Friday, April 24, 2009

Said 'my,my' from the spider to the fly.....

When you build bikes there's two aspects of the buisness: # 1, the fun part-putting frames together in the shop. # 2 the selling part . This is done through the media, the internet and at various trade shows . Another part of selling is word-of-mouth, but that dosen't qualify for this next chapter in which I conjure up all the dread I feel for this part of the buisness , my friggin' buisness. Selling......I don't know, I just never really felt comfortable with the concept. At some of these trade shows, not all of them thankfully, I feel like we are sitting in out booths just waiting for someone to walk in-just like a spider waiting for a fly to hit the web and be tonights dinner. This part of the buisness to me is so not what I got into this line of work for. To me, the product should sell itself on its own merits, not something I spew out of my mouth or write on my website . Sadly, this is too idealistic of an approach in this world but i do believe that the majority of my bikes are sold because somebody saw them being ridden somewhere and it made a positive impression on them.....not me, the bike. Sure, I want to be very good to the folks that put their trust in me to build them something that most likely they saved a long time for and sifted through a number of choices before giving me a call. It's a tough balance , really- I want to be successful at what I do but I don't want to get to a place where I hate myself because of what I have to do to sell my wares. When I start interviewing myself on my own website I give anyone reading this permission to put a bullet in my head-you would be doing me and the world a favor. Don't get me wrong, I know that any craft like this can be a popularity contest and things like catchy graphics and what I call "logo-wear" go a long way to build your name. For me its different-I spend much more time at races than in shows or updating my website. I want to be part of the cycling community , not just feed off of it. Fullfilling a need to me is much more purposeful than creating something for someone to parade around like some priceless painting ...........but still, some of the folks who build these rolling works of art doing it for the same fundamental reason I build racing bikes - we love the bicycle. We love the bicycle more than popularity, more than prosperity , more than having things like a retirement or health insurance. it's more than what we want to do.....its what we cannot help ourselves from doing. With that kind of motivation and purity of intent there is a good chance that if you have something built by one of these folks, there will be a lot of them in the bike.......consider it a gift -a gift that goes both ways as your trust in them and validation of their craft is the ultimate gift.

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