Two American “Brothers”

Authors: Go Chengdu

2014-06-29

If you ride a bicycle around Chengdu, you may notice an exploding trend: fixed gear bicycles. Known for their minimal aesthetic and bright colors, these hip road bikes are appearing everywhere around the city.
Jacob Klink and Larry Adamson, American entrepreneurs and bicycle enthusiasts choose Chengdu to start their business.
Eyes on Chengdu
“We completely fall into the beautiful mountains around the city. And we feel that this can be the best place for outdoor sports,”said Adamson.
In early October 2012, Adamson and Klink came to Chengdu and opened their store for selling fixed gear bicycles. It is the first such shop managed by foreigners in Chengdu and it doesn’t sell pre-built bicycles and each bicycle is custom built to order, depending on specifications which customers determine along with a consultant in the shop.
“In Beijing, the market seems to be saturated, so we want to find a city full of outdoor sports enthusiasts to develop our business, where is surrounded by numerous mountains and covered with cycleways, then we choose Chengdu,” Klink said, “Chengdu’s mountain roads are good for cycling, such as Longquan Mountain in Longquanyi District about a 30-minute drive from the downtown. With nice scenery and good roads, Longquan Mountain attracts numerous cyclists at weekends.”
The government of Chengdu focuses on encouraging citizens to keep healthy by practicing Tai Chi and other outdoor sports, among which the outdoor cycling is the most popular for young people.
As the owners of the fixed gear bicycles providers, Klink and Adamson not only sell the made-to-order bikes, but also share fixed gear bicycle skills and organize a series of outdoor activities.
Low-carbon activities staged weekly
“Everything, from tours through the mountains to hosting races, we were in on it. I was keen on getting a bicycle polo club going in Beijing and after that it was every weekend spent with the same old folks, playing an unusual sport with regulars and teaching new comers how to ride a bike and swing a mallet at a ball at the same time, ”Klink shared their experience in Beijing.
Due to their excellent experience in Beijing, they established their own bicycle polo club as soon as their store put into service in Chengdu. They offer bike rentals and host weekly bike polo events at the Sichuan Gymnasium in downtown Chengdu.
On Tuesdays they lead cycling trips around the city, sometimes fully encircling Chengdu’s Second Ring Road.
“More and more young people join in our club. They like to share the fixed gear bicycle skills and show off the new moves,” said Klink.
Low-carbon invention - “Panda Bike” welcomed
Chengdu is the hometown of pandas. The city’s symbolic animals inspires the local people’s creativity, such as a “panda bike,”which is made from bamboo.“Traditional fixed gear bicycles are made from metal and decorated by colorful plastic thingies, which are good for my business,”Klink laughed and said, “We want to do something mixing some local elements and modern bicycles together."
“The outline of a fixed gear bicycle can be made out of bamboo. It was surely welcomed by a lot of people, who adore low-carbon life, so we found the results of the chemical effect about the cultural shocks,” Adamson added.
Adamson& Klink’s Tips about Starting Business in Chengdu
Running a shop can be a little bit hard without enough money, but keep in mind that the most important thing is perseverance and learning the processing procedure.
Learning Chinese is really necessary. Being able to speak the local language could help to deal with troubles easily and communicate with local people conveniently.
A reliable friend is a life-long value.
One more word: KNOW WHAT YOU’RE DOING, AND BE CAREFUL.
Owners of the store
Jacob Klink is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. When he chanced upon the fixed gear bicycles shop in Bejing, the outdoor cycling sport became a part of his life. Now he has opened a fixed gear bicycles shop with a friend in Chengdu.
As Jacob Klink’s business partner, Larry Adamson comes from Lewiston in Upstate New York. He would never be distracted by anyone when he’s working on his bike. His friends give him a interesting nickname “Mr. Know-All,” because he can easily work out all problems about bikes.

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