BLOOMINGTON, MN (BRAIN) Feb 21, 10:49 MT—Quality Bicycle Products honored an Idaho retailer and a Georgia component maker at its VIP event during last weekend's Frostbike event here.
Scott Fitzgerald, owner of Fitzgerald's Bicycles in Victor, Idaho, was chosen to receive the Clay Mankin Award. QBP presents the annual honor to a shop owner who makes significant contributions to advance the bicycle industry.
QBP also honored component maker L.H. Thomson as its supllier of the year. The company was selected for its long-term partnership with QBP, best-in-class products and services, and achievements in bicycle advocacy and environmental stewardship. President Brian Thomson accepted the award.
Located in Macon, Georgia, L.H. Thomson manufactures seatposts and stems for road and mountain bikes.
QBP president Steve Flagg said, “Thomson has always modeled an IBD-friendly approach and consistently been able to maintain the best quality components over the years. They meet our high standards for partnership while continually innovating products that excite dealers and their customers.”
QBP noted that Thompson supports national and regional cycling organizations such as IMBA, SORBA, CAMBR Goneriding, Epic Rides and MORC. They lower environmental impact by using low-impact packaging, small master cartons and domestic shipping. Thompson manufactures all its products in the USA.
Retailer honored for advocacy
Fitzgerald was chosen because of his accomplishments as an independent retailer and long history as a bicycle advocate, said QBP's advocacy director, Gary Sjoquist.
"The Mankin award recognizes retailers who get out of their shops to make a difference in their communities," said Sjoquist. "Scott Fitzy has done this and more, as he's leading the charge to gain access for fat bikes in our national parks."
Recently, Fitzgerald helped negotiate a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Idaho State Snowmobile Association that lets local fat bike riders share snowmobile trails when they purchase a Fat Bike Grooming Sponsor sticker. Additionally, he partnered with Sjoquist to host The Fat Bike Summit in West Yellowstone last month. The Summit gathered land-use planners, rangers, and representatives from QBP and the bike industry to assess the potential impact of fat bikes on public lands and the local economy.
Fitzgerald also founded the Teton Freedom Riders, a volunteer group dedicated to sustainable trail construction, maintenance and safety.
Additionally, he helped launch Victor Velo, an organization that promotes cycling events to stimulate economic development and encourage healthy living. Related efforts include co-founding the Moosecross Cyclocross Festival and the Victor Cross Series. He also spearheaded a campaign to develop the Victor Bike Park. In 2012, he relocated Fitzgerald’s Bicycles from nearby Jackson Hole, Wyoming to Victor.