The Urban AdvenTours staff is huddled over laptops in the Marriott hotel lobby, bleary-eyed and a little over-stimulated, taking advantage of a few minutes of downtime to put a dent in our ever-growing inboxes. Outside, the snow is falling hard enough to obscure the cars in the parking lot, a scant 100 feet away. We’ve just spent the last 72 hours at Frostbike, and it’s looking like we’re going to be here at least another night.
Frostbike, a tradeshow/open house/crazy bike party has taken place every February for the past two decades at the Quality Bicycle Products warehouse in Bloomington, MN. Starting out with six guys staying at QBP owner Steve Flagg’s house, Frostbike has grown to a 3-day extravaganza several hundred people strong.
While we certainly had ourselves a blast, the UA crew has also been hard at work meeting our vendors and sales reps and sitting in on seminars that will ultimately make Urban AdvenTours an even better bike shop than we already are. (Wait!? Is that even possible?)
The highlights of our weekend include:
An inspiring seminar by service department guru Brett Flemming of the Bike Gallery in Portland, OR. His message: Be nice to the customers! While we already do a great job of taking care of our customers, we’ve learned some really cool new ways to show people we love fixing their bikes.
Bob Roll. Enough said, right? After a long day of checking out the newest gear and bikes available, we were lucky enough to hear the former pro cyclist and Tour de France commentator give a meandering monologue on Lance, Phil Ligget, and the crazier side of life on the Grand Tours.
Bob Roll at Frostbike
Surly Pugsley Race. The pugsley, the quirkiest bike from a quirky bike company, was the perfect solution to the Minnesota weather. After filling out our waivers, we donned our Lazer helmets and formed the cleverly named Team Five. This loosely organized race had us tearing through the woods in the pitch dark on a mountain bike with four inch tires! At every lap we passed our Pugsley on to the next teammate, who was required to eat or drink something delightful (pickled beets, V8 juice, Fudgesicles) before starting the next lap. We tore a few pairs of pants and spilled some beet juice, but hey, we didn’t come in last!
Surly’s Pugsley and Karate Monkey
Frostbike has been a great experience for us! While being the biggest bike parts distributor in the country, QBP is just so dang NICE! We were so glad to be part of this event, which felt more like a family reunion than a trade show. Big thanks to our reps, vendors and friends at the Q, and if it ever stops snowing, we’ll be able to fly home and share the real “Minnesota Nice” with all of our awesome customers!
Check out more photos from the show as well as some goofy Urban AdvenTours antics on our Facebook page!