PeopleForBikes retailers in action: Pennsylvania’s Bikesport

January 23, 2014

As any rider knows, bike shops are the hub of the cycling community. They are the hub of the PeopleForBikes community too. We have nearly 1,000 retailer members spreading the word about PeopleForBikes, bringing new riders into the movement, and collecting donations to help fund our Community Grants program.

One of our member shops—and the winner of our recent member drive contest—is Bikesport out of Trappe, PA. Owner Ginny Politz was kind enough to answer a few questions about her store and PeopleForBikes.

PFB: Tell us a little bit about Bikesport:

GP: Our shop started in 1990. We are about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. We have a huge trail network that is within one mile of us. Our space is about 3,000 square feet. We have six full-timers who work all year, and another 12 seasonal staff members.

How have your customers reacted to PeopleForBikes?

Getting our customers excited about PeopleForBikes has everything to do with how we invite them to sign the petition or get to the website. Without a huge explanation, I ask them if they feel as strongly as I do that our government allocate some of the money it spends on roads and bridges to also include safe cycling. If so, please sign our petition and go to the website to see how PeopleForBikes passes on these concerns by gathering support from as many people/cyclists as possible.

How do you keep your employees excited about PeopleForBikes?

It’s a goal of mine to get my staff more involved in advocacy. I report to them all the exciting things I am doing and I express to them that I don't feel I am really accomplishing a lot for safe walking and cycling in our area, but that I hope it lights a fire under the cyclists I know to follow suit. Last year one of my staff, a student at Lees McRae College, was required to attend the National Bike Summit in Washington for part of his curriculum. I was not there last year, but he couldn't wait to get home for spring break to tell our staff and me everything he learned. The excitement is contagious. I saw others who work at our shop show a true interest.

What are some unique ways that Bikesport has reached out to new PeopleForBikes supporters?

Bikesport is known for our community programs and involvement in local advocacy, racing, organizing rides, and promoting cycling at large corporate health fairs, sustainability events and more. We try to take the PeopleForBikes clipboard petition with us everywhere!

Do you have any big plans for Bikesport in 2014?

I just accepted a board position with a local advocacy group called Communities in Motion. We have partnered with them on many events, most importantly the Bike to Work Challenge which we both support in our area. Our shop is changing many of the events we support to newer and better chances of promoting safe cycling. We're also one of the key bike shop sponsors for the Mountain Bike National Championship at Bear Creek Ski Resort in August. We have found that our race team sponsorships bring a lot of activity to our store and the enthusiasm for mountain, road and cyclocross racing attracts a happy and healthy bunch of cyclists to our shop.

Besides all of this, next week we begin using our new cloud-based point of sale system. We love to be state-of-the-art at Bikesport. We will be able to walk around our store with an iPad and do everything with the customer and never have to walk up to a cash register area.

Everyone who works at Bikesport is a cyclist of one type or another, from racers to trail riders to road racers to charity riders. This keeps us connected to our customers. We recently were named one of America's Best Bike Shops, which gives us some clout amongst our vendors and recognition from peers in the industry. Very exciting!

A big thanks again to Ginny and her crew over at Bikesport! In a new monthly segment, we’ll keep you updated on shops like Bikesport that are going above and beyond to spread the word about PeopleForBikes and help improve bicycling in their own communities. You can find the PeopleForBikes Retailers near you over at our Get Local map. If your local bike shop isn't a member but should be, you can encourage them to sign up here.

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