Places I have been
India and Neighbors
/ Canada / USA
SE Asia / China
How I started
Equipment Pages Index
Our Touring Bike Sponsorship
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from India-na, USA
We have always said that the best travel plans are the most flexible. We have also said, “We have no real plans until we have booked a flight.” What happens when we have plane tickets and still need a flexible plan?
This is exactly what happened to us. We bought our tickets months ago but our new book took longer than expected to publish. After all these years on the road and publishing books we should have known this project would be delayed but we were eager to get somewhere new. My wife is getting extremely itchy feet sitting around here. The obvious answer is to change the date of our flight to India, which we did to April 30.
The good news for all of you is we are extending our prepublication offer to April 10, 2010. This means you can still order our signed books at a substantial discount before we slip out of the country. (USA)
See more about our new book and the prepublication offer at the link below
We really needed the extra time to get our touring bicycles
together. After months of inquiring, receiving offers, and negotiating with
potential touring bike sponsors we could not reach an agreement. This is my
fault because I am cautious and picky; something I have learned the hard way.
Almost all touring bike makers I asked offered us discounts but I believe a discount is not a sponsorship because they are making a profit from us so, these offers were all rejected.
See more about receiving bicycle touring sponsorship at the link below
What I am looking for in a touring bike sponsorship is, in
exchange for our exclusive promotion and sales from our busy web site, we
receive two complete bikes every two years. I will not ask companies for
sponsorship of bikes or gear that we would not buy otherwise. This greatly
narrows the field and limits our opportunities.
There were two touring bike makers that had great bikes and offered more than just discounts. The problem is they only offered a single frame and expected us to exclusively promote their line of bikes for the next several years; in fact I could not get them to sign off on a time limit for our arrangement. In my early years of this trip I would have jumped at such a deal but experience has made me wiser. Besides we have several old touring bikes and frames stored at my brother’s house that we can use so it is not so much the bikes I am after but instead a company we can work with year after year.
These days I know how much I can earn from commissions by offering several brands of bikes for sale on our web site verses being limited to promoting just one brand of bike in exchange for a onetime free frame. During the few weeks we have been selling touring bikes on our web site we have already sold several and I see no reason not to expect more. I realize this is the best time of the year for bike sales, and it will slow down later in the summer, but I am willing to gamble that our commissions will earn more than the value of one frame; probably every year. So, all touring bicycle deals are off and we are on our own with bikes. In a lot of ways this is very liberating with many less things to worry about. I still have hope that some day the right company will approach us with an acceptable offer that is profitable to both parties but Cindie is more pessimistic. Only time will tell.
What are we doing for touring bikes for the next leg of our tour? We dusted off old touring frames (never before seen or mentioned on our web site) and added new parts from our sponsors Ortlieb, Tubus, and Phil Wood. After living on touring bicycles all these years we have tons of good parts lying around that we gathered up. Everything else we bought at retail including four new wheels. Put all this together and Wha-la we have two new touring bikes to forever be known as “Mystery Touring Bike #1 and #2.” I am sure it will be a lot of fun writing pages for our web site about the Mystery Bikes. I even thought about calling them Huffys but the real Huffy Bike Company might get mad. But honestly these will be the best bikes we have ever traveled on because they are made from components we have individually hand picked after our years of experience.
I know how to do the hours of mechanical work to build these new touring bicycles up myself, because I have worked in several bike shops in my younger days, but without the proper repair stand, truing stand, or shop tools (all mine are tiny for touring) I am unmotivated. I have so much writing and other work to do on the computer I just do not have time for it anymore. As you can tell I am feeling a little guilty about this but I found a wonderful bike shop in Indianapolis called Indy Cycle Specialist. I met the owner, Scott Irons on FaceBook through conversations on my wall (http://bit.ly/1q1w7) and his shop’s wall (http://bit.ly/cJbvSt). We did not ask for sponsorship or receive anything for free. We value Scott’s bicycle touring equipment knowledge in helping us through this whole process. If you are looking for a commuting or touring bike consultant/shop to put together the ultimate dream rig or an affordable workhorse check him out.
That’s about it for now. We are getting ready to arrange all the other clothes and gear we need before we fly to India. I can write about that next time if all this bike talk doesn’t bore you because I know many of our followers are not cyclists. Please, let me know. Also don’t forget about the extended prepublication offer on our new book. I would hate to be sitting in a hotel room in India and receive an email from someone asking why they can not buy the new book at the discount price anymore.
PS: On March 30th we passed our 8th years on the road anniversary but we have far too much to do at this time to celebrate. It felt more like finals week than graduation. Next year I promise to write another long heartfelt newsletter about our 9 year anniversary but for now all I can say is WOW – I think we are about a quarter or a third of the way through this journey that has turned into our lifestyle.
Peace Tim Travis
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Tips & Advice
I have used several brands of bicycle panniers and
highly recommend Ortlieb.
See Why I switched to Ortlieb waterproof Panniers?
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