Cycling is a popular sport and leisure time in Canada, with different competitions and clubs to join. Whether you are into recreational or sports cycling, there are various disciplines to look into.
Disciplines and Styles
Disciplines and styles vary regionally but popular disciplines include freeride, downhill mountain biking, cross-country cycling, and bicycle motocross. In British Columbia, for example, many practice mountain biking. There are great mountain bike trails to explore such as Test of Metal, Whistler Mountain Bike Park, Smith Creek, and others.
Bike Competitions in Canada
Popular races and competitions in Canada are the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, Tour of Alberta, Tour de Beauce, and Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay, among others. Grand Prix Cycliste de Saguenay is held in Quebec and is an annual event that attract racers aged 19 – 22. Trade teams are also welcome to join the race. Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal is open to professional bikers and takes place in Montreal. Past winners include cyclists such as Greg Van Avermaet, Simon Gerrans, Lars Petter Nordhaug, and Robert Gesink, among others.
Bike Clubs in Canada
There are many bicycle clubs and associations in Canada such as the Simcoe Cycling Club, Barrie Cycling Club, Devon Bicycle Association in Alberta, the Cobourg Cycling Club in Ontario, and the Blizzard Bicycle Club in British Columbia. Clubs across the country aim to promote bicycling and ensure safety and security for cyclists. They train and support racers and encourage cyclists to adopt proper and safe cycling habits. There are nonprofit organizations in Canada that work to encourage outdoor recreational activities and social rides. Some clubs and associations actually run programs that cover a variety of skills such as cornering, descending, climbing, gears, braking, and safety and trail etiquette. There are programs for beginners and experienced and intermediate riders. Experienced cyclists, for example, learn how to improve skills such as flow, technique, efficiency, and speed.
Bike clubs across the country also organize different types of rides and events such as weekend group rides, time trials, tempo rides, girls nights out, and others. With weekend rides, the group leader is the one to decide on details such as terrain type, route, distance, and difficulty. Time trials are organized so that cyclists can monitor their progression over time, allowing them to test speed against the clock. Tempo rides, on the other hand, have a different focus. They are organized to improve group safety while cycling.
Top cyclists in Canada include names such as Monique Sullivan, Tory Nyhaug, and Olympic medalist Tory Nyhaug. They participate in different races, competitions, and preparation camps, including the BMX Canada Cup Race, the Track Olympic training camp in Ontario, and the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Quebec. Successful athletes also participate in competitions for road cyclists. Mountain bike group rides are also organized to help cyclists learn intermediate and basic skills and have fun at the same time.
Opening a Cycling Shop in Canada
Opening a cycling shop offers plenty of benefits related to self-employment and the fact that you set your own schedule and pace to keep up with.
Why Become Self-Employed?
While some prefer to have a reliable paycheck and a stable job, self-employment offers more freedom to take decisions on your own. You are free to choose your hours and what is more, you are your own boss (you don't have co-workers to work with). In Canada, self-employed persons are offered benefits such as special benefits under the Employment Insurance. You have to register and sign an agreement with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. You are entitled to receive benefits such as compassionate care and sickness benefits as well as parental and maternal benefits and parents of critically ill children benefits. You are allowed to register if you are a permanent resident or Canadian citizen and run your own business. Some self-employed persons already receive benefits under the standard EI program and cannot register. These include passenger vehicle drivers, taxi drivers, hairdressers, barbers, and others. If you plan to open a cycling shop, it is a good idea to check with the Canada Employment Insurance Commission.
Write a Detailed Business Plan
This is an important step if you require external financing, either through your local bank or union or through another provider. A comprehensive business plan includes details such as products offered (bicycles – types, brands, etc.), executive summary, management summary, implementation summary for your business strategy, financial plan, and more. Be sure to include projections, cash flow and profit and loss projections as well as business ratios, sales forecast, balance sheet, and other details. This will help you when you apply for a business loan because a good business plan shows providers that you are serious about making money and making your business work.
There are different options when it comes to financing your cycling business, one being to apply for a loan under the Canada Small Business Financing Program. Financing is available to businesses that plan to buy equipment, premises, and land. Many banks offer loans (https://www.debtconsolidation-loans.ca/debt-consolidation-loans/), home equity lines of credit, and other products (https://www.debtconsolidation-loans.ca/what-to-do-if-you-are-declined-for-a-debt-consolidation-loan/). If you decide to apply, then you have to present a business plan (this is a requirement under the program). Another option is to apply with your local bank or one of the big Canadian banks (CIBC, Bank of Montreal, Scotiabank, etc.) See more products and options here: https://www.debtconsolidation-loans.ca/
What Comes Next
Once you obtain financing, you have to think about details such as services, brands, equipment, and types of bikes, i.e. cross, mountain, and road bikes. You may want to offer different accessories and gear such as lighting systems, cycling jerseys, shorts, and goggles, gloves, and helmets. Other accessories you can offer include water bottles, tire pressure gauges, pumps, spare tubes, patch kits, and so on. It is a good idea to offer videos and books, camping equipment, and indoor trainers. Compasses and maps are handy, too. When you are done and have a good variety of products, it is time to think about pricing. After all, the main goal of every business is profit making. Think about the location as well. If you find an empty store front that used to be a sporting goods store, this is a great place to start doing business. It is quite likely that the previous owner had a customer base. You may also contact the previous owner to ask whether any of the equipment, tools, or bikes are still available (any if you can get a discount).