In this episode of the Shift Up podcast, host Arleigh Greenwald sits down with Joe Nocella from 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, NY for an exciting discussion about the much anticipated Bike Shop Day 2018. Joe is no stranger to Shift Up as he has joined the discussion previously to discuss building an inclusive bike shop where women and the marginalized feel welcome. In this conversation, Arleigh and Joe use the opportunity to discuss a unique event in the cycling world, Bike Shop Day, which is next slated for December 1, 2018. The aim of the event is simple: to enable the local bike shop to get back to finding its place of success as a local powerhouse within in the community through engaging people to rediscover the love of cycling and start conversations on how to bring about real change in the industry.
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To kick things off, Joe gives an interesting synopsis of how this whole concept even came to be since last December he and the team at his shop pioneered this event which got tremendous feedback across the US. As Joe explains, Hope, 718’s shop manager (who is no stranger to managing projects and who is involved in the Brooklyn music scene), started talking about the impact and hype around Record Store Day a special day where all local record stores in the area host special day-only events where bands have special releases to promote local record stores. Due to the unique excitement and success of the idea over the last 10 years, the 718 shop wanted to adapt the concept to the cycling world, aiming at helping to create both excitement and awareness. His intention was really to pioneer a way to get people inside the shop (to produce low-hanging fruit), to give people something to talk about and to find a way to get sponsors involved with the hope of getting other local shops involved over time.
After the 2017 event the,y received great feedback as shops were sharing how they had adapted the concept to engage their local communities, even using it as a way to meet social needs within the community. While the practical purpose was to get people in the door and to get people excited about cycling, it was also intended to be a platform for shops to focus on people that the bike industry often forgets about. Simply put, they were looking for a way to start a discussion and to promote equality.
As Joe and Arleigh also touch on, the intended ethos of the event is also aimed at fueling the renaissance already taking place within the cycling world. With so many local shops looking to see real change take place and create a voice for the marginalized, they realize this is not likely to come through the efforts of major retailers or brands. Therefore there is no official sponsor or branding by any major retailer. Though sponsors do have a place in the events, the idea is for local shops and vendors to find a way to create excitement about the event in their community through hosting special activities or by having special event-only merchandise or giveaways. On the heels of opening her own bike shop in Denver, Arleigh shares how the Bike Shop Girl Family Cyclery will be participating in Bike Shop Day 2018 by having kid-friendly events and a women’s, trans, femme class which will kick off on December 1st. The goal as Joe shares is to have 100 shops across the US participate in some way. The intention is not to duplicate the 718 flavor of the event but rather to have other shops who will just find ways to get people involved, capture the ideas for others to celebrate and find a way to move the needle in the local community since everyone is at a different place but everyone is looking to build a better bike industry.
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