Out with the old, in with the new
Well 2018 is a wrap. Crazy to think 2019 will mark 19 yrs since I first opened PRW in the 800 square foot second floor location on 109st. A lot to reflect on, but don’t want to ramble on like I usually do. Each year we hear about how the internet is putting small businesses out, how if you don’t sell online you can’t compete and how Amazon is the future, etc, etc. Sure this may hold true in some regards but the lonely “Brick and Mortar” shop is not dead and not going away anytime soon. Why? Well it has a lot to do with you, our loyal fans and supporters who value what we do and how we do it. Without you we would go by the wayside like so many shops have in Canada and the US this year. Yes, the products we sell matter, but I feel the key is how we sell these products. Offering insight into each brand and the close relationships we carry with our partners. We are not a big store and we don’t sell that many bikes. As I say, we just sell the “right” kind of bikes. Bikes we love to build and that each of us would ride ourselves. Each build is exciting to me and to our customers as we talk it out and explain the details of the bike and the fit. I would not change this process for anything, this is how we build our relationships not only with our clients, not just in Edmonton but Canada-wide.
So after 19 yrs am I getting tired of it? Not at all. Sure, there are days I don’t feel like working but there are few if any days I don’t want to come to work. I still like bikes. I still love building and fitting them, and I still love riding them as much as I can too (occasionally even racing them). Being surrounded by staff who love bikes as much as I do is a key aspect as well, because if you don’t love bikes you can’t work here. After 19 years, all of these elements are why a Road Shop has survived in the most northern metropolis in the world. A place that is the same latitude as Moscow and usually still has snow in May. And yes, we still only sell premium road bikes year round, because, if you are like me, you think of bikes and riding year round. Sure its -20 out, but there are places you can fly to and ride your bike anytime of the year. Always willing to share my knowledge over a beer about places to ride all over the world.
Regardless of what the bicycle media may portray it was a great year and people still love road bikes. This is not going to change anytime soon. Honoured to be voted by Canadian Cyclist as one of The Best Bike Shops In Canada, seventh year in a row. Back in 2013 we were featured in Cyclingtips as one of the ten Coolest Bike Shops in the World. Something that blew my mind and I was deeply honoured. In 2018 Cyclingtips once again did a feature of 10 of the Coolest Bike Shops in the World. We were not featured on the list, as we already were in 2013, but once again our fans reached out to them nominating us so we took honourable mention at making the list again. Features like these really are proof of the support network we have globally for our little shop in Edmonton. I guess next time my kids ask me if I am famous, I can maybe stretch the truth a bit and say yes.
So much for not rambling on. See you in 2019.