Friday, August 09, 2019

Friday News And Views

Diamondback and a couple of other brands were sold off recently for a dollar.
I'd Buy That For A Dollar:

The bicycle business is in a tumultuous state of flux. The latest evidence being the sale of Diamonback, Redline, and Izip brands by their former owner, Accell Group N.V., to investment company Regent LP., who happen to have recently purchased Mavic.

You can read the dry details of this story here on "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News". The reported sale price for the three brands was one U.S. dollar.

The Raleigh brand, which Accell calls one of their "global cycling brands" will be distributed in the U.S. market with Regent LP on a two year agreement. The Raleigh, Diamondback, and Redline brands were sold in a separate sale in the Canadian market to Canadian Tire, according to the "BRAIN" report.

Several years ago the Diamondback brand wasn't making a killing, but it did have a separate identity and served as the mountain biking brand alongside of Raleigh, which basically stayed out of any "serious" mountain biking product. It was typically sold to dealers as a package- Raleigh and Diamondback, which made a bit more sense. Redline, for its part, mostly a BMX brand, was handled by distributor Seattle Bicycle Supply (SBS). Redline did a decent business in BMX, cyclo cross, and urban bikes back then.

When Accell stepped in, they scooped up all of these brands, homogenized Diamondback, Raleigh, and Redline, much in the same way General Motors did with their sub-brands, and basically made them so similar, one to another, that only the paint jobs and decals were different. Accell then sold Diamondback as a department store/big box retailer brand, primarily through Dick's Sporting Goods, and further muddied the waters. When both Diamondback and Raleigh circumvented their local bike shop dealers further by selling direct on-line, the North American market support from those dealers fizzled into thin air. Oh, and SBS? Accell shuttered that distribution company years ago. Again, alienating their local bike shop customers.

So, when Accell looked at North American markets for their brands recently, they saw a deficit. (duh) This precipitated the sale, and of course, after so many years of torpedoing their base customers in the US, it is no wonder the brands were sold for a measly buck. By the way, Accell is the number one distributor of HPC's (e-bikes) in Europe. So, that should give you an idea of their main focus. European stock markets and financial people were pleased that Accell, as the industry news source "Bike Europe" so succinctly put it, "....has been able to get rid of its troublesome subsidiary that showed rapidly growing losses."

It will be interesting to see what Regent LP does with Diamondback and Redline. Recent news stories suggest that they are keen on reviving Mavic as a leader in component sales and having a bicycle brand to market along side of that maybe is what they were after. One thing is for sure- times are a changin'. 

Ashton Lambie, (doubled over) speaking to MG at the Solstice 100, which Ashton won.
Gravel Grinder Wins Gold (Again)

This has been kind of a story that has shaken the traditional road racing segment. That story surrounding Ashton Lambie, a native Nebraskan and accomplished gravel racer, who set the World Record in the individual pursuit at the Pan-American Games last year, and just won a gold medal this past August 4th at this year's Pan-American Games in Peru. 

Stories pop up in mainstream cycling media from time to time with story lines about his rural upbringing and music background, which is interesting. I don't know, he seems like a nice enough guy to me. Extraordinarily talented, yes, but very down to Earth. It's pretty cool to see someone from a gravel racing/riding background break the mold set by traditionalists in road and track racing with World records and podiums on his way to the 2020 Olympics.

Check out what the local paper said about his story here.

I'll be interested to see where Mr Lambie goes from here. It'd be pretty cool to see him bring home some medals from Tokyo.

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek in Trans Iowa v14 Image by Jon Duke

The Story Behind The Rider:

Have you ever met someone for the first time and felt that there was something special about them? Something about that person that commands your respect, even though you have just met? Well, I have had that happen. In fact, with regard to Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek USMC, I knew just from reading his name on the post card he sent in for Trans Iowa v12 that there was "something about this guy" that required my respect to be shown.

I could have just listed him as "Matthew Kutilek" on the roster, but I added his name like this: "Maj. Matthew Kutilek, USMC" (his rank at that time) and even when I called him up at the Pre-Race Meat-Up, I believe that is the name I called him up with. Was I being a smart-ass? Fair question, because, well, if you know me, I do have that gene in my make-up. But not this time, I just "knew" that's how I needed to respect him.

Well, as it turned out, Matthew finished that first attempt at Trans Iowa in 2016. At the finish line, I shook Matthew's hand and congratulated him. He responded with a breathless "Thank you, Sir! That was the most difficult thing I have done, Sir!" I was a bit taken aback by his military-type respect in his response, and I seriously doubted it was "the most difficult thing" he'd done. I thought I was correct in that assumption directly, and when his story came out later about his wounding in Afghanistan, and the radical surgical technique that saved his right leg, I was sure T.I.v12 wasn't even close to the toughest thing he'd ever done.

Then just the other day, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek sent me a link to this video. If you dare to watch, you will learn that my respect for this man is not misplaced. I am honored to have met this man, and to have had him in my event not once, but twice. You can scroll "The Roster" and see his entry that reads: "Maj. Matthew Kutilek USMC V12, V14"

Perhaps it is high time I edited that.

 That's a wrap for this week, folks! have a great weekend and go ride some bicycles!


FarleyBob said...

Wow!! That video from Lt. Col. Matthew Kutilek is amazingly impressive. He is an inspiration! Well done Sir!

Iowagriz said...

Thanks for sharing that link. I have a "thing" for remembering names and remember seeing his pop-up on several rosters. All long races, thanks for getting us the background behind the person.

Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Kutilek USMC - Thank you sir for your service.


Rydn9ers said...

As a former Marine carrying around some government metal, also a full rod in the tibia, I can relate to some of the feelings he had during his recuperation. Mine was from less traumatic experience so all the rest of the story I cannot relate to but I can also attest that the bicycle is a great tool for maintaining some level of fitness and sanity when more jarring forms of physical activities are not recommended. Semper Fi Marine!