Awesome certainly applies, but it was so much more!
Energetic, engaging, enlightening, social, inspiring, friendly, respectful, collegial, and professional. But more than anything, it was fun!
The Toronto International Bike Show was an amazing experience for me! Having entered the bicycle biz just last April, this was my first ‘Show’ as an exhibitor, and it was so good on so many levels that it took some time to process everything that contributed to the fun.
Firstly, a tip of the hat to the organizers of the show for a truly professional job in putting together Toronto’s annual ‘showcase production’ featuring some of the best companies and retailers in the industry today.
As always, the show is the kick-off to a new season, but the importance of the bike show is dramatically on the rise as people of all walks of life are increasingly looking at pedal power beyond just sport and leisure. Bikes can solve problems and enhance one’s life, especially with the rise of the e-bike, and how they are attracting more and more people to cycling. This growing category was very much on display.
Recognition and credit must also be given to all our wonderful fellow-retailers who represent the industry in bringing its products to the public. As a first-timer, what I witnessed was mutual respect, and healthy competition. Business is competitive by nature and the bike biz is no different (especially given its racing pedigree), but each of us assembles the best team we can, and puts forth an honest effort in serving the public in our own way.
Great appreciation goes out to all the manufacturers’ representatives who came with their knowledge, enthusiasm and good-fellowship. Joe, Eric, Rob, Diego, Fernando, Rick, David – it was a great pleasure to have your presence at our booth. To you and all the other reps in attendance, thank you all very much. Your support for the show is very important, and as the market goes through this resurgence, your involvement will be more-so in the coming years.
With sincere personal gratitude, I tip my cap to the team/family at Gears. A guy can only feel proud to be a part of a terrific group of people who comprise the essence and energy of the Gears operation – they are the professionals who staff our four locations.
As we each go about serving the customers in our respective stores, we seldom interact with each other in person. The Bike Show provides an invigorating environment where we all join together to create a unified team in serving the people who show up eagerly wanting to know the latest offerings, and make good pre-season purchases.
To the Leaside crew, my thanks for your patience, knowledge, good humour and your general acceptance of my (sometimes, if not often) bumbling ways. There’s no team I’d rather be part of.
Ira and Kevin have built a highly-respected retail and service enterprise as they provide the daily leadership that keeps us all on track to succeed. My thanks to them for welcoming me to team, including me in the show and allowing me to have so much fun helping to build our e-bike business and the E-Bike Emporium blog.
Speaking of which, there was an impressive electric presence at the show confirming the direction the entire industry is going. An incredible number of people took advantage of the test track to try out an e-bike, and many of them were there to buy one.
Again, Gears is well-positioned for the future and the building wave of demand in e-bikes by featuring the greatest number of brands (all high-quality) and the deepest inventory in Ontario (if not the country).
Lastly, but most importantly, to the people who attended, thank you. Continued interest from committed cyclists, renewed interest from previous cyclists and new-found interest from a growing group of soon-to-be cyclists – you are all important on more levels than you know, as are the bicycles that interest you.
Your health is not only important to you and your loved ones, it is important to society as a whole. Your example to your kids, family and friends, and strangers too, contributes importantly in the conversion to an electro-mobile city and region. You are also important to car drivers (even the ones who don’t yet know it), and to commercial drivers of all kind, because your growing presence on the streets and in the city not only reduces auto congestion and helps the environment, you help make Toronto, Ontario and the world a more liveable place.
Thank you all. Safe riding – see you at next year’s show!