Lysterfield Cycles - a new way of funding trail work

Calvin27

Eats Squid
Not without precedent though. Abbotsford Cycles under Richmond station is a bike shop that doesn't sell bikes, and has been around since forever. With a solid market focus, the model can work.
They have the benefit of proximity and a much larger captive audience.
New trails is something that everyone wants. Except the land managers.
Yep it's a sad state of affairs after observing this for a long time. It's almost like the only place where decent mtb parks can be built is plantations lol.
 

Flow-Rider

Wheel size expert
Abbotsford Cycles sell those foldable Brompton city bikes, and they are the go to people for touring components and retro rebuilds. They used to sell a lot of specialised tools and parts online but that seems to be scaled down now.
 
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Minlak

Loves the template
The one industry that is recession proof - you should offer massage - end of ride happy ending would go off like a frog in a sock I reckon
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Hey guys,

I've just sat down for a meeting with the comittee and we're going to be making some changes to try and get this off and running. a lot of this is based on suggestions/thoughts/criticisms/death threats on here, so huge thanks to everyone thats made some time for us.

* target - we're amending this to $50k. so much of this is running costs, but we'll do as suggested and try to do the setup on a shoestring. low cost fit out, less accessories in the shop to begin with, and less "luxury" parts in the workshop. concentrate on the fundamentals to get running and if its viable we incrementally expand.
(this feels right too, i dont see any issue with starting looking like the underdog as long as the fundamentals and service isn't compromised)

*transparency/info - we'll be getting a new budget together, and putting a more detailed version of this on the website. we're going to detail what it means to be a not for profit, and we'll outline how the association constitution ensures that profits go back to the community. we'll also have a Q&A section with common questions and our responses. I think we'll also have a brief run down of how we intend to run at startup.

community engagement - the social media campaign will be ramped up, with paid advertising and new info. I *was going to run a free tune up station at the park this weekend and next, but i've got a kid getting an apendix out tomorrow now so all plans are out the door till he comes home. we'll also be remiding people that if we dont manage to get this happening, another shop will take that spot, which isnt a negative but also wont have the positive effect on the park and community that our shop would have. I believe we'll also be running a "like and share" comp with small rewards to help get the word around.


I've got a fair pool of Q and A stuff from you guys and other sources, but if you think of anything you'd want to see answered or detailed, i'll do my best to get it happening. i've got a few days of downtime ahead of me here so might aswell excercise my fingers typing :p
 

Boom King

Wheel size expert
I have one question.

PV control what happens in the park and pretty much everything I've read suggests PV put hurdles in the way of LDTR doing much in the way of trail building and expansion. How is a not for profit bike shop, aiming to put money back into the trail network, going to achieve this with the current PV relationship?
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
I have one question.

PV control what happens in the park and pretty much everything I've read suggests PV put hurdles in the way of LDTR doing much in the way of trail building and expansion. How is a not for profit bike shop, aiming to put money back into the trail network, going to achieve this with the current PV relationship?
I'm not sure how we're going to be able to answer that in a more public way diplomatically.

But the jist of it is that parks allocate $10k a year to lysterfield trails, which is ridiculous. But when you factor in that they have a rule that they need to be able to maintain the network on that budget without factoring in volunteer help, it makes it even more ridiculous. What we're hoping to be able to do is obviously to fund Ldtr trail works, but more importantly to have an ongoing budget to hire professional builders. This takes away a couple of arguments against expansion and enhancement, making our argument for them a LOT stronger. Its one thing to tell a government agency that we can help them with manpower, another thing entirely to tell them we can fund things


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Boom King

Wheel size expert
So the whole business model is predicated on hope that PV will let things happen?

Lysterfield Cycles aims to raise $50K with nothing more concrete than hope?
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
another shop will take that spot
Be interested to know which bike shop. To be honest they would need a full brand behind them and then a decent fleet of *cough ebike *cough rentals - I actually think this will support a lot of what LDTR are trying to achieve. It would make the particular enterprise have a lot of skin in the game.

The combination of a private business and a not for profit group also doubles the effective firepower of the bicycle community. Now when you put those proposals to PV, you can actually quote directly the amount of job creation and economic benefits to the community - those things are worth a lot in this political climate! The not -for-profit and commercial double whammy also increases the chances of accessing community style grants the government offers further making the money go further. I rekon there is a lot of synergies to this one - I would lean towards letting the private business do it's thing unrestricted and partnering as a stronger force than trying to go it alone.
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
So the whole business model is predicated on hope that PV will let things happen?

Lysterfield Cycles aims to raise $50K with nothing more concrete than hope?
Aye caramba, it's like you don't want nice things

No, there is things in the works that Ldtr have been working hard on. There is support from MPs to assist the cause. And as above, theres the removal of certain arguments against expansion.

At the end of the day one of 2 scenarios will come about:

1- we succeed, and generate an ongoing source of income for the trails and it's users. That income could be used in a variety of ways from basic building materials and equipment for the club, to independent reports and surveys, to professional trail building. Worst case scenario and we continue to be stonewalled by PV indefinitely on new trails, it's still money going to existing trails and it's still a service provided for the community. Glass half full right?

2- we fail, and a for profit bike shop picks it up. Still a win for the community because they get a bike shop on the trail head, but less likely to see much change or benefit to the trail network. The club will support this fully and work with the shop in mutually beneficial relationship. Glass is still half full I guess, but this time it's just water.

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Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Be interested to know which bike shop. To be honest they would need a full brand behind them and then a decent fleet of *cough ebike *cough rentals - I actually think this will support a lot of what LDTR are trying to achieve. It would make the particular enterprise have a lot of skin in the game.

The combination of a private business and a not for profit group also doubles the effective firepower of the bicycle community. Now when you put those proposals to PV, you can actually quote directly the amount of job creation and economic benefits to the community - those things are worth a lot in this political climate! The not -for-profit and commercial double whammy also increases the chances of accessing community style grants the government offers further making the money go further. I rekon there is a lot of synergies to this one - I would lean towards letting the private business do it's thing unrestricted and partnering as a stronger force than trying to go it alone.
It'll be put out to tender. At this stage, montagues have given us first pick with zero competition. I don't doubt for a second that other shops won't jump at the opportunity to operate on the trailhead of Australia's busiest trail network.

It's not a negative, I want to be clear about this. It's not like us vs them. Good vs evil. It's just that we'll exist for the sole purpose of funding the MTB community where another shop will not. Both will provide a service on the trail head. Both will get other local shops noses out of joint. Both will help spread the MTB love.

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Calvin27

Eats Squid
It's not a negative, I want to be clear about this
Of course. I guess I'm just playing devils advocate. Personally I rekon the whole venture needs to clearly define goals and ideologies and find a middle ground. I mean starting out with virtually no budget, an ambitious financial goal but committing to not sell the highest margin bicycle product itself?

The other question is around space utilization. Do you have defined hours of operation or can you for example run a fork servicing training session weeknights?
 

Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
Of course. I guess I'm just playing devils advocate. Personally I rekon the whole venture needs to clearly define goals and ideologies and find a middle ground. I mean starting out with virtually no budget, an ambitious financial goal but committing to not sell the highest margin bicycle product itself?

The other question is around space utilization. Do you have defined hours of operation or can you for example run a fork servicing training session weeknights?
We've had a good discussion about much of this last night, and I'm going to put a few hours into gathering info for an extensive q&a section to hopefully cover most of the questions/issues people have.

The financial goal was meant to cover us not only for set up, but for running costs while the shop turns ramps up from zero. we'll be going into better depth with that, we should have done this better from the get-go.

Hours of operation is a good question, I'll have to ask. Because yeah, running workshop classes is something I'd really like to see once the dust has settled

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Calvin27

Eats Squid
Hours of operation is a good question, I'll have to ask. Because yeah, running workshop classes is something I'd really like to see once the dust has settled
+1. Aside from some side cash for the venture. It's stuff that is really valuable for community imo. You can't tune up all the bikes that run around lysty yourself!
 

Boom King

Wheel size expert
Aye caramba, it's like you don't want nice things

No, there is things in the works that Ldtr have been working hard on. There is support from MPs to assist the cause. And as above, theres the removal of certain arguments against expansion.

At the end of the day one of 2 scenarios will come about:

1- we succeed, and generate an ongoing source of income for the trails and it's users. That income could be used in a variety of ways from basic building materials and equipment for the club, to independent reports and surveys, to professional trail building. Worst case scenario and we continue to be stonewalled by PV indefinitely on new trails, it's still money going to existing trails and it's still a service provided for the community. Glass half full right?

2- we fail, and a for profit bike shop picks it up. Still a win for the community because they get a bike shop on the trail head, but less likely to see much change or benefit to the trail network. The club will support this fully and work with the shop in mutually beneficial relationship. Glass is still half full I guess, but this time it's just water.

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I'd like nothing more than for it to be a success but someone has to ask the hard questions. The nornal course would be to discuss the whole proposal with PV, get their tacit approval and support, then hit up punters for the crowd sourced capital, not throw it out there on a wing and a prayer.

I would love nice things at Lysty but given the historical hoops PV seem to have made LDTR jump through, I'm wary that the nice things may just end up being more akin to holograms.

My main concerns are:

Lack of risk and accountability due to crowd sourcing the start up capital.

Lack of any real beneficial support by the shop's landlord.

Lack of any sort of approval by the land manager.

The idea seems great and has all the warm and fuzzy feel for the MTB community but it's just not fleshed out enough imho. At face value it seems like a bunch of mountain bikers wanting to work in and around mountain bikes without the need for any risk. Not to mention the landlord not outlaying anything in an attempt to attract more custom to their business. It's really not important to Montagues if the shop succeeds or not, as long as a significant portion of park users driving past become aware of what they are offering.

A couple of questions worth asking are:

Would a lender be forthcoming with the funds given the current business plan and forecasts?

If not, why not?

More than one devils advocate in this thread isn't a bad thing.
 
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Plankosaurus

Hydraulic Jack specialist
I'd like nothing more than for it to be a success but someone has to ask the hard questions. The nornal course would be to discuss the whole proposal with PV, get their tacit approval and support, then hit up punters for the crowd sourced capital, not throw it out there on a wing and a prayer.

I would love nice things at Lysty but given the historical hoops PV seem to have made LDTR jump through, I'm wary that the nice things may just end up being more akin to holograms.

My main concerns are:

Lack of risk and accountability due to crowd sourcing the start up capital.

Lack of any real beneficial support by the shop's landlord.

Lack of any sort of approval by the land manager.

The idea seems great and has all the warm and fuzzy feel for the MTB community but it's just not fleshed out enough imho. At face value it seems like a bunch of mountain bikers wanting to work in and around mountain bikes without the need for any risk. Not to mention the landlord not outlaying anything in an attempt to attract more custom to their business. It's really not important to Montagues if the shop succeeds or not, as long as a significant portion of park users driving past become aware of what they are offering.

A couple of questions worth asking are:

Would a lender be forthcoming with the funds given the current business plan and forecasts?

If not, why not?

More than one devils advocate in this thread isn't a bad thing.
Yeap, that's why I started the thread. I would have liked to go through this earlier but the group decided it was best to keep quiet about the project until we were able to launch, they thought it would be best to not have all the local bike shops fuming for months about us being handed an opportunity. The launch was delayed significantly by red tape also, lawyers & government departments and banks etc all take time to do their part and stages can't move along until certain things are done.

As with everything else, I'll put this to the better minds and see what they say, but my take on it is:

- montagues will not be funding the venture, and why would they? If we don't work out, another shop will gladly fill the space and they know it. This is no different from any other retail space, you want a space you pay for it

- pre approval for works from PV isnt going to happen. This is such a tough one to convey properly and remain diplomatic - in essence we (the MTB community everywhere) are locking horns with PV. What we're attempting to do is remove some arguments and dangle some carrots in front of them. There's no way to promise success in this but we'd be in a much stronger position with an income stream. Regardless of how much success we have, the community will be better served by a shop that's profits go to this cause. We can't promise X amount of trails, but we can promise we'll fight for them.

- who should take the risk and why? Given this is a not for profit organisation, putting our houses on the line for zero return seems a bit of a stretch. We're asking for community backing to try and achieve something that will benefit them. I don't know how to answer to the accountability, we're talking about putting in a best effort to make something special. Failure is possible I guess, I don't know who should be lynched if that happened.

- a lender would be pretty reluctant to hand over money based on the current model given that there is no collateral to put against it and that we're a not for profit. It's being explored, but not with any expectations.

- the people that got this rolling have zero intention of working there in any paid capacity. I'm the only one that's expressed any interest in working there (I'm a latecomer to the project), and even then I'd be going up against all other applicants that are in all likelihood better for the jobs. It's a good point to make clear though, that this isn't going to be just a bunch of riders trying to work in a shop, that we'll be employing professionals


Clarity has been our biggest downfall so far, we have to own that. We'll be working hard to fix that and many other issues over the next couple of days. Most of this has come about due to this thread, as defensive as I sound, we appreciate the honest and well thought out feedback

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danncam

Likes Dirt
Not sure where this idea will end up, but as someone who has ridden out at lystie for over 20 years, I've donated to the pozible, fingers crossed the goal is reached. You can see the hard work being put into getting this off the ground.
 

Daniel Hale

She fid, he fid, I fidn't
Well done Plankosaurus.

Possibly the shop is only open weekends, with volunteers, who’ve been vetted to confirm they know lefty loosey right tighty running the workshop?
its a pity someone does not have a vending machine with 6 diff tubes, a multi tool, 1-2 tyres; would have someone being there mid week when numbers are low..provide one of those workshop stands with a pump, tools attached to a steel cable..maybe a screen with dale showing people how to use said tools,poeple select which repair they need, Dale shows you on the screen
 

Calvin27

Eats Squid
vending machine
One thing to look for from the tenant will be security. If you are offering a bike drop off, better make sure you've got all bases covered.
another shop will gladly fill the space and they know it
Are you sure. Retail negotiation is all about bluffing. Personally from the numbers, I can't see it being all that attractive, even for a commercial venture. Do you have or can you get the numbers from the previous shop that was in the park? Would be good to cross check against the proposed numbers even if traffic has gone up considerably since it was last open.
 
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