Show #594 – February 26, 2022

Guest: Don DiCostanzo

This week, I have one very interesting and savvy guest; one who sees his business, eBikes, a perspective from which the bicycle industry might consider taking a page.

You may not be a businessperson. And you may not be super interested in eBikes. But I think you would be hard-pressed to hear the conversation I have today with Don DiCostanzo and not say that it’s a really fascinating look into a bicycle category from a completely unique perspective.

Don DiCostanzo grew up in the automotive business, worked for chemical company until it was bought out by a bigger fish, and decided to become an entrepreneur – in the electric vehicle business – bikes, scooters, skateboards, and even a rather crude electric car.

Between then and when the first Pedego store opened, a lot transpired – especially in the world of electric bicycles.

Today, 200+ Pedego stores later, Don, shares his insights into how he sees not just his business, but the bicycle industry as a whole – and what might be most revealing? Unless you are a cyclist, you may not know anything that is going on in the “traditional” bicycle world – including the names of the most popular brands, the components that are changing almost with every new cycling season, or what gravel riding even means.

Quick note about the second half of the conversation. At one point, I ask Don about how inflation might be affecting his business and after he explains what has happened with tariffs, there will seem to be a non-sequitur. I needed to take out some talk about pricing and margins as it was specific to the dealer network. So, please just go with it!

My thanks to Don DiCostanzo for joining me this week. I hope you enjoyed the conversation. I found it very enlightening!

Here is the link to the Harley Davidson article we mention on the show.

I’m working on some interesting topics for upcoming shows and hope to bring you a brand-new episode next week.

If you are wondering why there haven’t been as many consistent shows of late, the explanation is pretty straight forward. With the continued issues of the pandemic, many events, tours, even projects that we often report on, have all been postponed and some have even been canceled. Fewer books have been available to review and many of the topics I regularly follow have been scant, to say the least.

As things begin to open up again, I think there will be many more interesting people, topics, and projects to bring to you. I want to acknowledge all of you who have been sending me ideas – I’ve followed up on many of them – and I truly appreciate that you share them with me. Frankly, it makes my life a lot easier!

Finally, I’d like to end this week with a note on a wholly different subject.
I know it affects us all and I wanted you to know how profoundly sad and upset I am by the events of this past week.

Of my four grandparents, 3 were born in what is now Ukraine – at that time Russia. The fourth was born here in the U.S., but his parents were also from Russia. They fled the pogroms to come to the U.S. at the turn of the last century. By some miracle, they survived and thrived here in the U.S.
What is happening now will, I believe, have profound effects on our lives – effects that we can barely begin to imagine.

I wish I had that magic wand that would allow a swift and just end to the conflict.

My heart is breaking…

Show #543 – February 20, 2021

Guests: Brendt Barbur; Jason Huntsman & Aaron Frank

We have two interesting conversations for you this week.

The first is with Brendt Barbur.  Brendt founded the Bicycle Film Festival in 2000 – yep, 2020 was the 20th anniversary of the wildly popular event. But, we all know what happened in 2020, and there was some question as to whether it was time let it go.

Have you been spending in inordinate amount of time in front of your television – screening The Queen’s Gambit or Bridgerton or The Crown, or any number of other shows or films as you socially distance yourself and try to find outlets for what seem to be endless hours without human interaction?

Well… how about combining your sport – cycling – and film -and the arts – and your community- and all online? Nothing brings community together like a mutually exciting and informative event – especially when it involves sport, music, film, and fun!

The Bicycle Film Festival, which in its 20 years has attracted a million people to its venues all over the world, found itself looking at cancelling the 2020 event and wondering whether it was time to just call it as everything began to shut down due to the pandemic.

But, the calls starting coming in from cities, organizations, and potential sponsors to find a way to keep bringing the music, the films, the art, and the people together.

Our second conversation is with two gentlemen – Jason Hunstman and Aaron Frank – both with the eBike brand, Serial 1

We don’t usually do in-depth bike reviews on the show, but we do talk about eBikes and when Harley

Davidson decided to lend their engineering and know-how to produce pedal-powered machines, I thought it was worthy of a conversation.

Last year, Harley Davidson spun off its eBike brand, Serial 1, and they were able to come into the space without leaning on the legacy of companies like Specialized or Trek or Giant.