There is no comfortable, sunshine-y way to parse the current global pandemic and the effect it is having on the world’s economy without resorting to some already much abused language. And there is no clear path forward for a business trying to look ahead to a brighter future. This is shaping up to be one hell of a very interesting year.
We talked about the radically altered season the pro peloton is grappling with in our last blog post, and while every one of us at Roval feels connected to that reality, a much more tangible and immediate reality for us is that which our retailers are currently facing. Almost all of us at work here cut our teeth in bike shops, and we value our retailers as so much more than just another channel for sales. Bike shops are our cultural touchstones. They are where we learned to wrench on bikes. They are where most of us were educated in all the nuances of this sport that defines our lives. They are the brick and mortar foundation of cycling’s grand church. They are culture and community. They are home to weeknight training rides, they are where most customers first learn to fix their own flats, they host Friday night happy hours and movie nights and swap meets and all these things that we tend to take for granted but that we really, really, really miss right now. And right now, our bike shops are hurting.
We want to help. To do that, Roval has introduced Support Our Shops (S.O.S), an initiative aimed at easing the burden being shouldered by our dealers. It works like this: For every wheel purchased at full retail from RovalComponents.com, we are sharing the revenue collected from that sale to the Roval dealership of YOUR choice. Just name your favorite authorized Roval dealership in the comments field at checkout. If no dealer is specified, then the funds will be directed to the nearest Roval dealer to the purchaser’s address. SOS is valid for all US-based Roval dealers, and the program will remain in effect until shops are able to return to something resembling normal operations. Even if your favorite shop is closed, or operating on a service-only basis, they can benefit directly from your online purchases with us.
In a best case scenario, you buy some wheels, your own ride is enhanced, you go on social-distance appropriate rides and maybe you feel a little better about all this global-pandemic stuff, you treat the people around you with a little more kindness, the big picture comes into focus in hopefully a slightly more positive light, AND your bike shop gets some much needed financial breathing room. Consider it an act of self-sponsorship mixed with an act of self-care, with an added value of helping thy neighbor.
That’s the blue-sky “win-win” viewpoint: you get new wheels, dealer gets cash, everyone rides away feeling a little better. But we understand that a set of wheels is a pretty huge chunk of coin to drop when everything seems so uncertain. So, if that seems like too much, then consider buying something, anything, from your favorite shop. Something easy, with a good margin, that doesn’t require the dealer to jump through flaming hoops to make happen. Consider leaving an appropriately sanitized 6-pack of something thirst quenching and tasty just inside the door. Even the smallest gesture of positivity and commitment can have a bigger ripple effect than you may ever realize.
“True to your ride” is our motto. As a brand, it helps us remember what is important. Your ride is what is important. In this case, we are staying true to our dealers ride as well, and we hope that you value them as much as we do and that we’ll all bump into each other in a too-crowded workshop space again someday soon. In the meantime, be well, think good thoughts, wave from a safe distance, and ride like the wind.