For the past few months, I’ve been planted at a desk across the street working on a new project for Fitzgerald’s Bicycles. To explain AXLPATH, it takes a little background info so bear with me.
It’s been a wild ride over the last 12 years of running Fitzgerald’s Bicycles. When it started in 2002, there was no larger intention behind it other than developing a Summer job to fuel my passion for powder that brought me to the Tetons in the first place. I have always loved bikes, and working in bike shops, but my reason for being was really centered in the Winter. How could I stay in Jackson Hole and log more Winter vertical and face shots? I needed a Summer job.
As the years ticked off, the shop evolved and so did I. One employee lead to another, 10 customers on the first day lead to thousands, and my love for cycling grew right along with the business. The bicycle was no longer a compliment to my Winter passions – it became the passion. Where skiing and snowboarding gave me a personal high and provided a short term fix, bicycles feed my soul and give me a reason for being. The love for riding my bike lead to a passion for what bicycles do.
Bicycles transform individuals, Bicycles transform communities, Bicycles can transform the World. And we want to help.
It’s no surprise to anyone that running a year round bike shop in Teton Valley is not the easiest path to a successful business. In fact, there is a certain insanity that is needed to even try to launch a bike shop in a valley with 10,000 people and 300-600 inches of annual snowfall. When we decided to move Fitzgerald’s Bicycles to Teton Valley we heard about this insanity from plenty of you! So why are we doing it? For two reasons.
1. We love the people who live in Teton Valley and share the deep rooted desire to develop a healthy, sustainable community with a foundation of environmental stewardship. To have an opportunity to shape a community like this, through cycling, is incredible. Bike shops build community and communities can build bike shops. I often heard from older residents of Teton Valley who say, “If you love Teton Valley enough to move here, why do you want to change it?”. To which I respond, “We love Teton Valley so much we want to give back to it and make it even better.” We should all be fortunate enough to live somewhere we want to give back to.
2. I personally want to use Fitzgerald’s Bicycles as a platform to launch a National bicycle advocacy effort. A company, or series of companies, that are profitable enough to advance the bicycle agenda. Mission driven, Triple Bottom Line, Laser Focused on getting more butts on bikes.
With these two goals in mind, I’m very excited to announce a new project, born from a partnership with ProGuideDirect, called AXLPATH. This project has the ability to provide Fitzgerald’s Bicycles with a more stable, year round revenue stream as well as advance our goals of cycling advocacy.
So what is AXLPATH?
Think of it as Fitzgerald’s Bicycles re-branded online for a national audience …or the Bike version of ProGuideDirect….or just think of it as a new path to growing community. AXLPATH inspires the cycling lifestyle by building and strengthening every relationship in our Cycling ecosystem. I look forward to showing you HOW we do this… stay tuned!
AXLPATH.com - The Ride Begins, Spring 2014.