Austin Area: Community Ride – Sat., Aug. 4th, 7:00 a.m.!

So, come ride with us!  It’s been way too long since we have had an Easy Street community ride so now it’s time.  Bring your friends and family, no matter what they ride, and join us for a lovely early-morning ride down the South Walnut Creek Trail and back.  It is mostly shady and … it’s an “out and back,” so if you get tired, you can just turn around and head back the way we came.  Plus, we leave nobody behind.  There will be a sweep who will accompany you back to the starting point if you decide that’s what you want to do.

 

 

 

In honor of our friends from the Pflugeride Social Riding Group who we hope will join us, we are starting at the north end of this trail.  This means the Austin Tennis Center, 7800 Johnny Morris Rd., Austin, TX  78724.  The ride is approximately 7.3 miles south to Govalle Park, and then we get to use the rest room, drink water, rest, chat (now that we have woken up), and turn around and head back.  It is mostly shady and is a nice wide paved trail wandering through trees and grassland.  This ride is purely a social ride.

It will be wheels down at 7:00 a.m. in order to beat the heat.  Bring water, sunscreen, snacks, whatever you need!  Wear a helmet!  Spread the word … we would love to meet more folks.  If you have questions for Mike, he will be there to answer them.

If you have questions about this event, call Rebecca @ 512-789-4118.  If the weather is questionable, either look on Facebook for an announcement or call that cell phone number just listed.  Hope to see you there!

Visiting the new shop …

I thought it was just about time I got up to see the progress being made on the new shop and ride some of the trails in the area and meet with my Executive Party-Planning Committee!  So glad I came.  The shop is looking good; very bright and clean looking.  Our signature green, white and black colors are in evidence, Mike and Micah consulting at every turn.  I feel just a little disappointed that we are going to have to put off some of the more artistic touches — especially for the bathroom, so enthusiastically discussed on Facebook — but we will get those eventually.

I did get to ride the trails this morning, leaving Mike to wield hammer and saw as he works on building a platform to display our lovely ‘bents in the windows.  My oh my!  What an extensive trail system!  I had LOTS of opportunities to get lost and tried to take advantage of all of them.  🙂  The benefits of my meandering path included seeing lovely neighborhoods and having a number of conversations with friendly people who I accosted along the way to see if I could figure out where in the world I was and which direction I should go to complete what I thought was a loop.  (This tends to be my favorite part of going on a relaxed ride in unknown territory.)  The prize for friendly conversation, however, goes to a woman who was out working in her back yard garden bordering the Cottonbelt Trail and overheard my conversation with another bicyclist.  She offered to be of any help that she could… including inviting us in for water and to use her bathroom.  I was very impressed and told her she got my gold star award for friendliest bicycle support person for the day.

Finally turned on my phone’s GPS and, though she directed me to go in the exact opposite direction that my evidently untrustworthy intuition urged, made it back to Cross Timbers Park from where I could find my way back to the shop.  YAY!

Look forward to seeing you out on the trails,

Rebecca, ESR Minister of Culture (etc.)

 

Glamping

It is rare for me to take vacations, but I usually have fresh ideas when I do.  A few months ago I went out to the Davis Mountains in west Texas.  I had my trusty P-38 along and used it to move around the campgrounds at the park, but it was not much use on the more rugged hiking trails they have there.  There was a significant mountain biking trail there, 11 miles round trip, and I thought about how some of the all-terrain trikes we sell might do there, like the ICE Full Fat and Adventure and the TerraTrike All-Terrain.  I also thought about bikes like the AZUB MAX and the Mini.  (I expect the next bike I get will be a fully-suspended USS Mini, just for the heck of it.)  Given these new choices in off-road recumbents, the wealth of trails we have in our Texas state parks becomes more of an option for the adventuresome rider.

When I visualize shop events, I remember the advice from Jane Knight who held that people can ride their bikes wherever, but what they really like at events is meeting with other people. Riding is nice, and the exploration of new trails is something you can’t do at home, but we need a chance for people to interact at their own pace.  Parks are nice, but I expect that many of my customers aren’t the “roughing it” sorts.  Some drive RV’s.  Maybe they’d like it better with some creature comforts provided.  So this vision starts to form.  “Glamping,” or Glamorous Camping, came to mind.  I thought of supported bike tours where someone sets up your tent and cooks your food.  (Rebecca adds: Ok, ok, now don’t get too excited.  The vision does not extend quite that far — yet!)

So how about a glamping trip weekend?  We set up in a state park.  You bring your RV, or else a tent, or you rent a shelter. Depending on the park’s facilities, we’d get a common area cabin with a bathroom and a kitchen, or else work with what we’d bring. At least some meals would be provided, giving you more time to play.  Bring the right trike or bike and you can explore the trails.  Or else ride the quiet park roads.  Beyond that, we’d arrange for outings in the area, like carpooling on a winery tour, or shopping, etc. Maybe we’d have a tech clinic, invite industry folks to share knowledge, what else?  Or else just hang out in the park and walk around. Facilities, amenities, and off-site recreation options varies by park, but we’ve got lots of parks to choose from, and I’ve got customers all over the state.  Something would be close to someone.

Many of my customers prefer paved trails, but there are only so many of them.  Not everyone has good equipment for riding rougher trails, but that too is variable.  The right tires make a big difference.  Nearly any trike would clear most obstacles, trails vary widely in roughness.  Having a sense of adventure and willingness to take on a challenge is a factor, but I know that isn’t everyone.  From a business standpoint I’d just as well develop interest in good off-road recumbents and the off-road trails that they open to recumbent riders.  I’d want to charge for the event.  Working to make money is my job and I’d plan to work to support attendees.  I’ve felt for some years that event support is a direction that specialty bike shops need to go in, I just need to learn how to make it profitable.

Does this sound like something interesting to you? Well, we are going to find out!  See what we have been working to put together in the next section of this newsletter.  Every detail is not yet worked out, but there is enough information so I think you will be able to decide if this sounds like fun to you.  I hope so.  And — it’s not too late to throw your ideas into the mix.

Come Ride with the Eiffel Benders

Come join EASY STREET in Paris, Texas
When?     Friday, July 14, 9:00 a.m.

Where?    The Love Pavilion, Paris, Texas

2025 S. Collegiate Dr., Paris, TX

What?     Easy Street Recumbents will be showing up with a van full of ‘bents for a demo, a ride to Blossom and back on the Trail de Paris, followed by socializing back at the Pavilion with cold watermelon.  This is all to support the formation of a new ‘bent riding club, The Eiffel Benders, brainchild of local ‘bent enthusiast, Susan Barackman.

We would love to have your support!  You know how helpful it is for new ‘bent riders to have experienced ‘bent riders to talk to.  PLUS — it should be a lot of fun.

AND — this is the weekend of the Tour de Paris which, this year, includes the Paris Balloon and Music Festival!

Come prepared to spend the weekend!
What else to know?   I have blocked 5 rooms at two of the local hotels for Thursday and Friday nights.

Call:  The Days Inn Paris at 903-784-8164 or Paris Inn & Suites at 903-706-5303 and mention you want to rent a room out of the Easy Street block of rooms.  I don’t know how long they will hold them for us, so think about doing it right away!

If you’re not riding the Tour de Paris, but staying over, come hang out with us at our vendor booth the next morning.  Just another opportunity to spread that recumbent gospel!

And, WOW!    We have received SUCH enthusiastic support from the Lamar County Chamber of Commerce, the Paris Visitor & Convention Council, as well as local bike shop, Gear Down Bikes.  Looking forward to meeting all these great people when we get there!

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