Tuesday, November 28, 2006

My Addiction

We need to start BA – Bike-a-holics Anonymous

Hi. I’m Karl and I am a bike-a-holic!
There, I said it!

Finally, it is out in the open. Phew, it feels good to get that off my chest. The good thing is that I know I am not the only one out there with this problem. This year was the first time I actually got to walk around the Interbike show for 2 ½ days. In my prior years I was hand-cuffed to my booth with a line of people three deep trying to work some kind of deal or score something for free.

This year was not a good year for my addiction. Ever since I got home from the show all I could think about was a few super cool bikes and how I needed to find some way to get them. I even wondered if theVW commercial technique would work. You know, the one where the guys licksthe car-door-handle and stands there proudly with his arms folded as if he is saying, “This is mine”.

I am a bit of a simplistic bike person. I like single-speeds, hardtails, steel and anything with S&S. That is why I had Michael at Spot build me a steel single-speed with S&S. It is one of the most beautiful creations ever.

2007 seems like a great vintage for bikes. Some things that jumped out to me are the new line of super inexpensive SE Single-speeds (with names like Draft,Lager and Stout), Masi’s new Speciale Fixed (drool) and cross bike (nice job Tim), that one-off Indy Fab 1986 lookin’ bmx bike, any of the Felt cruisers, and anything from Salsa or Van Dessel.

Those are my favorites of 2007, what are some of yours?

Posted by Karl Wiedemann at 3:03 PM 6 comments

Eurobike bait-and-switch

Is it just me or did this whole Euro-portland thing seem sketchy? I'm starting to wonder if their plan all along was to announce doing the show just to gauge the reaction from both Interbike and the bike industry at large.

Knowing a bit about what goes into putting on large events (I used to work for a company that put on 10 - 15 conferences a year), the idea that they could put together an Interbike type show in 11 months was pretty ludicrous. Now we see that they are partnering with Sea Otter and forgoing the September show. I think this (or something similar) was their plan all along.

It makes sense from a shady-business point of view... announce the show then sit back and keep their eyes on cycling news wires and blogs to catch the reaction. All of the feedback we gave here and other places allow them to plan their real moves.

It'll be interesting to see their future decisions. Will they stick with Sea Otter? Maybe do a show on the East Coast instead? Or actually have the gumption to do a September show in the West as direct competition?

Either way I'm gonna remember these latest moves by the Eurobike crew. They are either a) incredibly dimwitted in thinking doing another show in September in Portland was a good idea and then retracted it after the blowback or b) trying to be very shrewd in getting information by getting everybody all riled up.

My guess is 'b' and it definitely puts a bad taste in my mouth for future stuff they try to do.

What do you think? Were they serious with the original release or just testing the waters? And what's your view of them now?

Tim Grahl
Quasi Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Grahl at 4:28 AM 6 comments

Monday, November 27, 2006

Eurobike Portland Dead?

Well, the perceived inevitable has been confirmed today that Eurobike is at least temporarily pulling the plug on their proposed new US tradeshow in Portland.

Many of us in the industry have felt this was the likely outcome due to the silence and damned near disappearance of Eurobike after their initial announcement of the new-show-to-be. At face value, this would seem to indicate that Sea Otter will be one hell of a race and expo next year.

I still believe that Portland is a fantastic city for such a tradeshow, in one format or another (industry only or industry and consumer), but maintain that having that show during the same month as so many other events is not going to actually help the industry. If helping the growth of the industry is truly what Eurobike is seeking, then maybe they simply read enough of the concerns being voiced and decided to yield to trying to perfect the scheduling. Maybe...

Many of us complain in one way or another about Interbike and Las Vegas, but truth be told, it ends up serving us (the industry) really well. We get a great location for the Dirt Demo, we get a big Expo venue and tons of supporting infrastructure. Yes, the Teamsters and the Sands Convention Center can leave a bad taste in your mouth. The casinos and massive doses of cigarette smoke are really pretty gross. The city is not exactly bike friendly and riding each day can be a lot like pointing a loaded gun to your head. Still, all of those things considered, the show goes off each year and we all get to celebrate what our industry is all about; great products, great people and great fun. Would I prefer the show to be somewhere else? Yeah, probably I would, but even if the show stays where it is and stays how it is, I'm going to keep going and celebrating the industry I love so much. Let's face it, Anaheim sucked and we were pretty happy to get out of there. Hell, I live just two hours from Anaheim and I prefer Las Vegas. Would somewhere in Colorado be cool? Hell yes! But when and where? Weather can get ugly quick and where would you have the Expo? I honestly don't know the answers to that one. How about a rotating show location? That might be cool, but then you can't get good contracts for the expo hall. They like multi-year deals, so one year deals would mean higher costs and make it harder to get the venue when you rotate back through.

There are so many things to consider, outside of our emotional favorites. The business of a major tradeshow is very complicated. I welcome what Eurobike says they want to do and I believe more than one major tradeshow can exist here. We'll see if it gets worked out for 2008 I guess.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 9:35 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My rant on web stats

Since I sell advertising on the Crooked Cog sites I’m inevitably going to be asked for my web stats. Here’s my problem with that… they are all crap!

Just so you know the background I’m coming from... I have a degree in computer science (programming) and have been doing nothing but building/maintaining websites and web applications since I graduated. I have a good bit of experience in measuring sites and have dealt with dozens and dozens of sites in many different capacities.

Here’s the dirty secret very few people will tell you that are “in the know”… nobody really has a clue how many people are coming to their site. Sure you can get software that tracks that sort of thing and there are literally hundreds of different products out there that can be used, and they all GIVE DIFFERENT NUMBERS. And we aren’t talking small differences, we are talking differences of hundreds of percentage.

Two popular statistics programs that I use are Google Analytics (used to be called Urchin Stats) and Webalizer. The difference in their October numbers for www.TwentyNineInches.com is exactly 525.69% (Webalizer being the higher one).

WTF?

Exactly!

If the math is a little to much for you, it’s like the difference between getting paid $30,000 a year and $157,707 a year. I don’t know about you, but that would probably change my standard of living a bit.

So a 525.69% difference between two very popular web stats software packages. You’re probably wondering how this can be and there’s a whole lot of technical stuff that goes into it. Tracking the differences between google bots hitting your site for their search engine and a real person visiting. And the differences between one person only getting counted as one visit even if he visits every day, or getting counted as a new visit every 30 mins. Those are just a couple of examples. My gut feeling is that Google Analytics (the lower numbers) is closer to the truth.

But here’s my moral conundrum… when Marketing Guy from Company A asks for my web stats, I know he’s comparing it to the stats of other websites to see if my prices are to high. Marketing Guy obviously can’t tell me what numbers are coming from what sites, and my guess is that he doesn’t even know to ask what web stats software he is using. So what numbers do I give? The bloated numbers from Webalizer or the closer-to-the-truth lower numbers? I feel like I should give him the number I believe to be more on target, however he will, through no fault of his own, ignorantly compare those numbers to the stats from another website, stats that could very well be pulled from something like Webalizer.

So what do I do at this point? Seriously… I’m open for suggestions. Recently I’ve been trying to focus on the impact of my sites, but if I dodge the web stats question it’s gonna sound shady. Then at that point what do I tell him? Both numbers and try to give him an explanation? Not exactly something I want to be explaining on the phone when I’m trying to sell advertising.

I’m at a loss at this point, but I can tell you that web stats are crap and nobody should be divvying up their marketing budget based solely on these numbers.

reposted at www.crookedcog.com

Posted by Tim Grahl at 7:04 AM 6 comments

Monday, November 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Kool-Aid Krew!

It was a year ago today that I put the first post of this blog together. A simple little announcement that a new, mouthy kid was on the block to spout off about the bicycle industry and marketing related to cycling. In the space of this past year, the site has had ups and downs and lots of great dialogs- even if the posting has been very sporadic.

When I first started this project, it was just me, but I had the idea of a group blog from the very beginning because I felt it would have greater credibility to the industry itself if it was made of more than just my one opinion. I have no shortage of opinions, but I believe a diverse array of voices will better serve the industry I love so much. From the beginning, this project was targeted at the industry itself, but with an open forum that would be available to the general public. It was my belief then, and still is now, that this type of discussion and dialog will help to draw more people in to what we as an industry are thinking and doing- hopefully growing more interest and further growth for the business of cycling.

I am very proud of what has happened here so far and I am very excited about what I hope will be the future of this site. Things will only get better from here on out. A few of the early contributors have left due to busy schedules and a desire to focus on their core work. However, in their absence, some new voices will be joining us. I'm very excited to say that the dialog and conversation here will continue to expand and enlighten. All of the people whose names have been and are still on the right hand side of this blog are great people who I am very happy to get to collaborate with on this project. Though I started this thing and have given myself the koolest title, each of these folks are as important to the success of this site as I am. It is truly a group thing.

In the past we've had some great interviews and that will happen again. I will be searching for some great conversations and have a few lined up already, so be prepared. If you have suggestions and contacts, please feel free to submit them to me (tjackson at masibikes dot com). Though this site was not intended to serve as a news source, since I feel there are others who do that far better than us, news will continue to creep into the posts here. Analysis of the big stories in the industry will continue to evolve here and hopefully more discussion from other members of the industry. We have a great readership of folks within the cycling industry and I am going to continue to beg and plead for those readers to comment and add to the dialog here- your voice is what makes this worthwhile.

As an industry, we've managed to survive another year almost- doping scandals, tradeshow buzz, etc, etc. Too many things to even begin to try and list in depth, but in the end our tiny little voice continues to cry out. We may be a small industry in the grander sense of things, but I feel that we represent some of the greatest and brightest folks around. I am very passionate about what I get to do for a living. I love my job, I love my industry and I love the sport and lifestyle of cycling. I've stayed in this business for the better part of 25 years now. It's really the only thing I actually know anything about. It has kept me in its grip because of the people I have met along the way- many of those people are readers of this site or hopefully will be one day.

Bicycle sales in the US continue to do their usual rollercoaster ride with some categories up, some down and the overall market currently up a little under 10% year to date. I personally believe that the industry as a whole should continue to grow (and I really hope I'm right), so we'll continue to be less and less marginalized as we represent more dollars and more people continue to view cycling as a legitimate part of life, rather than just expensive toys.

So I hope you'll continue to stop by and take a look at what is happening over here. We're going to keep doing our thing and hopefully continue to improve on it as well. The site will get some updating, new contributors will be added, little tweaks will be happening. But most importantly, we're going to keep trying to further develop a place for the bicycle industry and the outside world to get a chance to talk to each other.

For the entire Krew here- thank you for making this one year mark possible. We'll try to make it to two with your help.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 10:30 AM 7 comments

Happy Birthday to us!

So, it was 1 year ago today that Tim Jackson started the Krew and posted the first post to get the party started. Since then, it's been a wonderful, crazy ride. We've been thrilled and humbled with the response to the site and appreciate that you keep coming back for more even when life gets in the way and we don't post as often as we'd like to or should.

Thanks to Tim for keeping the site going when some of us slackers can't! You are truly the Chief Dispenser!

Thanks to all of you readers for coming back whenever we post something new and jumping into a conversation with us.

We look forward to year 2 and will do our very best to post more meaningful posts more frequently. Now....where's the cake??

Thanks for stopping by.

Posted by Donna Tocci at 4:26 AM 4 comments

Friday, November 17, 2006

Eurobike Portland AWOL?

Jonathan Maus over at Bike Portland has an excellent post up right now about the incredible disappearing act done by the folks over at Eurobike Portland.

Jon brings up excellent points about the fact that the folks at Eurobike have not managed to put forth any additional information or answer calls and/ or emails seeking more information.

So far, nobody knows when, where or even if the event is going to be held. From the folks in the industry I have spoken to, there are many doubts that the event will be taking place. So far, the near consensus seems to be that Eurobike either got ahead of themselves and released information before they were actually ready to, or, the more commonly held belief, they were simply floating the idea to see what the response would be and if they actually could or should attempt the show.

Industry folks who read this site- you know who you are- I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this. At the moment, nothing exists but an announcement and lots of speculation. What's the deal?

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 10:17 PM 1 comments

More Masi ads

It's been a while since I shared the Masi magazine ads and the reasoning behind them. At least two ads have managed to escape the scrutiny of this audience... so without further delay;

This was the highlight of our season of ads. The perfect alignment of photo, design, rider, race, conditions... everything you need to create that one ad that you are really proud of. Scott Goguen of the Canadian pro Masi-Adobe team won the infamous Harris-Roubaix race in British Columbia during insane weather conditions. The team rode perfectly to deliver him to the line for the perfect victory and the genesis of the perfect ad. Paul Deschantes took the perfect photograph and our very own Rick Ortiz (who created all of these ads) gave the picture the perfect treatment. After a few days of laboring over the copy for the ad, Rick popped the text into a rough draft of the ad and we all fell in love with it.

I don't know what we'll have to do to beat this ad. It was simply perfect and was one of the very best ads I saw all year- regardless of the company.

This ad was to celebrate the season we had with Abercrombie & Fitch/ Inferno and team rider Mark Hekman. At the time the ad was done, Mark was the top Elite Amateur in the the US in the criterium race standings, with what was an unbeatable lead in the points standings... until he crashed on a training ride and broke his arm and missed the last several races, losing the title after all.

Though it was a major disappointment to lose the #1 spot, Mark and the team were fantastic to work with and we will be working with them again in 2007. The team has been strengthened, so we should have even more to talk about in our advertising for the coming season. In light of all of the drug scandals in cycling this year, many companies are rethinking their support of racing. For me and Masi, the scandals don't really matter that much since our team isn't racing in Europe and the US domestic pro scene is considered to be far cleaner than Europe. The relationship with the team and how seamlessly they support our marketing efforts, is a natural fit still. So as the ad says, "here's to an even better '07".

This one is pretty easy to understand; new cyclocross bike = new ad for the current winter magazine. The text is simple and points to the pride we have in this bike. I confess to being very biased and totally unobjective, but the bike really is great riding and great looking. That's what we're trying to say here with some simple text. (The missing photo credit in the ad should point to Kevin Conners, who is actually one of our sales people as well as one of our photographers. He shot all of the action/ lifestyle pictures used in the new Masi catalog.)
I've mentioned before that I always struggle with the copy for our ads. I have such a tendency to come up with several paragraphs of copy for a simple ad... except for on those days when I just want to run the picture of the bike and no copy at all. I really can't seem to find that middle ground without going through a couple days of painful headbanging. You can always tell when the ad deadlines are coming up because my forehead is red from banging my head against my desk!

The thing all of these ads share is a desire to keep the look very simple and similar. From the first ad a year ago up to the current ad, the ads have evolved around a simple design element of "black space". Specialized has been very effective with this theme as well in their magazine ads over the past few years. The plan is to keep up with this theme for the time being... but when something amazing strikes, we'll jump on that.

So there you go. You're now up to date on the ads this year. Stay tuned as we keep plugging away and as always, your feedback on the ads above is welcome.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 10:10 PM 6 comments

Monday, November 13, 2006

Marketing and blogs.

One of my best new friends is the inimitable CK (Christina Kerley). CK is one of the smartest, savviest and most sincere marketing people I have yet to meet. She's in great company with folks I "know" like Toby, Mack, Ann, Lewis, David, Paul and several others.

A few months back, she posed a question to her fellow marketers/ marketing professionals (and then me) about the one single thing of greatest value they receive from blogging. She asked this question of a group of really passionate and intelligent people (and also me) and waited patiently for their replies to roll in and then waited for the right time to spring this on them (and me).

This chart should be a cornerstone for anybody thinking of blogging for business (and anybody thinking of blogging for personal benefit too). As so many other people who are much smarter than me have already pointed out, this chart helps to point out and illustrate that not all marketers are soulless fiends out to empty your wallets. It also shines a light on the amazing humanity present in these fine folks that I get to call "peers"- even if I don't deserve to.

So I hope you'll take a minute or two to take a look at this great collage and see just how cool marketing and marketers can be. We have a lot to be proud of.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 8:53 PM 3 comments

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Portland Eurobike Newsflash!

I just got off the phone a moment ago with Jennifer Nolfi from the Portland Development Commission. I met Jennifer and a few other folks involved with Portland's attempts to actively court the cycling industry to move their businesses to the Portland area. They have done a great job of embracing the strength of their city's support for cycling and are working to bring more members of our industry to Portland- to join companies like Chris King who made the move years ago.

Anyway, Jennifer called me to make a point of clarification about the recent announcement of the Portland Eurobike show. There have been news items linking "Portland officials" to the announcement. Jennifer wanted to make it clear that she and the PDC group were in no way involved. Her concern stems over the fact that she and other representatives of the Portland city and business commission were graciously introduced to many members of the cycling industry during Interbike and allowed to be a part of the great energy of the show. She wanted to make it clear that she and the others were not there on a mission to try and court the industry for the newly announced Portland tradeshow. She and the others were there specifically to try to sway companies to permanently move their businesses to Portland, not visit for a week for a tradeshow.

According to Jennifer, she and the others knew nothing of the plans that were cooking. A Portland tourism group was involved, but not Jennifer and the PDC.

Thank you Jennifer for making that clarification. I, for one, had not made the connection to her and her group, but I could see how some would or could. I had a wonderful time talking to her during the show in Vegas and look forward to talking to her agin some time. She sent a kick ass care package with information about business incentives in Portland... that just happened to include a fantasmic dark chocolate candy bar made in Portland by a local company. Very smart marketing indeed...

Thanks again to Jennifer for helping to set the record straight about the recent developments that have garnered so much attention.

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 3:48 PM 4 comments

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Ibis Cycles Relaunches Website

With all the EuroPortland news this week some other bike industry news got glossed over a little bit. It's understandable since EuroPortland is big, big news. But something else that caught my eye was the relaunch of the Ibis Cycles website.

I'm not a big bike geek, as I've mentioned before, and I'll never pretend that I am. However, I do know a little bit about marketing - at least I like to think that I do. My opinion? I like the site. A lot. Seriously, anything that has Popeye on it is ok with me.

The site shows that not only is this a bike company, and seemingly a good one, but a fun company. The site shows all of their products and is very functional showing styles, sizing information, clear, crisp photos and answers most of the questions you'd ask about a bike.

It also uses some fun images for sections; dollar bills for 'buy' and a hammer for 'tech' to name a couple. This shows this company knows that when you are out on your bike you are having more fun than you are when you are on your computer or at work. They are selling a lifestyle, not just an object. It shows on the site. They aren't trying to hit you over the head with 'we know bikes because we ride constantly and all our friends ride and it's all about riding, riding, riding'. They know their product and they know the lifestyle you want and they show that on this new site.

There is also a section for "Chuck Spew", a 'not blog' (that really is a blog) from founder Scot Nichol. The name alone makes me chuckle. It's a good place to learn what is going on at a bike company and illustrates what the company is doing and where the people go with some nice photography.

Can you tell that I like this site? I like the feeling I get when I'm there. I don't need to be a bike geek to enjoy the site and learn from it. That's a good thing. They have pulled me in. I want to know more - isn't that the goal of a website? To get someone who is a potential customer to poke around the site without being intimidated by all the techie stuff? You want to give that person a good feeling and eventually leave the site with a feeling of a lifestyle that is obtainable.

Mission accomplished, Ibis.

Oh, so where's Popeye? Go on over to the site and find him yourself - it's a fun place to be.

Just my thoughts on this Sunday evening in New England.

Posted by Donna Tocci at 3:05 PM 3 comments

Friday, November 03, 2006

Thank you DirtRag!

I just wanted to take a quick moment to thank my new friend Michael Browne at DirtRag for mentioning this site in his Brain Fart web article. In his article, he lists this sleepy little site in his Top 5 Blogs to read. Thanks man!

More importantly, I wanted to give Michael and DirtRag support for considering beginning a blog for DirtRag. It may or may not happen, but it is obviously something that I would fully support. If you have an opinion, cruise on over to the DirtRag site and drop Michael a little note expressing your thoughts.

And Michael, if you read this- thanks again... and start blogging!

Tim Jackson
Cheif Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 10:39 PM 3 comments

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Eurobike Portland vs Interbike; Part Two

Because this topic merits further open discussion and because I didn't want my incredible insights and commentary getting buried in the comments (or allowing Donna to steal all the glory), I am writing this additional post about the recent developments regarding the soon to be Eurobike Portland.

This has been pretty much the biggest news in the bike industry in quite some time now. You can read about it more here, here, here, here, here and here- among other places. Each of these give some pretty great coverage to the issue and the comments that follow some of these posts are really pretty cool. Lots of great discussion going on over this topic.

Here is my take on the whole thing and I encourage other industry folks to chime in with an opinion- please! If not here, then somewhere- Interbike Times is a great place to go say something;

First, I really do have to give Donna a tip of the cycling cap for her post because she covers a lot of great questions/ considerations.

I personally love Portland and I've never even been there. One of the highlights of Interbike for me this year was meeting with representatives from the Portland Development Commission. Chris DiStefano from Chris King brought them by to talk to me about their plans to actively court the cycling industry to move to Portland. I was floored by their generosity and energy. If I could move Masi to Portland, I certainly would. Portland rocks. However, a personal love for the city can not cloud the business decisions we all have to make. Eurobike Portland, from what we know so far, is just scheduled at the wrong time. As Donna points out, with the creation of this show, I would potentially be traveling to Canada for their show, Portland for their show and then Vegas for the "big" show (no Eurobike for me as I can not currently sell into Europe due to a trademark dispute). Now, some folks would have to decide if they were going to patronize all four shows or carve it down to 1, 2 or 3. This schedule conflict is not created by the city of Portland and it's cycling community (quite possibly the very best in the US), so the city and PDC should not be held responsible for this issue.

Vegas and Interbike, for all of the issues many people have with it, is still the premier show on the calendar. Eurobike is sooner in the year, so it serves as the global launch for many new widgets, but Interbike is still pretty widely considered the Belle of the ball. Yes, it costs us all way too damned much to attend each year. Yes, the Union workers we deal with are frequently less than stellar. The past two years my parent company, Haro Bicycles, has had bikes stolen out of the booths during the night while the booths were being "watched" by security. BUT... the show is still the biggest and bestest show in the country and has beaten away all other contenders for the title over the past 25 years- that means something. Vegas, warts and all, still houses an immense infrastructure to handle an event the size of Interbike. There is a reason that Las Vegas is the tradeshow capitol of the US (if not the world)- rooms, restaurants, transportation, entertainment. It's all there. Yes, it all smells like cigarette smoke and riding your bike on the streets of Las Vegas is like playing with a loaded gun. BUT... then there is Dirt Demo, which has become more important to many exhibitors than the expo itself. Demo has become huge and has replaced the energy that was once so strong on the floor of the expo. We all know that the expo has almost nothing to do with "business" anymore and almost nobody actually writes orders for product while at the show. Now, the expo is for thanking our customers for their support, seeing friends and networking. For a small brand like mine, the expo is still important- even though I don't write orders either- because I need to get the bikes under the noses of as many potential customers as possible. Is Vegas perfect? Not by a long shot, but in 25 years, Interbike has become the defacto "must do" event of the year for the bulk of the industry. Trek, Specialized, Giant and a few other folks do their own regional shows long before Vegas and have all but stopped coming to the show (though Trek was absent in 2005 they had a presence at Demo this year, but still no tradeshow booth during the expo) and many of their retailers who are very deeply invested in them have also stopped coming to the show because there is nothing "new" for them to look at (Hello... come see Masi then!)

As a manufacturer, I can't imagine traveling to 4 tradeshows in the month of September and my wife would kill me if I did. David Roth brought up an interesting point in his comments on Donna's post about some companies already doing this in Europe and then traveling here. The thing to keep in mind in those situations is that most (maybe not all) of those companies are actually working with regional/ national distributors and not actually carrying the entire expense or the burden of staffing and attending the shows. The distributor for that country or region usually pays for the booth space and mans it with their own staff. Some representatives from the "home office" might visit and help to present the line/s, but the ultimate burden usually rests on the shoulders of the distributor. For small guys like me, I'd get slaughtered if I tried. Fortunately for me, my distributor in Canada (Norco) handles their show (BTAC) and all I do is show up and look pretty with the bikes. Same thing for Australia (PacBrands)- the distributor handles this all for me and I just bring my funny American accent.

Speaking of Australia... as Phil points out in his post, Australia's cycling market is under-served by it's tradeshow and could certainly use the help of Eurobike or some other source (though I have offered my services for this, my phone has not been ringing). Markets like the Australian one face unique challenges that really need to be addressed by the industry, globally. If more vendors/ suppliers/ manufacturers and exhibit promoters do not help the market out, it will only shrink. As a global cycling community, we need to be searching for ways to grow markets like Australia. It'll never be the biggest market in the world, dollar-wise, but it can certainly perform better with our help.

Overall, I invite the possibility of another major tradeshow in the US, but I'd like to see a better date on the calendar and, as much as I love Portland, something on the East coast would serve the overall US market better- rather than another show on the West coast.

So now back to the banter. What are your thoughts? Please don't be bashful- chime in. (Raleigh Reed, I'm talking to you my friend. Nice new catalog by the way...)

Tim Jackson
Chief Kool-Aid Dispenser

Posted by Tim Jackson at 11:22 PM 7 comments