Would I call it a ‘Come Back?”

Right when I started going through some life changes, I abandoned many of my hobbies and interests. I picked up new ones, but I knew the things I used to do were still holding a special place in my heart. For me that was mountain biking and writing. I used to manage two sites, BikeCommuters.com and MtnBikeRiders.com. But while I was dealing with all the drama in my life, I decided to step down and relinquish my responsibilities to some dear friends. Now that I’m going into my 3rd year of my new life, I started showing more interest in these hobbies. In fact, I even bought a new mountain bike and I’ve started blogging again.
mtnbikeriders.com fat tire bike
This bike isn’t anything fancy, it’s a basic single speed fat tire mountain bike. I got a crazy deal on it through eBay. I’m actually looking forward to riding again, it should be fun. This fat bike would make things more interesting on the trail once I start riding again.

The blogging thing was actually huge. I used to pride myself on my ability to write about anything. But I stopped for quite some time just to deal with things. As of late, I’ve been publishing more and more work. One of my other blogs I run just got a new article posted and it’s about Chinese Scooters.

I think as I work through my stuff, I’m finally starting to get a sense of where I want to go and what I want to do. Writing and riding was always a big part of my life that I found very rewarding. So it only makes sense for me to come back to it. Just recently a friend was visiting whom I haven’t seen in years asked me how I’m doing and what I’m up to now. I told him that for the most part I’m doing well. He asked me about my hobbies, I told him I’ve been fishing more than I ever have but mentioned my new bike. I guess it was at that point where I started seeing that I’m on my way out of the muck and mire I’ve had to deal with in the past few years. Now that things are starting to settle down, I’m picking up where I left off. I’m hoping that the next thing I start focusing on would be my health. I do miss racing…but that’s for another day to talk about.

Facebook memories

As you know Facebook Memories will pop up on your feed reminding you of all the cool stuff you did and how much skinnier you once were. Sometimes some of those memories are fun to look at and we can reshare it and say stuff like “oh wow, 7 years ago!” So just recently I saw some memories of when I used to race mountain bikes. Back then I was in great shape and I was competitive, now I’m older, fatter and broker. The days of racing are exactly what Facebook shows, memories.

But it got me thinking…what if I start racing again? My kids are older so I don’t have to worry about baby sitting, plus I don’t have a nagging wife asking when I’ll be back from the races. I can actually put the time in to training if I really wanted. Heck just last night I was out riding with my friend Moe and I got this idea of racing again. It’s going to take some major work for me to get up to a level of fitness where I can actually survive a race and not die in the middle of it.

After our ride we got on the phone with my other friend Art who is working on a deal for me. He’s working out a major discount for a new mountain bike. This new bike will cost me an arm and leg, but I figure I’ll invest into myself. While we were on the phone I told Art and Moe that once I get my new bike, that we all should do an Enduro race just for giggles. I told them it will be just like 2010! We all laughed because that year was the peak of our racing careers. We were sponsored by a number of companies, we had matching bikes, jerseys and other gear. Heck, we even had stickers! Now you know you’re legit when you have stickers!

Now that we’ve got this idea planted in our minds, I’m actually looking forward to just getting back to all that racing and riding jazz. Who would have thought that Facebook memories motivated me to get back in to something I really did love.

Get your brand involved

One of the things I love to do on my mountain biking website is create projects or what we call “builds.” For the last 6 years that I’ve had that line of business open, we’ve created at least a dozen bike projects. Some of them are basic builds and others like the tandem is pretty complicated.

When doing these builds, it does cost money. The website does pay for much of the expenses. But often times I’ll partner up with a brand who will donate hard goods to the cause. Doing this helps off set any costs that I may incur from the project. Besides, it’s a great way for the brand to further get their name out there on a grass roots level.

Take for example this stuff you see below. That was donated by a company in SoCal called Serfas. They make quality bicycle parts and accessories. We’ve had a great relationship with Serfas for the last several years. But this was actually the first project they jumped on board with.
serfas

Why do you think Serfas donated products? There’s a few reasons why they did it. For one, it’s cheap advertising. Another reason is that it’s CHEAP ADVERTISING. Third…do I dare say it again? CHEAP ADVERTISING! Yep, you guessed it, cheap advertising. How cheap? Let’s look at that picture again. I’m guessing that items that Serfas sells is marked up to 50-80% from the landed costs. Let’s pretend that a seat that retails for $50 has a landed cost of $20. If you didn’t know, LANDED COST means the total cost to you, the company of everything included. That means, “the end cost of an internationally shipped item. This includes purchase price, freight, insurance, and other costs and may sometimes include duties and taxes.”

Ok now that we have that in mind, let’s look again at that photo. There are other items in it such as tires, grips and the already mentioned, seats. Once more, we’ll pretend the landed costs for all those items hover around $100. Now take that $100 and see if you can buy any type of advertisement online or on a print publication. I’m sure you’ll find a few deals here and there. But what you run the risk of is an un-targeted audience (more on that later). I also doubt you’ll find a place that will take your $100 so you can run a full campaign for over a month.

On the tandem project that MtnBikeRiders.com has, they(as is me and the guys) are planning on doing multiple articles, multiple rides, races and events with the finished project. So this means, what ever they do with the tandem, Serfas will get some sort of exposure…to a TARGETED audience (more on targeted audience later). Why does that matter? Just look at that $100 investment they made. It will now become a permanent part of this tandem project. Every time these guys do anything with that tandem, Serfas products will be seen in photos, articles and videos they create. Given our history at MtnBikeRiders.com, anytime we do a project, we post tons of articles on just that project alone. I’ll give you an example. Here’s a project I took on, I called it Burt Reynolds. A simple search on the site will yield over a dozen articles on that bike alone.

Back to the title. Get involved! Make a bold move like Serfas did, get involved with bloggers and see what you can do to assist in their next project/activity or event. But make sure those guys have some sort of credibility on projects so you don’t waste your time and money.

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