Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A "Quality" Time!

by Don Warren, Category Manager

This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Quality Bicycle Products' winter dealer event called Frostbike. The opportunity to attend came up for me because Eric Anastasia, our bicycle sales manager, and his wife had just taken delivery of a new family member : the 2009 Ethan Paul edition. So I thought I would share with you a few bits from the show.

This being my first Frostbike, initially I worried about how cold Minnesota could be, but delighted that the temperature was above my threshold of 0 F degrees sans wind for each the 3 days there. We even got 5" of soft fluffy white stuff (Rivaled Utah powder) on Friday night to make the theme FROSTBIKE match the event.

Eric told me just a few things about the event, but I did know I was to talk with bicycle dealers about our line of security products we have to offer. During the 3 days, I had the pleasure to meet a lot of people who run shops from across the country. We had tons of interest in the Kryptonite products. I was able to advise the dealers of the improvements we made in our New York chain series and NEW New York Liberty chain. I also previewed a new product we will be launching soon. The atmosphere was charged, even with the tuff economic times we're in; Dealers felt they were doing ok, considering, which is a good sign.

Ok, enough about product, now the little things you think about when traveling to an event... how to I get from here to there, where should I stay, go to eat and all that. Well, from the minute I landed to the last minute before being dropped of at the airport I was so impressed with the way the event was organized! The hospitality was awesome. I think almost every QBP employee was working to support the show so I knew quickly that if I needed something I could just ask for help.

The food there was spot on and the after-show time Micro-beer(s,s,s,..) offerings were well received. They also had a nighttime event for the dealers to try which was an obstacle course set up to test-ride a Surly Pugsley’s. This bike had 3.7” wide tires. What an off-road piece of art and I’m told it rides well too...I obviously thought it would be poor taste on my part to climb over some visiting dealer to get my turn on the bike.

The office/distribution center was unlike any I have visited in the US. Their automation of handling orders from receipt to shipping goods on a truck was impressive, but what struck me the most was QBP has really taken responsibility for their impact on the environment. Their distribution center (DC) / offices has achieved a LEED “Gold” certification for being “GREEN”. Check it out here. The land they built on is next to a state park and in fact they have running/riding trails right outside their doors. Boy would that be nice and I’m jealous. One other important thing to mention is QBP supports many efforts globally to promote cycling and help others in need. I learned a lot.

I now know why QBP has become a great partner to so many bicycle shops around the country and the cycling manufacturers they support. Hopefully I can make it back next year if my boss let’s me 8:).


Mr. Motorcycle said...

Glad you had a good time in my hometown Minnesota! Glad you didn't freeze to death either. Today is a balmy 38. Tomorrow forecasts more of that white fluffy frozen stuff. 6-7 inches. Boo Hoo.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Nice place to try in the summer me thinks too!
It was looking pretty brown & dry on the ground and lakes there Friday when I arrived. I understand March usually is a busy snow time so Pux phil must be right this year!- Don