So far this year I've given pretty much everything and anything a go that involves the use of a bike. In January I was riding a dirt bike with my Moto GP buddy Cal Crutchlow. The national championships and Herald Suntour ensured I didn't dodge road racing entirely this year and the Oceania TT championships kept my touch with getting aero. February also saw me line up in my first ever MTB race on a scorching hot Tassie Arvo out at Telosa St. In March I was back in California and I decided to through my leg over a triathlon bike and have a crack at the half Ironman in Oceanside. April was time to take part in my first ever gravel grinding event again down in socal with the Belgium Waffle Ride. Come May, my crazy buddies the Morton brothers and Taylor Phinney talked me into joining them on a five day bike adventure from Boulder to Moab. Again it was the first time I'd partaken in such an journey and again and on an entirely new bike for me, the cyclocross/mtb Cannondale Slate. So by the beginning of June I'd pretty much had a go at all things bike related and realized that being part of the Ridebiker Alliance was perfectly fitting for me. The first half of the year had clearly shown that I was not one of any of the type of riders I've mentioned above, I'm pretty average at all of them. Fortunately Scott Tedro's daughter Kinsey came up with the term "RideBiker" so I didn't need to pretend to be any of them, as a Ridebiker I could be all of them.
So what is the RideBiker Alliance? It's actually a very good question as although I signed up as a member back in February it took me sometime to really understand and appreciate just how awesome this concept is for anyone and everyone that simply loves riding bikes. There are absolutely zero barriers to entry, you don't need any bike licence or club membership, and you certainly don't have to be of any particular standard of rider. No, this is an initiative that's designed to have a membership of all walks of bicycle life and six months in that's exactly who's signed up.
In a nutshell the RideBiker Alliance provides a platform to create your own cycling gang and its individuality whilst also being apart of an ultimately world wide cult being the Alliance. Your gang might be yourself, it might be your existing club you're already a member of, it might be a new group you want to start up with your buddies, it can be whatever you want. This platform allows you to create and design you very own kit that allow even the most un fashionable designer of us to feel like Giorgio Armani. Just some minimums and paperwork necessary, but from then on, you're good to go and start designing kits.
Once you're happy enough with your kit design to have it put into production, your very own eStore is created for you. This is where things get really cool as now you're able to order your kits from the eStore and there's no restriction of how many or how few or what size combination of kits you wish to order. Not only you or your fellow gang members can order there kits, but anyone else who's apart of the RideBiker Alliance can also order your kit from your eStore. Now that's unique, simply by signing up which costs you zero you all of a sudden have your own online cycling clothing store! Don't know about you but I certainly didn't have an online bike kit store before I joined the RideBiker alliance. Well, I do now and I think that's pretty dahn awesome!! So with your kit designed and orders now able to take place you simply sit back and wait a few weeks for your pride and joy of cycling fashion designing to turn up in the mail.
The opportunity to sell your own kits to anyone and everyone who wants one without all the complications of collecting orders and money yourself aren't the only benefits of your eStore. The store is designed to provide you a platform to believe it or not be exactly that, a store. Rebates flow to your store as more and more kits are sold. This feature presents the opportunity for your gang to go out and search for sponsorship for you kit as if you're able to sell any, potential backers may be more enticed into supporting you knowing you have a following. Here you're basically starting to become a miniature version of the massive big World Tour teams whom survive on the investment of sponsors that base their decision on how much return they see for that investment. No different for your RideBiker Alliance if that's a path you choose to take, who's knows where that could take your gang, again I think that's pretty dahn cool.
Now as I've said your eStore is exactly that, your very own eStore. You are not limited to only selling cycling outfits, oh no no no, you can design and sell any range of merchandise. From baseball caps, to t-shirts, socks, the full range of lycra body covering accessories available, drink bottles, you name it. If you can put your logos on it or design something you can sell it! You could even design and sell your favorite coffee drinking mug for the all important pre-ride brew. As the RideBiker Alliance grows the range of products that can be sold on your eStore will grow with it which presents it as the perfect opportunity to use this free platform as a vehicle of creating something quite significant for your alliance moving forward. If I sound excited about this part of RideBiker Alliance it's because I am. As I said it's taken me a while to really understand just how many awesome aspects they have built into this model but I get it now and it's really really rad!! Just in the past two weeks I've added the trendy little triathlon suit Sugoi whipped up for me for Ironman Whistler. I've also had some fun modifying the initial jersey design and that's also now up on my site. My tri suit was another modification of that initial jersey so once you're happy with one design it's super easy to use that as your template for other articles of clothing. So so so so so so so easy, awesome!
Just writing about this has given me another idea of how the RideBiker Alliance could present an opportunity. Say you're a budding cycling clothing designer and you fancy yourself as being able to take over the lycra world. Instead of going to a manufacturer and having to design your kit, order a minimum number, and pay lots of money, you can join RideBiker. By simply joining you can design your kit, order as many or as few as you like, and have zero risk. You can then sit back and see how amazing your designing skills are by seeing how many people want to buy them and if it turns out nobody wants it and your design sucks it doesn't matter, design another one!! It's a perfect way to potentially kickstart your own brand or style of lycra design without investment risks that usually need to be taken. Risk free investment as the say and better still in this case there is basically no investment other than your time!
The importance of signing up the RideBiker Alliance in the first instance is also of note. By becoming a member your not only gaining access to all the advantages of having your own eStore but also the honor of being part of the Alliance. The Alliance is quickly becoming like a cult in domestic cycling with all the weekend warriors who are apart of the movement feeling a sense of camaraderie at local events. Although from different clubs, simply carrying the shield you feel a connection with people whom you would normally not have any association with. It basically breaks down another barrier encouraging socializing in our wonderful sport simply by mutually carrying that shield on your personalized kit. The shield creates a reason for you to reach out and say howdy at local events where you'll find the majority of RideBiker Alliance members. The alliance is another fantastic avenue to expand your riding social group and community which I certainly enjoy doing.
The Alliance itself has taken the "support" aspect of the RideBiker Alliance to an even higher level at selected local events. This year they had on-site mechanics at all their US Cup and Kenda Cup MTB events. I found out first hand how awesome this was as I decided to go along to a couple of local mtb races in SoCal. Derek, the mechanic on duty for the events couldn't have been more helpful with making sure I didn't go racing until he'd checked and double checked my bike for me. If that wasn't enough he even washed it for me after the race which he did on his own accord when my back was turned. I went in for a shower and came out and my bike was clean! Now that's service, I didn't even ask. He also had a selection of racing nutrition there for RideBiker members in case you forgot yours so basically you were being looked after like you where a pro mtb racer. I'm lucky enough to have that treatment with my road racing career but to have the same at a local MTB event simply for being a member of the RideBiker Alliance really knocked my socks off. That was a fringe benefit I wasn't expecting but also having now witnessed more first hand how Scott Tedro does things I'm not entirely surprized, the guy's a bit of a weapon, that's for sure.
I could go on and on and on about the RideAiker Alliance but my thumbs are getting sore from typing all this on my Blackberry. I strongly suggest if you've taken the time to read this then go to the website and sign up, it's FREE to do that!! While you're there check out my eStore and get an idea of a design that I sell not very many of!! At least you'll have more of an idea of what not to make when you're designing your own!! Anyways I don't care, one thing I'll never be is a fashion designer but I've had a blast designing my gear. Who knows, with Kona coming up I might even need to come up with something a little more Hawaiian for the big day! Rightio enough from me, I'll be proudly rocking my RideBiker Alliance shield on my kits, hope to see a few more on bodies on bikes in the future!!
Sent from my BlackBerry 10 smartphone on the Telstra Mobile network.