Frost Bike 2014

For those of you who don’t know what Frost Bike is, let me explain a little.  It’s not a Winter biking event or race, but instead is a super awesome weekend of seminars, socializing, networking, and learning about the current bicycle products on the market, and for some lucky individuals new, never seen product as well.  Quality Bicycle Products is bike shop’s main supply hub for various manufacturers.  Frost Bike is put on by QBP.  The event takes place in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

This year was my first year at Frost Bike.  I couldn’t go last year because I had signed up for the CIRREM, which happened to be on the same weekend. I was bummed.  But this year, two of us set off on Thursday morning with hopes of avoiding the approaching blizzard.  We did well to avoid it until about 30 or so miles from the MN border.  I have to say the weather was amazing.  First it started thundering and lightening, then the sleet/ice mixture came. In a matter of probably less than five minutes we were driving 40mph through icy roads.  In no time there was an inch of snow covering the ice. We hit I-35 and continued on our route to Minneapolis.  A drive that should have taken us 4ish hours took us nearly seven. Insane.  They ended up closing I-35 later that night only to reopen in the morning, long enough it seems for the Boss to get through.  I’ve never been in blizzard conditions, nor have I ever encountered such large amounts of snow in such a short time.  It was quite an experience that’s for sure.

So Thursday night was basically meet and greet.  Dinner with other bicycle shop people and reps from QBC.  Friday brought a day of seminars and of course lots of food.  I learned a massive amount from each seminar I attended.  One in particular really got the gears moving upstairs.  They inspired me and I now feel confident that when the opportunity comes I will be able to successfully pursue my dream.  I learned about all the cool things that go along with Garmin products.  Mainly the ins and outs of Garmin connect and all the awesome features that a user can have.  I’m super excited to start using these for myself and letting all my fellow tri and cycling buddies in on the info.  I also attended a seminar on how to engage the woman cyclist.  I was a bit disappointed about the information presented; I was hoping for a bit more specifics.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the individuals attending needed the information that was presented, however, I wanted to know more.  Yet, the presentation intrigued me.  One presenter was from California.  She had a women’s specific road bike only shop.  CRAZY!! And she’s extremely successful with it.  She has women’s only rides, women’s only events, shop team kit, and the shop has only women working in it.  This is almost what I’d like to do, however it wouldn’t be successful here.  After the women’s seminar I attended a social hour with the speakers.  It was here where I learned A LOT of information about incorporating women into a not so women friendly shop.  I realized if I want to make this happen I have A LOT of work to do.

Saturday was a trip to QBP headquarters where we would get a chance to meet with the various vendors of QBP.  There was a lot to look at.  I learned a lot about products as well.  And by learn I mean, I asked questions that would otherwise be considered stupid until I completely understood the product.  This was greatly encouraging.  You see, I don’t know everything there is to know about bicycles, products that go along with them, and all that mechanical stuff others seem to know.  But I am very passionate about cycling and am eager to learn if there is a teacher.  So I took a TON away from this one day of free swag, meeting and greeting, bs-ing, and product sampling.  Expect to see a bit more about specific products that I learned about, tested, or now have a better understanding of soon.  While I’m recovering I plan to blog a ton to get through the boredom.

The weekend came to an earlier end for me than the rest of the crew.  Having to be back Sunday mid morning required me to bail on Sunday’s events.  Saturday night the crew meet up for pizza and laughter.  I was feeling quite down with the stress and anticipation of Monday’s events and had a few things on my mind.  But I do have to say mashed potato pizza is pretty uh-mazing. I mean, if texture doesn’t bother you, you should definitely try it.

So if you’ve ever wondered what a bike vendor event was like, well this is pretty much it.  Now, bear in mind that this is coming from a sober, too tired/old for the evening fun activities, too old for drinking chick.  I’m sure there were many hangovers each day.  I’m sure there were a ton of fun things going in the evenings but I’m just too old and have partied too hard in my younger years, so if this sounded boring to you, and partying or drinking is your thing, have no fear that happens too.

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