October 28, 2016 (San Juan Capistrano, CA) – Fall CycloFest closed this week after hosting retailers and consumers for 4 days of product demonstration, education and live music at the U.S. National Whitewater Center (USNWC) in Charlotte, NC. The event, split into two private days for the bicycle industry trade, and two days open to the public, attracted more than 500 retailers from both the eastern seaboard and beyond.
Most of the retail attendance came from North Carolina and South Carolina, but many traveled from Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland and Michigan to name a few. More than 3,000 consumers attended the public days, from Florida, Texas, West Virginia, New York, Ohio and more, though majority were from North and South Carolina.
Hus continued, “The consumer days exceeded our expectations, as aisles were very busy, bikes were off the racks and traffic was solid over both weekend days. There were so many things going on for attendees to enjoy, from off-road racing, to activities for kids, to live music and of course bike demos – all of which contributed to a fantastic inaugural event. We received some great feedback from our constituents, and plan to make a number of tweaks to improve the experience for all vested parties.”
Service Project: More than 40 volunteers from the Tarheel Trailblazers, Interbike, USNWC and several exhibitors used Pulaski’s, rakes, grub hoes and more to cut about almost a quarter mile of singletrack at the USNWC. Recover Brands staff was also on-hand, giving all volunteers long sleeve t-shirts before the group enjoyed each other’s company over beers upon completion of the trail.
Retailer Education: Sessions from the NBDA Super Seminars and The Mann Group were very well attended, with several sessions being held as standing room only. Retailers also enjoyed technical seminars from SRAM, Shimano, Campagnolo and Fox Racing during the 1st two days of the event.
Kids Bike Rodeo: The Charlotte-based Bikin’ Dads Adventure Group built and managed a kid-friendly technical course under the Raft Pavilion, hosting more than 150 rides on Saturday and Sunday.
Sponsored by Performance Bicycles, the kids rode up ramps, around cones and received safety tips from Bikin’ Dads volunteers and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Sunday Social Road Ride: More than 100 riders showed up on a cool Sunday morning to participate in the Sunday Social, presented by Bicycling Magazine. Fausto Pinarello led the group on a 25/50 mile ride through the beautiful countryside around the USNWC with Dario Pegoretti joining as well.
Attendee feedback: “We were extremely busy during the consumer days, had empty racks on and off throughout the event, and overall it exceeded our expectations,” said Mike Gann, President of Niner Bikes. “We had steady traffic during the dealer days, but were hoping for more retailers to be there. The learning lesson for us was that we need to bring more of the core sizes next year for the consumer days, and work to get more of our retailers to attend.”
“My main purpose for travelling to the event was for the e-bikes, particularly the Specialized Levo’s, but also to experience trail riding here in Charlotte,” said Barry Baker, Owner of Dasia Cycling on the island of Curaçao. “I’m also planning to visit some retailers here in the Charlotte area, to try and get some ideas for a new shop we want to open up.”
“None of us knew what to expect, we were hoping for good things, and overall we were happy with the event,” said Ken Miner, Director of U.S. Sales for Haibike. “I’m used to going to Interbike and seeing the same people we’ve seen for the past 12 years, but out here we’ve seen all new faces – from dealers to independent reps. We saw folks from Minneapolis, New York, Florida – even Puerto Rico – and most did not go to Interbike. The facility was great, and the event was well run.”