer shops, doing what they love and each one very unique. Next time you’re close, check one of these out! Want to see more? Visit the tag.

Shop name: Loose Nuts Cycles

Location:  452-A Cherokee Ave. Atlanta GA 30312
Number:  (404) 228-5555

Loose Nuts is my largest Surly dealer in most of the state of GA. Running out of a killer store front in the Grant Park area. It has the “urban” feel but you will find beautiful Sachs road bikes, high end wheels being built and a super down to earth guy behind it all – Chris Tavel. (I hear he’s a great mechanic too..)

Housed inside the bike shop is also a custom bag maker, Altrport, making bags of all types and sizes to your liking.

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