Calling All Opinions

Calling All Opinions

It takes more than good intentions to make a great product. The instincts of a fortune teller are a good start, but failing a crystal ball, solid feedback from a trusted source is the way most folks go. Many organizations end up sounding like echo chambers—no one wants to tell the boss a bad idea is just that. Turning to the audience has become a time-honored way to get a reality check, though I wish Paul McCartney would have done that a dozen albums ago.

Recently, RKP was approached by the Gluskin Townley Group. The Gluskin Townley Group is Jay Townley, former president of Giant Bicycle, board member for Saris Cycling and a former Schwinn executive, and Elliot Gluskin, who ran research for Rodale (Bicycling magazine’s parent), Playboy and Meredith. The duo have become the bike industry’s go-to source for statistics. And it’s not just that they have statistics on more bike metrics than anyone else, it’s that the industry trusts their data like they trust no one else. If there’s a more deeply respected, better-connected, more influential person in the bike industry than Jay Townley, he’s not on LinkedIn.

Taking a call from Jay Townley is like the parish priest getting a call from the pope. You want to talk to me? While I believe in the community of readers we have formed here with RKP, and we have a few advertisers who see the value in what we do, not everyone has signed on yet, and so I continue to operate with some judicious modesty. Still, we attracted Gluskin Townley Group’s attention.

So what do they want? Well, in short, you. They want your opinions. Remember that survey we conducted just recently? More stuff like that. I’ll do a post explaining a bit about what’s up and include a link. Hopefully, you find it interesting and click through to answer the questions. But rather than me sharing the data with our existing advertisers, this data will be shared with Gluskin Townley Group’s clients.

Gluskin Townley Group reached out to RKP alone. You’re not going to find similar pieces like this at our competitors’ sites. They came to us because you’ve proven yourselves to be an exceptionally intelligent and informed readership. Finding bright people who are knowledgeable enough about a topic to answer a survey is harder than you think, so I hope you’ll take this approach in the spirit with which it came. It is a compliment of the highest order, and while I get to thump my chest a bit for having pulled the community together, the fact is, the compliment is to you readers.

They are calling this series of surveys “The Voice of the Adult Cycling Enthusiast.” The purpose is to collect more statistical information about dedicated riders, get to know us better, in other words. Anyone who participates will remain anonymous. Your contact info will not be sold or otherwise distributed to bike companies or spammers. We will get access to the survey results, and from time to time you’ll see posts about what we learned from the most recent survey. And for the purpose of full disclosure, RKP will receive a small share of the proceeds each time Gluskin Townley Group sells a survey.

You can participate in one of the surveys or in all of them. Honestly, this is way better than me running more surveys here on RKP. While it’s handy for us to get to know you better, participating in these surveys will give you a voice to the bike industry that you simply wouldn’t manage any other way. As a means to give the dedicated enthusiast some influence, I’ve not encountered a better opportunity. This is a first-rate chance to make some of the world’s most important bike companies listen to you, and the more surveys you participate in, the greater your voice will be.


  1. Dan Murphy

    “They came to us because you’ve proven yourselves to be an exceptionally intelligent and informed readership.”

    Are you sure they have the right group?

  2. Austex

    Intelligent, informed are subjective. Me? I am just nuts about cycling, I can’t seem to get enough and want to take my bike wherever I go…..

  3. SusanJane

    I’m still in as long as they don’t mind a ringer.

    It’s one thing to tell you what I’m passionate about in order to attract financial support to this site. It’s another thing when these questions are for the profit of anonymous others. I’m not saying this is a bad thing but it is different then original survey and the one’s we were encouraging in the future. For you and RPK, its personal. I support the sponsors here not because they have zoot ads but because I love RPK and what to get my fix every day. Somebody else’s survey will have different intent and different focus. Sixteen questions about cleats is about profit not RPK. If for some weird reason you decided to review 16 cleats I’d read it.

    I’ll still participate. I just want you to know that there is a context shift inviting these guys in however well connected and credentialed.

  4. Tom in Albany

    Well, congrats to you, Padraig. I sometimes wish there was an ‘equipment advice/discssion’ board here. But the one constant about equipment boards is, they’re, at best, debate boards and, at worst, ‘childish spat’ boards. And then there’s the ‘ringers’ that end up on the equipment boards shilling for someone….

    I’ll answer the surveys as I have the time. Truthfully, I’m not likely to go out of my way to do so, though…

  5. Full Monte

    Kudos to you, Padraig (and Robot), and to fellow readers, commenters.

    I work in the agency arm of the largest consumer data company in the world; this really is a compliment of the highest order. Opinions and data points gleaned here can indeed help guide the industry as a whole.

    In broad strokes, and in focus group detail, what is shared by us can articulate and define the kind of products, services, content of cycling. It may even provide insight on how to get more gadget oriented youth interested in the sport. How’d we find our way to it? What keeps us at it?

    In other words, this site is where many cycling thought-leaders live. And as a community we’ve been recognized as such. Just mull that over during tonight’s ride. Let it sink in, like a Strava KOM/QOM.

  6. Scott

    “You’re not going to find similar pieces like this at our competitors’ sites.”
    You have competitors? No offense to Fatty, BikeSnobNYC, or CyclingTips, but RKP has no equal.

  7. Hautacam

    +1 for SusanJane’s comment. I will take any survey to help RKP directly, but this one is somewhere in the grey area for me. If RKP gets a decent cut, then OK; but if it’s chump change and the big boys are going to keep all the frosting for themselves, then I will pass. But I am very glad they recognized how remarkable RKP is. Kudos to Padraig, Robot, Andrew, and the rest of the crew.

    1. Author

      Hautacam: We will receive a commission and believe me, if they can sell a survey two, three, four times, it’ll help our bottom line. And let me add that I think they’ll do a much better job of crafting surveys than I ever would.

  8. Pingback: Voice of the Adult Enthusiast Cyclist: Survey 1 | RKP

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