It just so happened that the day BRAIN's West Coast sales rep Peter Kirkpatrick and I chose to visit companies in the Boulder/Denver area was the same day the biggest early season storm in more than a decade blew in. As the snow steadily fell, our appointments seemed to fall victim to something similar to the "no friends on a powder day" mantra, but we still managed to fit in a few before I decided to hightail it to DIA and hope for a flight out. Fortunately, I nabbed a seat on an earlier departure and was off to sunny California before the real delays and cancellations began.
Just a few pics since Mother Nature cut our trip short:
Ellen Hall, marketing director at CatEye North America in Boulder, shows us the new Orbit Spoke Light. The $10 (retail) LED light fits on any 32- or 36-inch spoke and complements the Loop, another new $10 LED light that can attach anywhere on the bike. Cateye also has a new cycling computer, the Adventure Wireless, which is based on the popular wired model from several years back. The Adventure has an altimeter to measure vertical distance, as well as slope. The Adventure Wireless will be available next spring. Another new product, the Hybrid headlight, runs on stored solar energy in a rechargeable battery with backup from a standard AA battery. The rechargeable side has a capacity of up to six hours while the alkaline battery can run for 30 hours. Retail is $60.
PK makes sure our 2wd Dodge Charger is all ready to tackle the roads on the way to our next destination. Good work PK. I'll just stand back here and supervise.
With time to kill, we decided to stop into Doug Emerson's iconic University Bikes on Pearl Street in Boulder for an impromptu tour. The service area was buzzing despite the snow outside and the shop is packed full of inventory. Ubikes has done well this year despite the recession, and is running the same levels of inventory as last year having even picked up new brands, like Cannondale. They have, however, scaled back on ordering high-end bikes where sales have softened. Ronie, the fit department manager, showed us the remodeled space that opened about six months ago, which provides a private area for customers to go through the fitting process as well as some of the interesting vintage bikes and bike paraphernalia that Doug has collected over the years.Thanks Ubikes!
We also squeezed in lunch with Dave Trendler, marketing and publicity manager for Velopress, who said that sales in his department are up 50 percent so far in 2009 (or 22 percent if you don't count figures from the rerelease of a couple popular titles). Velopress is poised to break the $2 million mark for the first time ever this year, and estimates sales of $2.7 million next year. Why? Trendler thinks it could be linked to the "funemployed," people who are out of work, but are determined to make the most of their time off and train, making many of Velopress' training guides relevant to this crowd. Also, in tough times, Trendler believes athletes are prone to dropping their coaches and using books to train instead.