Soaking in the Italian sun
the BIKE Festival in Lago di Garda is the European equivilent to the Sea Otter int he US. It is the un-offical kick off to the biking season and happens to take place in one of the more beautiful locals in Europe. Nestled in South-Tirol, the Gardasee is the destination for many Trans-Alp crossings, as it was the first end point for the first Trans Alp race.
To be honest, it is little festival and more big Industry hype, the organizers included. So why attend on behalf of IF? As many times before, I have found there is an audience for our product almost anywhere we go. People who you wouldn't expect stop and study our bikes with admiring eyes, their passion for riding comes through in their appreciation for the handcrafted bikes on display. So why aren't they riding a custom bike?
Representing the Crown
I see a combination of factors, one I have beaten the drum this on one many times, that of price. The German market has seen such violent price erosion that consumers are trained to pay bottom Euro for a bike, forgoing many other factors over the price tag.
Secondly it is the media. the media over here tests in laboratories, not in the real world. You can't quantify craftsmanship, artisan, nor the imperfects that make up perfection, therefor run of the mill aluminium and carbon Chinese bikes win so called 'Tests" with out any regards to real benefits for the consumers. Not too mention they are not open for unconventional thinking like single speeds nor twentyniners (although I am sure some outside the media would like to keep it that way ;-))
So the best way for us to build our brand is to hit these events to connect with those who get it. To keep beating the drum, and spreading the message and to show that there is a real viable option to the Xerox copied, re-branded, bullshit that comes out of the sweat factories of the far east. Rides that embody the spirit of riding and offer a lot more that hyped up marketing jargon.
Besides, I love good espresso, wine and food, do you really need any other reason to come to Italy???
Day 2 tomorrrow.