As much as I enjoyed and thrived in the retail bike business for the last 20 years, I must admit that I’m happy I’m no longer living or dying solely based on bike sales. Bike shoppers have recently evolved into a totally different species of animal. If the internet has ever destroyed human qualities of relationship, fun, perspective, taste and experience it’s in the tortured and misguided process of online bike “research”.
At Gord’s (my now defunct ski and bike shop) we had a unique and clearly unsustainable bike business model that relied heavily on those before-mentioned qualities and a sales experience that was more akin to ski and toy buying than to whatever is going on in bike shops these days (especially in Quebec). That utopic Gord’s Ski and Bike experience was primarily driven not by our unique approach but by our sensational customers who valued silly things like “trust” “relationship” “feel” “look” and “fun” over molecular density, milligrams and online reviews by luminaries such as Treckslasher_69.
Now is the time of the year where people start texting me for prices, for weights, for materials, for specs… but no one ever asks me “how does it ride” or “how’s it going to handle a rock garden” or “will this help me get rid of my fear of stairs”… now it’s all about things that mean very little on a trail, in the bike park or, you know, “in the real world”. One day I suspect I’ll be back to selling bikes but until then I’m glad that all I do is write about what REALLY makes people smile: The fun, the experience and the adventure.
At Ski & Bike Magazine it’s ALL about the experience and nothing but… Hopefully our readers will enjoy reading about our impressions, our adventures, our opinions… until of course they meet their new “expert” boyfriend and proceed to get totally lost by doing much too much research on what bike they should buy.
Long live long rides. On fun bikes.