Since I lead this startup known as Loam Coffee I'm always watching and paying attention when it comes to branding, marketing, social media, and the like. I'll read articles about these subjects and even the nuances from how branding is done in North America compared with Latin America and so on. With that in mind I feel as though I've become kind of good at "seeing through" marketing to decipher what brands are really trying to sell and promote.
It hit me recently that I share a lot of commonalities with my sons in terms of how they grew up and what kinds of entertainment was available. While I'd say that having an Atari or Commodore 64 is a far cry from amped up PCs and Xbox systems at the core they are the same ... gaming consoles. While Fortnite is a vastly better gaming experience than playing Frogger or Pitfall on Atari there are more similarities than differences. I remember hot and humid summers after being outside all day coming in the house to game. Same concept, but what has drastically changed is technology. However, I didn't enjoy the experience any less than my sons do now.
The same with mountain biking.
As much as people roll their eyes when someone of an older generation begins the sentence with, "back in my day ..." instead we should actually pause ... and listen. No, the "good old days" weren't better in every way imaginable. I still won't part with my iPhone, wifi, and the ability to stream the UCI MTB downhill World Cup. And yet, we need voices of wisdom to speak into our lives and remind us.
I normally ride alone. Usually my outings are spontaneous and are times to disengage, reflect, and unwind. That's why out on the trail I have time to think about post-ride burritos, ponder new single origin coffees we want to introduce, and more. Yesterday was no exception. By lunch with my bike loaded along my sons and their skateboards we took off for Hood River. Actually, our destination was right across the Columbia River from Hood River in Bingen, Washington.
It's a lament felt by many who fall in the purview of the bike industry. We don't bike as much as we'd like ... or admit. As I've said before, although we're a coffee roasting company we actually identify and relate to the bike industry. The busier life and work gets one of the first things to go are extended road trips and mountain bike adventures. Sure, there are local road rides, gravel rides, and quick laps around the nearby bike park, but it is easy to get neck deep in the grind.
Anything worthwhile takes work and usually a lot of it. We may show up at a sporting event ... whether basketball, football, mountain biking, and so on ... and we're enthralled with the skill and talent of these top-tiered athletes. But what we don't see is the grind. For some that grind towards greatness began on the playground or open fields in elementary school. While they may have started their journeys with some innate natural talent and ability it was and is their work ethic that carried them.