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Monday, April 21, 2008

NEA Earth Day Expo

The National Education Association (NEA) held an Earth Day expo in their beautiful HQ at 16th and M NW, and they invited us to loiter with some bikes, and get folks charged up about Bike to Work Day. I don't have a page on the event to link to, but I did find this Earth Day resource kit for teachers on their site, and thought it looked pretty cool and useful.
We just unfurled our Vision and Mission statements, so I thought I'd look at the NEA's, too. "Our vision is a great public school for every student." Can't argue with that.

We loaded a coupla bikes into Phil's Burley trailer, I chased on a Breezer Citizen loaded down with panniers, three messenger bags hanging off of me, and we coasted down 16th.
We got to talk to dozens of people, show them a few of our bikes and accessories, and of course, beg them to sign up for Bike to Work Day (Free!! No obligation!! Free t-shirt/bagels/water bottle/iced tea!!! Raffle bike giveaways!!!). Phil has these ladies convinced, I think.So, we talked to a goodly number of folks who commute in from the suburbs, don't bike, and definitely don't bike to work. We had three bikes on display -- the Breezer Citizen, a Specialized Crossroads Sport step-through, and a Masi Soulville. The most common inquiry was, "I'm looking for a bike, just to go out on the trails on weekends, with a big poofy saddle, and $300 or so." Given those criteria, the Crossroads was a huge hit. We, as an industry, need to keep working on the most common objection -- "I can't sit on a bike seat."

The Soulville in beige is a visual stunner, and even the most bike-indifferent passersby were taken by it's obviously stylish looks. And the pricetag, more than double the Crossroads, did not seem to faze too many folks. People will pay for pretty, and this is a notion that is anathema to the utilitarian bent of the bike industry.

The Breezer is priced between the two, and a few cyclists looked them over, but the casual cyclist is not going to really appreciate the value of all the included accessories. Internal hubs, however, were a real crowd-pleaser.

Well, that's about all. Pencils down.

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