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  1. #1
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    Winter Bike Riding class, snow class, Suggestions?

    HI.
    I've been thinking a bit about this, I work at a bike shop, and as you all know, bike shops loose quite a bit of money during the winter. I live in Colorado, and every winter, it snows every now and then, and I was thinking of setting up a 'Learning to ride in snow and Ice' program.

    The idea is that we meet every weekend there is snow on the ground, or it's cold...

    Problem is, that it doesn't snow all the time.

    I'm thinking that we can call/email people, or just tell people that if they want to be part of the course, they can show up on a weekend that it has snow, or the conditions are right. We have an area that we can use, we (I think) provide a couple of bikes, and a couple of snow tires, and even show the difference between snow tires, large treat tires (aka dirt/mud tires), and normal tires, small tread... There's lots of stuff that could be covered, what's some of your ideas, and any other ideas on how to set this up???

    What topics should be covered?? How much should it cost, etc...??

    ~Rushlink

  2. #2
    tsl
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    It should be free. It expands your market for gear and provides customer goodwill.

    A shop ride you could use as a model is the TNUA. There's a winter riding tips page. It was on this ride last year that I learned how to ride (and how not to ride) in the snow. What I learned and practiced on that ride kept me safe and upright all through the winter.

    Had they charged for this, BTW, I would not have gone. As for customer goodwill, the shop that sponsors the ride is now my LBS of choice. I just bought a new winter bike there--$1700. I knew they knew what really works in the winter, and would help me pick what's right for the conditions and for my riding style and needs.

    Keep the lessons, advice and rides free, and the sales will follow.

    Edit: By doing this as a weekly shop ride, you eliminate the problem of having snow or not. It doesn't matter for a weekly scheduled winter ride. BTW, TNUA attracts as many as 18-20 in the middle of a snowstorm. On a weeknight. With temps in the single digits F. Naturally, a lot more (as many as 75) in nicer weather.
    Last edited by tsl; 09-30-07 at 09:45 AM.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Have you considered some sort of classroom seminar, held shortly before the first snowfall? With such timing, you'd be able to help first-time winter cyclists determine what they'll need for the winter. They can then prepare for winter riding before the first snow hits. Even those of us who have been riding in winter for a might want a brief refresher. It's also a great way to let people know of any new products that might help them. This would also be the time to get contact information for those interested and get in touch with them for a winter ride the first Saturday you have snow on the ground.
    Life is good.

  4. #4
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    Definitely free, it would make sense however, to have on hand examples of suitable products, gloves, masks, tires etc. for sale, ( maybe at special price? ) i think the goodwill would lead to increased sales. If nothing else, riding in Winter ( around here at least ) is hard on bikes, maintenance consumables sales would definitely go up if you encourage your customers to ride more in the Winter!
    “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” Robert A. Heinlein

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the input!

    After hearing all your suggestions, I think that keeping it free would be a great idea. Also holding a seminar, would be a good idea too, what other tips should i put in, as part of the seminar course?

    I'm thinking a weekly ride is a great idea, problem is though, when it snows here, there is either like an inch, or 5 feet... It's a pain, because an inch is Okay, but 5 feet is too much, and what you want is something in the middle, any suggestions?


    Thanks for that LINK!!!

    I"ll keep thinking..

    ~Rushlink

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by workingbike View Post
    Definitely free, it would make sense however, to have on hand examples of suitable products, gloves, masks, tires etc. for sale, ( maybe at special price? ) i think the goodwill would lead to increased sales. If nothing else, riding in Winter ( around here at least ) is hard on bikes, maintenance consumables sales would definitely go up if you encourage your customers to ride more in the Winter!
    btw, that's just plain mean. But it's a good idea.

    Last year, i was towing my brother, he was in a sled, i have a haro V3, and we where going about 25 mph up hills, and around corners. FUN! Also, biking DOWN sledding hills are great, not saying u should try it or anything.

    I usually ride to school and stuff, the winter is fun, TIRES HELP A LOT TOO! snow tires are best, but large tread tires are good too, i have WTB Velociraptor tires, they where pretty good.

    lol

    ~Rushlink

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