At Art’s we’re a pretty competitive bunch, so, naturally the answer to the question, “Do you Strava?” is answered by our employees with an emphatic, ‘Yes!’ Our customers are also big fans of this athletic social network and many have joined the Art’s Cyclery Strava Club. After seeing how quickly we amassed club members, Strava interviewed me to see what made Art’s tick.
Q: Tell us a little about your shop and what makes it unique.
A: We’re primarily an online retailer but we also have a brick and mortar store that has been in business for over 30 years that we are passionate about; passionate enough that we’ve been voted best bike shop in San Luis Obispo, CA for the last 23 years. That’s no mean feat when you consider that we have six bike shops within the city limits serving our paltry population of 40,000.
For our online customers we’ve worked very hard to provide the same experience that our walk-in customers have; for us that means providing free expert advice, how to’s, reviews, and service on both the public and personal level. Although we’ve made it a priority to provide the best available pricing on the products we sell, we hope that our customers shop with us because we take the guesswork out of the buying process while offering an easy and enjoyable shopping experience.
Q: How has the community supported your shop? Do you have any specific examples or stories to tell.
A: In addition to being voted the top bike shop in San Luis Obispo for over two decades, we’re always buoyed by all the positive comments we get on our YouTube “how to” videos.
Q: How have you used Strava clubs for your shop?
A: We use Strava clubs as a way to connect with cyclists that are serious about the sport. It’s also a great way to build a community where customers can connect with each other and find like-minded individuals that ride the way they do. We try to boost the social aspect of the club by developing contests that get people out riding together. If they are having fun, they will tell their friends and grow the club while giving us an opportunity to provide them with deals on products that really appeal to cyclists riding competitively.
Q: You’ve built a large following; do you have any advice for other shops looking to do the same?
A: We’ve had great success by cross promoting our Strava club with other social media platforms. Creating contests that inspire people has also been very effective.
Q: Do you host group rides or events open to the public?
A: We do events on a regular basis that are usually aimed at underserved segments of the riding community such as children and women cyclists, but we also host cycling related book tours and speaking engagements. It’s our hope that we can grow the sport by helping to provide a positive experience to new cyclists while helping them navigate the sometimes rough waters of cycling culture.
Iconoclastically, we don’t host a standing group ride. Instead, we have rides going out from the shop every day around lunchtime and we invite our customers to come join us.
Q: Is the shop associated with a team, any professional athletes or do you have your own? How do you support them?
A: We sponsor the Art’s Cyclery Rock Solid Cycling Team, which includes many of the fastest Master’s level road and time trial racers in the state of California. Here is a link to a list of their 2013 results. 2014 results can be found here.
A: The road ride that we favor is Prefumo/See Canyon. It’s equal parts beautiful, thrilling, and brutal.
For mountain bike riding we’re digging the Irish Hills to Johnson Ranch connector. There are a few loops available at the start end and middle of it that can be thrown in to extend the ride or increase the difficulty level.
Q: Share one fun fact about cycling. It can be anything from a pro tip to a piece of history.
A: The Wright Brothers used tubular glue as a thread locker for the nuts that fixed the 1903 Wright Flyer’s propellers to the prop shafts.