It's a new year and ABBZ wants to push the envelope and see positive change in our small cycling industry. We recently picked up the latest edition of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News (January 2020). Here is what Founder James Stanfill had to say:
Dear Bicycle Retailer and Industry News
I have been in this industry for nearly 30 years, having worked for retailers in and outside of our industry. While in the industry I worked in sales and service, for brands in technical roles and have seen a lot of our industry, including the good and the bad. My experience is not limited to our country's borders…
I have been an avid reader of the magazine both online and print for a long, long time. You have published words I have written and I thank you for that.
In my 30 years, most of the time only a small group of folks knew who I was, or cared about what I had done... mechanics tend to stick together. Since forming the PBMA, my name has been in the news and I have been privy to many discussions, and in these last 4-years I have seen the good and the absolutely terrible.
I was told I made a bad decision because I wouldn't accept what essentially was a bribe to ignore a large segment of the PBMA's audience. This came directly from a former director of everyone’s beloved Interbike tradeshow.
I have been lied to by leaders of companies in our industry that are For-Profit as well as leaders of organizations in our industry that are Non-Profit. These lies directly tied to our freethinking nature and a lack of financial motivation. You have to consider, everyone seems to be always thinking about "what's in it for me". Some of these companies and organizations should really be thinking about how they can foster a better environment for industry success instead of personal gains. Our nature is to put members first, despite the personal sacrifice or lack of cash in the pocket.
The PBMA has been excluded and purposefully ignored because we are freethinking, non-conforming and forward thinking. Those terms and ideals are very scary to organizations, companies and people who absolutely demand control.
The article below is in your January 2020 print magazine page 29, “Through the Grapevine” and references the brand new bicycle industry trade show called the Big Gear Show. A show that your own online survey suggests the dealer base the NBDA is trying so hard to represent simply isn't interest in attending.
There is a comment calling some commenters "petty". I assume this is your Publisher Marc Sani referencing a dialog between myself others and another who were asking serious questions. I’m all for fucking around sometimes but the questions asked by myself and others deserve answers.
When an organization such as the NBDA makes a decision to outright endorse something, a lot of assumptions are made, and some even noted as likely within the comments on that thread your piece references. They are getting paid, they will push attendance – but why, that is all anyone wanted to know. Nobody even asked if they will be "allowed" to attend CABDA, I suppose we will find out in a couple weeks.
Taking money for the simple fact you need money is akin to standing on the curb with a sign.
I am most disturbed that despite an ownership change, the message and vision of your magazine mostly has not. The news at times does not feel unbiased. The constant stark defense of anything the NBDA, People for Bikes or anything referencing Interbike is really disturbing, when the Bike League is simply ignored and CABDA just sort of tolerated.
At times Marc is such a defender that as a reader I can’t help but wonder, why not get out and experience some other things the industry offers? It is now 2020 and our world needs editors and publishers who are connected to the true happening in our retail landscape.
The comment thread on the original article (click here to read the original announcement at Bicycle Retailer and Industry News Online) even included outright defense from the later to-be-announced new show director. Just 10 days later your magazine announces his appointment as NEWS.
It's been explained to me how the website works, things that are announcements go to announcements not to the news reel… this was posted as news and I think intentionally because it’s the old boys club looking after one another once again. Similar things have happened "by accident" on behalf of the NBDA.
My point is, if you’re calling my comments or me petty… how about the guy who is defending a show he knows he runs but from the point of view the he just simply believes in it?
I don’t wish the show any ill will, I just wish as an industry we could be a bit more transparent for the sake of betterment for everyone.
I have to scratch my head and wonder, are we really trying to move forward to better the state of our industry, or are we trying to make sure our pals continue to have jobs and through those pals keep scratching each others backs?
I myself am truly disappointed and will find other sources for true unbiased information. I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.
Owner – Kyle Cyclery
Founder - A Better Bike Biz
President – Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association