I’m a big fan of Starbucks and Apple. If you were to ask me two brands that I relate to in the most upwards of ways, it would be these two. I’m sure someone will hop on the comments and blast me about child labor or over priced coffee, but I like what I like.
Why does all this matter to bikes? Service matters.
I visit and pay full retail to the above places for the experience, customer service and reliability. I can walk into any Starbucks across the country and receive the same tasting green tea. I can walk into any Apple store and receive the same great shopping experience. I have used Apple products pretty strictly since 2002, they work, they last and they come loaded with many things I need. They are more expensive but the experience and product is worth it for me.
As I travel through my territory of the Southeast the question of online price wars comes up and I always bring up the examples of Apple and Starbucks. These two hold true to their core mission, and have well trained staff. When was the last time you went into look at Apple products and you saw a huge SALE sign? They actually go out of their way on their website to put discounted or refurbished product out of the main view of the consumer. (It is all the way on the bottom of the navigation bar on the left.)
When was the last time you asked the person making your coffee if you can give them less than their asking price?
Discounting product does not win customers for life.
Experienced staff, a pleasant shopping experience, reliability and amazing service is what wins customers for life. There is a reason that the Gap owns Old Navy, Gap and Banana Republic. Different shopping experiences, different quality of product and different prices. All of them have well trained staff, thoughtfully laid out merchandise and HAPPY staff.
I shop at all three depending what I need, and each location I walk away with a good experience.
Consumers, I encourage you to give feedback to your local shops.
Did you stop shopping there because they kept messing up your bike when you brought it in for a tuneup? Did they sell you the wrong tube size 3 times? Did someone rub you wrong because they were grouchy and lacked customer service? Was your experience one that left you shaking your head and heading straight to google to find what you needed online?
I still try local coffee shops when I’m traveling, I buy clothes from other places as well, but when in a pinch I know who I can rely on and in todays times when we are all running around like crazy, this matters more to me than saving 5%.
Drop by the SRAM booth and meet your favorite female pros. Ask questions, check out new gear and listen in on our mini tech clinics. Rebecca and the other pros will also host short ride clinics and pump track sessions. For more
information on tour specifics and updates, please visit www.goldruschtour.com.
Join Rebecca and SRAM/Specialized female athlete, Katie Holden for Specialized demos and free ride clinics during the three-day mountain bike festival.
Sun Valley Media Camp in Sun Valley, ID: July 4-9
By invite-only, eight lucky female representatives will meet Rebecca, Katie Holden, Meredith Miller and Lea Davison for a personal tour of the world class riding in Sun Valley. The camp coincides with USAC XC National Championships in Sun Valley (July 5th-8th) to allow the attending media to cover the event and experience Idaho riding at its best.
Rebecca and her local female mountain bike posse will coach a 6-week teen riding camp for the second year. The classes will meet in June and July for weekly riding sessions on different trails in the Sun Valley area. The camp will focus on riding skills, trail etiquette and volunteer trail work.
The biggest freeride festival in the world, Crankworx is a magnet for the world’s best riders. With a collection of some of the best trails and parks on the planet, Rebecca and SRAM/ Specialized female pros will guest instruct and lead rides for all ability levels throughout the week.
Activities will include a pre-event social hour with complimentary bike fit and equipment check at NorCal Bike and ride tips from the pros. Rebecca and other female pros will offer a pre-ride preview of some of the toughest parts of the course. Post-event activities will include a SRAM/Specialized VIP reception for women and their guests with refreshments and GU recovery drinks.
Roc D’Azur Ladies Lounge and Dirty Girls Ride Clinics in France: October
This French mountain bike festival is open to riders of all levels and hosts races, fun rides, a huge bike expo and parties. Each day at the SRAM booth, female pros will be available to answer questions and lead mini-tech clinics. The pros will also be hosting short ride clinics and pump track sessions.
As a rep for Quality Bicycle Products I rep many brands, one of them is Civia Cycles. A brand that is near to my aesthetic craving heart. Their tag line is “Beautiful Neighborhood Bikes.” As someone that has a Civia Cycles Loring decked out with wooden fenders, a wooden front front loader and beautiful spring Brooks saddle I love it. Recently I became very intrigued with a newer model in the line up.
We all know my obsession for lights and bags. I have so many of both as I’m always trying to find the perfect one. Rechargeable lights are something I really love. Especially the latest push for USB rechargeable. You see, before lights and bags I am a tech freak. iPad, iMac, MacBook Air, GoPro’s, Canon cameras, iPhones, you get the idea. I always have a computer with me, so charging a light through USB is really easy for me. Much easier than finding batteries at CVS.
Meet the Knog Blinder Arrow Light $44.99
I received a front light in the mail, and it has been on the front of my bikes since February. I’ve traveled with it to Frostbike, and utilize it anytime I’m on the road. I’ve had to charge it twice, it’s bright and easy to use. The mount works on all types of handlebar styles, widths and bends. The USB is easy to use, but you have to have the right room for it. It doesn’t fit in well right between two other USB’s due to the light size.
In Knog fashion they come in many colors & styles
Long term I plan to order a rear, as making a white front light bright seems to be easier than making a red rear light bright and eye catching.
This review was put in play by Luna Cycles in Lenior, NC. I am very grateful for their time and assistance, and commuter knowledge!
Visibility is the bane of cyclists everywhere. As a daily commuter, I find myself riding in the worst visibility conditions: early morning light, evening dusk, rain, fog, and nighttime darkness. I wear high-visibility yellow, I strap a riot of blinking lights to the front and back of my bike – I’d get a head-to-toe glow in the dark tattoo if I thought it would help – all in a quest to be noticed by drivers. It was with this quest in mind that I jumped at the opportunity to try out the Fireball Mark II light from Bike After Dark.
For the past couple months I have been riding the 2011 Salsa Casseroll on the road, on side streets, commuting, off the beaten path and really it has been the bike strapped to the roof of my car while traveling all over NC, SC and TN. I will be sad when I have to send this bike back as it truly is the Cadillac of road bikes (minus the drivetrain.) You can read the preview over yonder before you dive into my full review.
Shoe covers are a funny thing. For me, it is the make or break temperature. If I have to put shoe covers on it normally means that most of my friends won’t ride with me because it is too cold. Recently I realized my hobbled together shoe covers that I have been putting more and more duct tape on every year have had it. They are neoprene ones that I had bought probably 8 years ago now. They’ve worked wonderfully and the duct tape I believe added more windproofing to them!
Pam Sayler wrote this guest post earlier this year. Somehow it was categorized incorrectly in my email and I found it during holiday break. I believe this is a great post to start thinking about plans for 2012. Coaches, and if you need one is a common questions as people start pushing themselves in the sport.
While pushing the Kirby this weekend my mind drifted to the subject of coaching. Why would the average rider hire a cycling coach? What advantage would a coach have to one whose cycling ambition is less than the current world champion?
I paused vacuuming long enough to check in on my son who was practicing piano.
Jacob is in his second year of lessons and progressing nicely. But like many 9 year olds he looses focus and spends about ½ of his time just playing. While I try to take a back seat and not micro manage him I do find it necessary to step in and make sure he is completing the work of understating music theory, structure and technique. By ensuring he spends time on developmental drills I am assured that my investment has a positive
return and Jacob has a broad awareness of music, stronger hand to eye coordination and simply plays better. Even if he does not have the desire to become a concert pianist Jacob’s father and I see music as a door to many future opportunities and will give him a well rounded view of life.
It took me vacuuming the remainder of the family room and down the hallway to connect those dots. Just as I stand behind Jacob seeing he stays on task a cycling coach will help me ride more efficiently – prevent injury and cycle longer. Not just that one day, but cycle longer in life.
In turning to a coach you are entrusting someone to look over your shoulder. Not to compete against, but to draw along side of you and guide you. Coaching is that special mix of relationship and expertise. One needs to trust their coach. A technical and certifiable background is necessary but equally important is the human factor; how well you interface. Before signing on with a coach, ask yourself the following:
Why do you want a coach? – specifically, what are you looking for?
What is your budget?
What is that person’s experience and education?
How much interaction do you want? Individual, group, online?
During the interview process look for someone who asks these questions and has good answers for your questions. Determine how long it will take to reach your goals and make sure your to contract for a brief period first – a longer contract can be drawn up after you are confident this coach is the right one for you.
And finally, remember that no matter how good a coach you hire, and how lofty your ambition nothing will happen if you don’t set aside time and stick to the plan. The investment in yourself will only pay off if you apply time and effort. Otherwise you are just throwing away money. And if you have money to throw away, please let me know. I’ve got a few years of piano left to fund.
Pam Sayler is the North American Sales Manager for Kinetic She lives in Minneapolis with her Bike-Shop owning husband and their children. Last year Pam commuted 2,000 miles to work on her bike
Currently I am on vacation with my family in Bozeman, Montana (if you live around here let me know and we can get coffee.) The post are limited, and the thinking of bicycles is rare. I’m doing my best to spend time with my family, meet new family and freeze my rear off in the snow.
Christmas is a great time to look back and be thankful for what you have and what you were able to achieve in the past year. I’m not a very religious person but the Christmas holiday always leaves me feeling very humbled and thankful for my life and loved ones.
My List of Thanks for Cycling
EM:PWR Cycling- a great group of cyclist coming together to get more people one bikes
Riding around and around and around the driveway with my sister on our first big wheels (or so the photos recall, I must have been about 2 or 3). I do concretely remember my first 10 speed, it was grey and pink of course. There may have been tassles but I choose to block that part out, definitely had those fluorescent spoke blings that would make all kinds of noise when I rode.
Who inspires you to ride, and better yet WHY?
My husband who’s gently but steadily encouraged me to ride with a healthy bit of tough love, but mostly me for riding through some challenging life events, and the mental release I feel when I’m riding. Also, watching bad ass cyclocross ladies compete, because they like hilly courses and dirt.
What has been your best moment on the bike so far this year?
Riding my first 2 day total 160 or so mile ride after a summer of health issues that kept interrupting my training plans. It didn’t hurt that it was a ride for MS with total strangers cheering me on at the finish as if I wasn’t already getting a little emotional.
Tell us all about your bikes
Cannondale Caad 4 S1000 with a sweet limited edition red, orange and black fade paint job (a tad too big for me but has served me quite well)
2011 Specialized Stumpjumper 29er (my new and first mtb bought as a bike shop demo sell off on which you will find me smiling and laughing on the Wissahickon trail loving this new ride) and also pennies being saved for a Specialized Ruby (or other ultimate road bike I will find to lust after)
Motivational Monday, a Monday tradition at Bike Shop Girl, my goal to keep you motivated and to be striving on the bike even during a hard week or long hours at work. Are you a woman that bicycles? Fill out this easy form and be part of our motivational movement!