Bicycle Business Journal—A New History Starts Now.
Let’s fade back to 1950, kind of hard for me as I wasn’t yet a twinkle in my father’s eye at that point in history. Still, the world was in full swing, as were the bicycles wandering the world with happy riders. A industrious and insightful man, Bill Quinn, changed the name of the publication that he had purchased just years before to Bicycle Business Journal. With that, much of the bicycle culture changed as he helped to guide and report on it. 46 years later the words in print ended, yet he lived to an awesome 102 years old.
In today’s news, I have been appointed the monthly E-bike columnist as this mag gets reborn in the hands of John Barous, My sometimes offbeat and care-free writing and riding style will hit the printed paper once again with fresh news, reviews and mildly stated opinions, with electric-assist bikes as my subject matter. I will also be listed as an advertisement consultant, so be sure to hit me up so I can benefit more than just the T-shirts and free lunches that make-up my rewards so far from reporting on the world of bikes. This journal will be distributed free to every American bike shop manager and owner, and to the industry leaders. So the filled-in ad space will be much of the energy that supports this important publication.
Let’s make a timeline and center it around my late 60’s Schwinn Collegiate. As Ignaz and the crew were building it from scratch in Chicago, I was firm in my teenage years. Bikes and electronics were my world, but 101 octane fueled my dreams. The bike industry was cranking out multi-speed bikes and re-embracing adults to get back on their bicycles. Although at that time Bicycle Business Journal was totally off my radar, little did I know what a big impact is was making on one of my passions.
The stories are many, yet hard to find with your basic Google search. As I learn more about this important magazine, I have become deeply impressed with all that Bill did and the massive respect he earned while plying his craft. With his family’s support and contributions to this new (old?) bike publication, I fully expect it to once again rise above any expectations people had then and now. I am proud to be a part of it and hope what I add will hit the set standards burned into the memories of all that read and lived it.
As my 16th year took hold, I set aside my bicycles and raced full-speed into the culture that earned me my nickname Turbo Bob. Boosted performance and full immersion into anything mechanically advanced kept me at the racetracks and garages on a daily basis. I was obsessed and my foot rarely left the floorboard for many years after that. What a great time it was with the thrills and excitement of my dreams coming true as the revs rose. Two wheels or four, if I could make it faster, I was ready to roll. Little did I know then what my real future held for me.
One day in 1989 the fever subsided and the speeds slowed. I still loved and maintained my classic 4-wheelers, yet the blur became clearer in the windshield. I was no longer in a hurry, just finding them as a way from point A to point B. This turned out to be a major plus, as my vision of the world changed to the one I feel is important now. The next year that Schwinn came into my life, a gift from a friend. It wasn’t just the gift of a material item, it was the rebirth of a lost passion, much like the rebirth of Bicycle Business Journal will be to thousands this year.
With that Schwinn, the inner and outer workings of a bicycle started to re-infiltrate my mind. The joy of the journey started to make sense again. Not only do I still have and ride that ‘69 Collegiate, I also now have a 1960 Continental that really takes me back to my pre-teenaged years with each stroke of the pedals. In the mid 90’s I part-timed in a local Schwinn shop. The issues of Bicycle Business Journal came and went, yet I still didn’t dive too deep into the pages. Sales and the such isn’t my world, as I am a user, fixer and modifier of the electro-mechanical devices, not a seller.
During my tenure at that bike shop the final issue of the Journal must have come (1996), but I was not to notice or care. Now as I become a part of this reborn famous publication, my interest in its past are high, but not nearly as high as in its future. Its success will rest in many hands, with mine as two of them. I plan on reporting on E-bike’s big future (that is happening as I write this), yet hope I can add some history of the Journal in my articles too. To say I am excited would be easy to do.
So you know, the Bicycle Business Journal will be much to many. All parts of the bike world will be included and covered. It will continue to be a guide that shop owners can use to embrace their customer’s needs, and line their pockets with the funds it takes to keep the doors open and feed their loved ones. The bike business can be a tough one, and any help they can get to be successful is so important. Even though there are more people on bikes than ever before, the competition can be tough.
One question that might come to mind is how can this magazine be created, printed and distributed for free to all these shops and people (7500?—not to mention the on-line access to it by each and every person) ? We all know the answer is simple. You make money by spending money. So the advertisement dollars will do much to keep it active. There are great deals to be had by the first responders as the July issue starts coming together. Although tons of great products will be shown and reviewed, only in the ads will it really become apparent who supports this effort.
Also, the investment opportunities abound. I try not to talk money in my bike dealings, yet it is a big part of what makes this world turn. If you like what you see and hear, then consider being part of it. And do remember, you can contact me for any of these details if you want in, whether now on the bottom floor, or down the road when you are ready.
One of my main goals with my years of bike testing, reviewing and reporting, is to get out the word that bikes are fun, healthy and cost effective (and of course so much more than that). This new venue for me will take that to a higher level. My bike blog, Facebook page and You-Tube channel will continue on as always, being helped by this new adventure, not being hindered by it. My twice-a-year free E-bike seminar will flourish too, as I continue to promote all the that E-bikes have to offer.
The one thing that may change is my ability to help my hard working E-bike commuting wife with our life’s expenses. I will offer my time and words to the Bicycle Business Journal for free (as I have with all my bike reporting), yet as a advertising representative I have a chance to benefit. So as this publication starts this July, I do ask you contact me for the needed information on how to climb aboard this great train as it picks up speed. As you help build your business, you can help me with mine.
My E-bike education world expands, will yours? Turbo Bob.
“Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use.”—Charles Schultz, creator of the Peanuts comic strip.
The web site for the Bicycle Business Journal is still being set-up, for now, check out their Facebook page. That will be where you can see each issue in its entirety.