Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wall Street crisis have you in a tizzy? Ride your bike!

We have a way for you to deal with the economic meltdown.  In these tough economic times, integrity counts more then ever. But how do we find it?  What does it look like?  Can it be placed in a bottle?  Not easy!

Also pleased understand, you don't have to read this!  

In a time when financial uncertainty, trust is a big deal.  We have lost a lot of trust through the years in cycling also.  The cycling market has been holding uncertainty for years.  Mistrust within the industry from the top doctors cheating, working with the top racers providing an edge (EPO) over the others,  to the local club getting a better deal vs. another club or retail outlet!  It is going to continue, so how do we short through it all?

Don't we all want a deal?  If  you can get it for less or even free doesn't mean it is better and then the question is what is the MO?  Will you take a free beer is the offer? Sure you will, even at the cost of the bar owner.  After all, you are a good customer, right?  You might even give good tips!

  Our MO is providing you numbers that provide a true "blueprint" of what you need.  It is objective, not subjective and it cost money due to the high-tech.  A six pack of beer is not going to provide you with your real blueprint!

In all sports, people bring their toys to someone who works in the industry and is very good at what they do and are willing to worked for say a six-pack of beer.  That's how it works! How can you get a deal?  Will I get pro deals if I join x, y, z club this year?

In the end, it is the retail store who has to make sales, pays the taxes, pays the rent and is subject to the 30% increase on products that comes with a new year, sending the price of things higher for the customer who is not best connected.  Not good!

We know that about 1,000 bike retail stores close their doors every year and that number will go up.  We know people will always look for a way to get around paying for their toys and services.  We see it with the guy who comes in all the time after getting their fit a few years ago to check his fit over and over.  They change bikes and that changes the fit solution, but they want one for free.  A lot more of this occurs than you know.  At this point, we don't offer a "life time solution".  We have to pay the price to be in the game and the high-tech is not free.
It is just the nature of humans to find a way to get something for nothing, better or worst!

Look how people will jump from one team kit to another.  You see the kit and wonder what they get for free or pro deal?  They don't ride any better than they did on a different club/team, but they are perhaps getting better deals on something.

Can we say at this point, there is no "free ride"on the bike except perhaps the kit.  No matter the brand, 2007, 2008, 2009, its color, you will do well to learn the game if you want to improve.  More truth is this!  

Retail sales reflect that consumers are still struggling, while sales are likely to continue to dip! You can "trust" that last years bike will serve you well "just learn how to ride it".  It's really you , your pedal stroke and not the bike!  I know it doesn't look as cool as newer models that some club/team got a pro deal on (just the cost to get it shipped) to get their brand out there. Perhaps that is a way of cheating the paying customer to keep the doors open?  You join a club and you get a pro deal on some brand?  Many of these clubs get most of their services, among other things for free with x,y.z store or at a discount. So the next time you look at one of the kits, ask yourself what kind of deal, % they got over the customer who pays retail.  Are these good ethics?

Ethics - affirming a specified group!

It also seems that people of higher learning have also learned how to get around things.  The higher the degree, the better!  For sure when you deal with a person who knows how to use words, they can use those words in powerful ways!  I am sure they don't feel because they have the cash in hand to buy that $3,500 frame for $1,000 off  or more, that they are not hurting their fellow man. They simply got a better deal over the other guy and by all means they are worth it.  Bottom line is they had the cash and money talks.  The more money you have the better the deals! Business works the same way, the more money you (mass marketing) the more you can push your ideas on dealers, leading to the public.

A study shows 70 % of university students admit to cheating in one form or another. The same study shows the highest rates of cheating take place among business students.  Business students score lower on ethics tests than law, education, liberal arts, then medicine.  That same trust carries over to the workplace.   In other words, it is hard to get the bosses to give straight answers.   You have to be pretty smart, perhaps have a higher level of learning  or be part of the "good old boy" team or club.  No wonder Wall Street is in a crisis! Even in the white house, who do you trust?  Let's get back to something that will do you better.

When shopping and buying products and services, whom do you trust?  Despite the alarming declines in trust in so many areas, there are bright spots if you find them.  Amid the financial doom and gloom, there are pitfalls and opportunities to explore if you know where to look for them.  Look to those businesses doing the right thing - building trust and providing something that makes a difference for you.  We call it service! 

All of this can make you crazy!   So now is the time to jump on the bike you already have, get it fitted by one of our fitters and trust that it will open a whole new way of thinking. Even drop stress and perhaps save money in our troubled credit markets.  Buy that new bike if you have the cash and get a deal.   There is not much that you can do about the doom & gloom of the economy.  As in many things in life, the hardest part is taking that first step! And getting back on the bike is no different.  

Trust this!  No matter the correct fit, please understand too much, too soon can hurt you. If you have not been on the bike in a while, you can expect about two weeks to get use to the saddle alone. That is a given and then you need time for your muscles and tendons to get use to it!
Don't hit the hills too soon.

Has Wall Street had an impact on our dealers, yes! Marketing in an economic meltdown can really turn the screws tighter on all things and it has on our dealers who provide the Wobble-naught & Myo-facts sEMG/Dartfish.  However people are still coming, wanting to get their bike right.  A better investment in your body!  This is a very emotional time for many and riding a bike can be a rescue "a we can do it" attitude.  Good thinking time, as it builds your confidence.

People are looking for ways to drop the stress, get their mind off the crisis and there is no better way than jump on your bike, get focused and the world goes a way, even if for a short time.  Just riding to and from work can be the time to ride and can you vision if everyone rode a bike how much fuel we would save.  Perhaps those gas stations that ran out of gas in the south east would have had gas for the ones who really needed it.

Yes bank bailouts have us all in a tizzy.  We are a small company and we have not had the support of the banks these many years.  We have had to grow slowly on our service to make it! We didn't have the banks behind us!  They did not trust us to make it because we didn't have a portfolio.  We made it by long and hard work, just like you need to on your bike.  No 'free ride".
It takes time to get on the bike and below is a great story about cycling across the US.  

I just had a guy (Paul)  call us from San Fran, CA and explain to me that after he had a early stage of tendinitis and the inflammation he was in Boise, ID and needed help or  some type of management in hopes to finish his ride across the USA.

His ride was from Portland, OR across the USA to Maine.  
About 3,300 miles!

Paul was headed to a (chronic) tendon problem due to his bike fit and his pedal stroke! Degenerative changes had occurred within the tendon and begin to contribute more and more to his pain.  Many times we intend on doing something and the muscle strength develops more rapidly and a tendon has insufficient time to adapt to the increased loading.

Below is a list some common causes of overuse injuries:

Position on the bicycle [Perhaps knee pain is the most common problem in cycling; and most of this is due to a bad fit solution due to the saddle too high or too low, too far forward (plumb line) or backward, cranks too long, too close together or too far apart, type of pedal, pedal axle bent, cleat positing, or degree of cleat float (t00 much or not at all).

Then you have body type [ Leg-length discrepancy's of as little as 5 millimeters; having a wide pelvis placing the knees further apart and stressing the outside of the knee; excessive foot pronation (flat foot) associated with medial (inside) knee pain; an internal twist of the upper or lower leg twisting the foot with each stroke; and unbalanced muscles due to the wrong range of motion and their best line of pull leading to maltracking of the kneecap!

Perhaps the most common causes are too many miles too soon, excessive hill or speed work, and using too-big of gears.  He might have even caused his issue off the bike with his weight training activities for his big ride across the USA.

The point here is he was in trouble and needed a fix, some management that allowed him to ride the rest of 2,500 plus miles with his support group.

I first want to point out that we know there are optimum morphotype's that have anthropometric characteristics for events that suit them best e.g. flat-terrain, uphill, all-terrain, time-trial specialists.  Paul needed a all-terrain fix, with that he needed to learn what to do and when.

Our solution found a number of things wrong.  His bike fit was done by a plumb line, saddle too far forward and too low. He did not have a footbed, so his foot was not interfaced with the pedal as needed (not knowing where his foot was in space). From what he had learned, he had been informed that he should pedal heel down and that was perhaps his major issue. From our use of sEMG and understanding the the knee should not be flexed more than certain degrees and we find it funny how many people learn to pedal from their local hot shot.  The heel is not attached to the pedal so you can really change your angles from where it is in space even with the correct fit option.  "All I know is what I have heard".

I did go back to our data base and noted that he had a leg-discrepancy.  So a number of things had him just about ready to throw the towel in!  He could not reduce his mileage, so we had dial his bike in, teach him a new pedal stroke and wish him well.  We changed a number of things, and as we know it, it is never just one thing but many.

Our solution worked, he did his thing, and now contacting us, looking at becoming a dealer in the spring.  A great story and as he said, he wished the service was offered in more places. He now knows that bike stores are not really set up for service or teaching.  He also points out that he tells his story to all and that is the best marketing communication and public relation we can ask for.

  • Free PR is more important now than ever before.  We have always let our fit solutions do the talking. Our marketing communications and public relations come from the many happy folks that email us, call us, etc... that they feel so good on the bike after they got use to it.  Some have said, they had a few nasty words for us until their body got use to the fit.
  • You can take the crisis and turn it into gold.  There is no better time to ride you bike and get focused for the 2009.
  • Are you on a slim-to-none budget, if so, the fit is your best bet!  You don't have to have a new bike for 2009.  We can make you faster on the one you have.
  • When you present value on the many fit ideas, the stakes are high, make sure you are getting "Real Deal".  There are many copy cats out there, and they might not know what we know.  We have see a few dealers attempt to come up with their own methods after learning ours, even getting the Dartfish, only to not understand that the reason Dartfish hooked up with us is because of our software!
  • We all have had to cut the budget, gas is high, so why not get on the bike and save a few bucks every day.  You might even save $10 (~ 2 gals.) and that can add up to $50 per week, $210 per month, $2,520 per year and that is more than enough to keep you in repairs, tires, tubes, etc...
So if you are looking for a sound investment in yourself and want to upgrade your life, get on your bike, get it fitted and drop the stress!

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