September 2, 2005 – For almost as long as Canadians have been riding bikes, Norco has been making them. Over the past four decades, Norco has been reinventing how Canadians look at bikes — and how they ride them. But something is changing the way that one Islander is viewing this Canadian company. “It was hard to believe,” recalls Ken Trenholm, Organizer of the 260 km Biking for Breakfast Challenge, a fundraiser for the PEI Breakfast School Programs that occurred last month. “One day I opened my email and had a message from Norco explaining that it was late in the season but they would try their best to help out with our event.” Trenholm had no idea that “trying their best” would mean coming through as big as they did. Trenholm smiles when he recalls the morning the Norco products arrived. He explains that he rushed downstairs and showcased the products to his children. From half a dozen racing tires to a high end handlebar; from touring bags to T-Shirts to various other products, the children and Trenholm were cheering. The cheers continued until the August 13 event was over. The tip to tip cycling event concluded with the awarding of a large selection of Norco prizes. Although all of the riders were tired, sore, and hungry — the Norco name and products kept people around. “Just the sight of the Norco name attached to this event was beyond expectations,” says Trenholm. Norco is well known as a bike manufacturer and parts distributor, however Trenholm remarks that “some may not know Norco as a huge community contributor. While Norco has been building great bikes since 1964, they’ve also been helping the community in every way they can.”
In fact, Norco is a huge supporter of young riders. Their grassroots sponsorship program, allows young hopefuls the opportunity to get some support from a big name, and often get their foot in the door to bigger and better things. Sponsorship levels depend on the relationship and what the rider can contribute, and Norco seems to be signing up new riders on a regular basis. This program helps as it is a great way for talented riders to get noticed.
But this experience has taught Trenholm something more unique about Norco. “As a first time event, many large companies would not look at our small Island and our first year event . . . Norco was different . . . they were eager to help out.”
“There is something more unique about this company that says how much they sincerely care about cycling and about this country, from one end to the other.”
In 2005 alone, Norco will be present at roughly 70 cycling races and events, offering support to all cyclists involved. “They offer tech support and encouragement whether the rider is riding a Norco bike or not.”
“What stands out for me is their committment to two things: one, to the sport; two, to the country: the big and the small.”
Next year’s Biking for Breakfast event is aiming for 75 riders and to continue to raise money and awareness for the PEI Breakfast School Programs. “Norco support will stand out for me for years to come,” Trenholm adds. “Our Island will remember Norco for this and Island children will be helped because of Norco.”