VeloReviews has always had one thing as its primary mission: building a cycling community. A place to share information and stories. A resource for information on all things cycling. And of course links to the pertinent news of the day from the cycling world. There are many things that go into a community of any kinds. But first and foremost are the people. As I continue to work the tools necessary to create a vibrant online cycling community, I’ve been thinking about a way to achieve this same goal on a more local level.
One of my other sporting interests is soccer (or football for those on the other side of the pond). While cycling is definitely above ‘footy’ on the list, there is one thing about the beautiful game that I’ve always been envious of: the neighborhood experience. I’ve enjoyed a number of soccer matches in a local pub or restaurant, sharing my enjoyment of the game with others – stranger and foe alike. All the while secretly wishing there was some way to enjoy cycling in the same way. I don’t mean to diminish the joy that is the group ride. But we all have to stop pedaling some time. We all need to eat. We all need to relax. I’ve always wished that there was somewhere I could go to watch races, or just talk about that last epic ride, with others in person. Too many times I’ve watched races alone, huddled in the cold glow of my computer monitor watching a sketchy online feed from some European broadcast network.
Finally I decided to make that happen. I’ve begun a project that is tentatively being called ‘VeloBrews.’ The idea is a cycling cafe – a combination bike shop and cafe, with a great pub feel. A place to go and buy cycling gear for sure. But more so a place to talk with other fellow cyclists. A cafe or bar by itself needs to cater to a wide range of folks to be financially viable. A bike shop by itself doesn’t generally welcome you to just hang out and chat. I believe by putting them together I can create the exact type of place I’ve been looking for all this years. From many of the other people I talk with I’m not the only one that has thought about this.
But these things take money. Since getting a building isn’t a cheap endeavor, I’ve decided to build the store first – online – where initial startup costs are lower. As that progresses I’ll be in a better position to get the funding to create the real-world space that I’ve wanted to hang out in for so long. And to help make that happen I’m reaching out to you – my fellow community members – to invest in this dream. I’ve teamed up with Kiva Zip to help get the initial seed money. This isn’t asking for donations – but rather asking for small micro-loans. Those loans get bundled together and provide me with funding to start down the road to making VeloBrews a reality. By lending something small – such as $25 dollars – you can be a part of building this too. Best part is this will be repaid in full to all of the investors. It only takes a small snowball rolling down a hill to turn into something huge. You can be one of those snowballs. All of these efforts are tied together – including more resources for the VeloReviews online community, more frequent content updates and posting, more podcasts and more members active in the forums. It will also allow me to get real, meaningful and useful products into the VeloReviews online store.
Join other VeloReviews community members that have already taken part and lend us a small sum to help get this thing started. Together we will revel in the passion!
– Ross Del Duca – owner and editor of VeloReviews