Lysterfield Cycles - a new way of funding trail work

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
@Calvin27 - I'm getting the distinct impression that people put a lot of importance in brown caffenated liquids sold in small quantities? I dont drink coffee so i dont get it, but i think we definitely need to explore this. There might be an issue with competing with the landlords, i cant imagine that would go smoothly if they're intending to sell coffee to walk ins. IF what they're planning is more of a restaurant sit and dine experience though, there may not be a conflict here so we'd be mad not to at least ask.

I beleive we have a fairly small space. i havn't visited yet myself due to work committments when visiting was possible, but i dont think its a huge space. This is part (not all) of the reason behind the "hire, not buy" model that we're looking at. managing a fleet of floor stock that you want to sell plus storing more ready to build, plus having enough bikes to demo and hire is not really feasible. But if we have a demo fleet and charge a fee for hire, we can manage enough bikes to keep everyone interested and provide a much needed service to the area. sure the margin is going to be higher for a sale, but you'll hire out a lot more than you'll sell being right on the trail head.
 

Tubbsy

Flying a Scotsman
Staff member
@Tubbsy @Elbo - thanks for those links, i'll be sure to look at them when i need a distraction from something i should be doing :p
No probs - Stromlo setup is probably not that close to your aims, but it does prove that a popular trailhead can support this kind of venture.

I do worry about you competing with the landlord on the beverage front, as I suspect that would be the real money spinner - they may well not look kindly on it.

The Canberra craft beers seem to sell really well on the weekends as do the bacon and egg rolls.

Also the bike shop bit is an outpost of a bigger bike shop in town.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
No probs - Stromlo setup is probably not that close to your aims, but it does prove that a popular trailhead can support this kind of venture.

I do worry about you competing with the landlord on the beverage front, as I suspect that would be the real money spinner - they may well not look kindly on it.

The Canberra craft beers seem to sell really well on the weekends as do the bacon and egg rolls.
Sweet baby jeebus, how good would a post ride fresh bacon and egg roll go down!
 

leitch

Feelin' a bit rrranty
@Plankosaurus (and @Chriso_29er ) first off, great idea and initiative and something that Lysty (and Melbourne) would be incredibly lucky to have.

Crowdsourcing something like this is incredibly difficult. $100k is a significant target to achieve without a clear "product" for people to be getting in return for their pledge (like they would on Kickstarter) and the establishment of a social venture/NFP means there is no potential ROI for this as an investment opportunity (like crown investing through Crowdcube or Seedrs etc). Which means you're left with passionate MTBers essentially making donations, which tend to be small and therefore leaves you needing an enormous donor pool to achieve your $100k.

If you're dead set on crowd funding then yes changing the reward structure would be a good start, and you might find you can leverage the gym subscription approach ($500 investment = 10 pack of services, odds are people will use one, maybe two).

However. To me, crowd funding this without any established presence seems like a long shot. I think you should be looking closer to home before you pin the success of this on crusty MTBers throwing a few $$ in.

Just initial thoughts:

  • Both Canyon and SRAM have their Australian offices within spitting distance of Lysty. They each throw in $20k p/a for the next 5 years and that's your rent and overheads taken care of. In return they get to put flags out the front and supply the demo bikes.
  • Seek donations of old/replaced tools/shop equipment from bike shops/distributors etc
  • Aren't you a plumber Planko? Between you and some chippies you know can you donate enough time to do a shop fit? I'm no cabinetmaker but I built and fit out my restaurant in London just me and my business partner - only paid for the electrics. Cost us 20k GBP to go from disused laneway to fully equipped operational restaurant. I'd happily throw in a few weekends to rip and sand some ply sheets to knock up a shop counter and some displays. I'm sure there are plenty of people more skilled and qualified than me who'd do the same.
  • Leverage the club committee - like above a weekend BBQ would be sweet but that doesn't mean you need to do a cafe fitout, just run a 6-weekly volunteer roster from the club for who mans the B+E roll tent out front on a Saturday morning.
These things absolutely do not have to be flash to be successful and to be valuable. I used to live down the road from London Bike Kitchen (click it) and it is a fantastic resource - it could be a really good inspiration for this.

EDIT: shit I forgot - as per LBK - membership membership membership. Don't have a garage with tools at home? Become a member and use our workshop to wrench your own bikes. $20/month + $30/hour you book the spare workstand.
 
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Elbo

Eats Squid
@Tubbsy @Elbo - thanks for those links, i'll be sure to look at them when i need a distraction from something i should be doing :p
No problem!

I like @nathanm 's idea of starting small and building from there. If you can run it small and provide say $100 return to the trails, that proves you've got something to work with, then try and get it to $1000 back to the trails, and keep stepping it up.
That's how I'd start a 'side hustle' hate that phrase
 

beeb

cheese-muffled mooo
The landholders may be more open to beverage/food sales if a percentage of the sale is paid back to them also. They effectively get a little sales boost, without the associated staff costs/cleaning/MTB ruffians cluttering up their hoity-toity resturant...
 

leitch

Feelin' a bit rrranty
The landholders may be more open to beverage/food sales if a percentage of the sale is paid back to them also.
Speaking from experience, avoid this arrangement like the plague, it just eats your margins like a motherfucker. You're already going to be hard pressed enough to generate any profit that can go to the trails without having to carve a portion of it off to give as a sweetener on top of the rent you're already paying.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
@leitch

again, some excellent food for thought. We'll have to look at a substantial rethink on the startup capital required if things dont turn around, i think bare bones is probably achievable and might even get more support than something flashy looking? and yeah, it'd get us out there, get a face on it, and a foundation to build on should it be viable.

Yep, i'm a plumber. and we've got a sparky on the small shop committee too. between us we can probably cobble something together thats functional enough to get bikes rolling around the park. that or get it all wet and burnt.

Tools, i have a reasonable selection and i'd happily loan them while we get going. even spares, i've got more of some things than i'd ever know what to do with :p might be time to do some fast talking with some of the local players, you never know i guess.


thanks again, all good stuff. learning much, will see what the other committee members think
 

Boom King

downloaded a pic of moorey's bruised arse
Can I ask why you aren't planning to use the abandoned Trailmix building? Seems like a way better location....
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Can I ask why you aren't planning to use the abandoned Trailmix building? Seems like a way better location....
Even smaller, belongs to PV, cans of worms I guess? anything I give you would be speculation though. It honestly never occurred to me past thinking this new venue sounds pretty ace...

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Boom King

downloaded a pic of moorey's bruised arse
Even smaller, belongs to PV, cans of worms I guess? anything I give you would be speculation though. It honestly never occurred to me past thinking this new venue sounds pretty ace...

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Plenty big enough, probably way cheaper rent, no issue with coffee and food, right in the park with the majority of users having to go right past the front door to get to their cars.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Plenty big enough, probably way cheaper rent, no issue with coffee and food, right in the park with the majority of users having to go right past the front door to get to their cars.
This is just my understanding of the situation, so don't take it as gospel -

Montagues want a bike shop in the complex. If we don't do it someone else will. If we started in the hut, we'd be competing with both another bike shop and a bigger cafe, both in what is arguably a better location (certainly a more visible one).

And that's if PV are happy to rent it out even, I'm not convinced they do. Internally they call it the visitors centre now, they might even have plans for it.


I miss having trailmix there too, but I don't think the rent or brown liquid sales is enough of an issue here to make such a dramatic change in plans.

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Boom King

downloaded a pic of moorey's bruised arse
Are riders going to park at Montagues? Seems like the target market will be driving straight past and into the park car park.

The only reason Montagues want a bike shop in the complex is because they think they can tap into the cyclists wallets that currently drive past. I'm not sure it's a good plan.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Are riders going to park at Montagues? Seems like the target market will be driving straight past and into the park car park.
Everyone will go past montagues, most likely more than once. only some will go past trailmix, and it's possible to have a full ride around the park without seeing it. Trails are one way now, if you're starting at horsewood Rd you basically have to go past montagues.

As far as I'm aware this is a moot point still. A space at montagues is on offer, I'm not sure a space at trailmix is on the cards in any way.

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Boom King

downloaded a pic of moorey's bruised arse
Everyone will go past montagues, most likely more than once. only some will go past trailmix, and it's possible to have a full ride around the park without seeing it. Trails are one way now, if you're starting at horsewood Rd you basically have to go past montagues.

As far as I'm aware this is a moot point still. A space at montagues is on offer, I'm not sure a space at trailmix is on the cards in any way.

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Fair enough, just asking the question. That's also my point though, everyone will go "past" Montagues. How many will make a detour to go in? It's not Field of dreams....
 

beeb

cheese-muffled mooo
Speaking from experience, avoid this arrangement like the plague, it just eats your margins like a motherfucker. You're already going to be hard pressed enough to generate any profit that can go to the trails without having to carve a portion of it off to give as a sweetener on top of the rent you're already paying.
Somewhat agreed, but I was thinking along the lines that if a flat-out "no" is received regarding food and bev sales, a small percentage of the returns might help get the idea across the line. It'd definitely want to be put in writing as a percentage of sales though, otherwise it'd be way too risky.
 

Boom King

downloaded a pic of moorey's bruised arse
Somewhat agreed, but I was thinking along the lines that if a flat-out "no" is received regarding food and bev sales, a small percentage of the returns might help get the idea across the line. It'd definitely want to be put in writing as a percentage of sales though, otherwise it'd be way too risky.
It will be a "NO". It's clear to see Montagues want to access the market driving past their door so they can increase their own revenue.
 
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