Confession: I’m somewhat afraid of bike shops. I’m a pretty below average mountain biker that’s in need of maintenance more often than I should be given my relatively slow rate of travel. I’m afraid of bike shops because I’ve been made to feel like a dummy more than once. Nothing is worse than going into a shop and being ignored and talked down to because you’re not some crushing, hard body.
So, when I accompanied Noah into Tomichi Cycles in downtown Gunnison, I was telling myself "just don't to touch anything." To my surprise while Noah sorted out his seat post, the other associate, an older gentleman made my feel like I was in the circle. Like I was a local (I’m not) and had been for years. He asked about the rides I’ve done, and ended up opening maps and taking me through his favorite trails in the Hartman Rocks area. He wasn’t coached or trained to do this. He just loves riding and is equally excited to talk to anyone about it. Needless to say, I’ll never ever take my bike to any other shop in the valley.
As we recapped the experience and I relayed my newfound loyalty, and Noah brought up a story that went the other way. A number of years ago he decided to try bowhunting. Without a teacher or mentor he wandered into a well known archery shop on the Front Range of Colorado. He described the same feeling of being out of place and an intimidation to ask questions or advice. That intimidation was met with annoyance and ultimately a feeling of "I don't want you in my sport" as the shop employee disappeared into the back. The message was clear. So, Noah went to Bass Pro Shop of all places and the gentlemen who helped him out stayed 1.5 hours after closing and enthusiastically educated him on everything he needed to get out into the woods. That dichotomy of experiences is a good reminder - the brand of the bow or bike is a relatively small piece of the puzzle.
Our PACT Kit represents a pretty big evolution in outdoor pooping technology and practice (yes, we just wrote those words). To build a thriving business and healthy open spaces, we need to be willing to take the time to educate the public. Newbies, vets, skeptics and people who take off all their clothes to poop. Everyone. That’s going to take partnerships with retailers that recognize that they’re not in the product business. They’re in the helping people out and making them feel good business.
Shops that spend a little extra time showing customers how something works or asking them about their adventures is the kindling for the fire that keeps us exploring. We’re all in on that. So, if you’re a retailer or have a favorite retailer who lives by these values and wants to carry some poop-kits, hit us up.
We’d love to have you and your team representing our products in your store, and we’ll put our hearts into cultivating the same kind of relationship with you that you’ve created with your community.