There is a fog coming down, and it is cold. Icy cold. The cars have a hard frost on them, and the wind coming in over the golf course is biting. It is dark. Proper, you can see all the stars in the sky dark. All the same, we are in the hotel car park, behind a sprinter van as the guys get their bikes out. Lighting wise, when everyone switches on to full power, it is like a football stadium. It is time for a road ride.
This was Core Bike. An industry only show for the UK Market. A few distributors grouped together, and joined forces with cycling event organiser Patrick Adams to show their latest wares and invite their customers to a select location (a luxury spa hotel next to Silverstone race track) before the season gets underway. It kicks things off for many and there are other similar shows elsewhere.
I was presenting our new products, and more importantly networking and socialising with the guys who actually sell the products into the shops. Which brings me to the ride.
The majority of sales reps are riders at heart. In fact the majority of the industry are riders in one respect or another. That is both positive and negative. Tonight it was positive. Everyone egged each other on. The encouragement being mutual. The reps, a sales manager from Fizik and myself. Off into the freezing night.
Today I am at core bike, a show specifically for distributors and retailers. It is kept deliberately small, and takes place in a hotel right near the Silverstone Racing Circuit. Whittlebury Hall is the venue, and the event takes place over 3 days. Represented here are most big brands, but not all (Shimano is not here, for example, and nor, to my knowledge are SRAM). The show is an opportunity for the distributors of products to talk directly to the retailers. It is a sales show, in that respect, rather than something like Eurobike which, from my point of view is more about presenting new products and whetting the appetite of the end users via the press, while we have the opportunity to catch up with all of the distributors Worldwide, who tend to chose that show as being the one to attend. Here, it is far more personal, and many brands have representatives helping their distributors. For the local retailers, this is a massive thing, as it is unusual to have someone from the brand there answering questions.
The show lasts for three days, and is organised in the most part my Patrick Adams (of Mountain Mayhem and Sleepless In the Saddle fame). His contacts within the industry proving that he still knows how to put on a very good even and can get the right people there, at the right time.
I am presenting our brand for the distributor, and it is a good opportunity to exchange ideas with their sales staff.
I will try to get a lot of photos today.