February 26, 2024

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Asheville bicycle transportation business launches to meet up with developing need throughout COVID pandemic

Taylor Essick moved to Western North Carolina in 2003 for the pure really like of mountain biking and the legendary one-observe trails like Kitsuma in the Pisgah Countrywide Forest.



a man standing in front of a car: Taylor Essick of Asheville has launched Kitzuma Cycling Logistics, a bicycle transport business, with two partners.


© Courtesy of Edde Burgess Pictures
Taylor Essick of Asheville has introduced Kitzuma Biking Logistics, a bicycle transportation business, with two companions.

The thrill of traveling down mountainsides led Essick to a occupation in the outside back then by starting Brown Dog Journey Excursions, and his keen feeling of scent for the biking enterprise served him to the exceptional start of a new company for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic – Kitzuma Cycling Logistics.

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Essick, CEO, and co-founders Chris Cosgrove, COO, and Tony Eggers, CITO (main data technological know-how office), set the wheels churning Dec. 1 on the land-based mostly bicycle transport organization, named with a slight spelling tweak (“to make it cooler”) and nod to one particular of his preferred mountain bike trails.

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Kitzuma features “dock-to-door,” box-cost-free, completely ready-to-journey bicycle supply nationwide, for any sort of bicycle, be it mountain, road, triathlon or e-bike, with a driver who will not only cope with the important cargo like a freshly frosted cake, but has the passion for driving and the technological competencies to assemble a road- or trail-all set bike at a customer’s entrance doorway.

COVID assisting to generate a new bicycle small business

Even though it might appear daring to get started a new enterprise throughout these a sweeping financial downturn, Essick, 44, who lives in Asheville, could hardly incorporate his passion for bicycles and receiving persons on them, as he talked about sniffing out a required specialized niche in the course of the pandemic-fueled explosion in desire for bikes.

Related: Asheville out of doors outfitters grow all through COVID, shift to even larger digs in River Arts District

“There’s been a enormous bike boom considering the fact that COVID. All the bicycle retailers are variety of out of stock suitable now for a few of causes. One is because the provide chain faced interruptions due to the fact of COVID. Most bikes are manufactured in China and Southeast Asia, which started a ripple result,” Essick stated.

“And bike participation is off the charts. Very last summer season absolutely everyone was inquiring me, ‘Do you know where I can get a bike?’ That’s the way you can have a socially distanced exercise, get out in the woods and truly feel like a normal human.”

Essick stated in numerous town centers, people have been also turning to bicycles for commuting and keeping out of crowded transit methods like buses and trains the place the coronavirus is a lot more effortlessly distribute.

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a man riding a bicycle in front of a building: Chris Cosgrove, left, and Taylor Essick, have launched bicycle transport business Kitzuma Cycling Logistics in Asheville.


© Courtesy of Justin Mitchell Photography
Chris Cosgrove, left, and Taylor Essick, have introduced bicycle transport company Kitzuma Cycling Logistics in Asheville.

“Basically the U.S. marketplace acquired all the offer that was intended to very last the total yr. And at the close of May perhaps past 12 months and June, it was absent,” he claimed.

Importers struggled by way of the summer season to get bike areas from Asian factories that shut down by means of a great deal of January and February, and are however attempting to restock wholesale and retail inventories wiped out through the bicycle increase. But there has been a recent uptick in bicycle imports, in accordance to the U.S. Commerce Section.

Similar: Blue Ridge Parkway completely shut in Asheville, Western North Carolina

In Oct the business imported nearly 2 million bicycles, value $139 million, down a bit from August and September numbers, but even now about 37% better than figures from October 2019, in accordance to section statistics. In March there ended up much less than 450,000 bikes imported to the U.S.

Relevant: WNC outdoor outfitters little by little reopen, just take huge financial hit from COVID-19

Even nevertheless lots of bicycle races have been canceled very last year and presently in 2021, Kitzuma is filling a have to have for bicycling fanatics who even now want to teach for some of the endurance races like Ironman, or commute or journey some of the best bikes on the current market.

Delivery bikes with kid gloves, nod to consumer company

Through his bike tour organization, Essick achieved somebody who delivered bikes close to the country, and to Hawaii for Ironman triathlons. In 2006 he went to function for the enterprise and honed his skills in the art of delicately but successfully delivery bicycles.

He also met Cosgrove six several years ago, and during COVID, they determined to strike out on their individual, together with technology abilities from Eggers. They procured 3 16-foot vans specially intended to keep 20 completely ready-created bicycles, with just the front wheels taken off, and started out performing in the Southeast.

They are now going nationwide, working with a few major bicycle makers in Tennessee, Utah and California.

Small business sped up so quickly that the entrepreneurs, while on-boarding new motorists, are also pulling double obligation, driving the slick vans throughout the nation themselves. Essick mentioned they are also leasing vehicles and hope to soon order up to 10 vans.

The foundation value for shipping and delivery is $200 but goes up or down, depending on the distance, Essick said. The price for bikes transported in North Carolina is significantly less.

Traditionally a company will have to construct up a new bicycle, then split it down again to box it, then give it to a transport organization for delivery by truck or plane to the consumer, who then ought to rebuild the bike.

“As bikes get extra and a lot more challenging, several brands have struggled with marketing large-conclusion bikes, only to have them show up in a box and stress the consumer with building it,” Essick explained, introducing that bikes can generally get there late or damaged in that circumstance.

“We’re providing a purchaser knowledge,” he stated.



a car parked on the side of a road: The newly launched Kitzuma Cycling Logistics has vans that can transport 20 bicycles at a time across the country.


© Courtesy of Edde Burgess Images
The freshly released Kitzuma Biking Logistics has vans that can transportation 20 bicycles at a time throughout the region.

Sarah White, 26, a monetary analyst in New Orleans, not too long ago got into triathlons, and experienced come to be devoted adequate to invest in a superior-conclusion Quintana Roo triathlon bicycle, which retails in the thousands.

She customized-requested the bike on-line, with transport options of getting the bike in a box and placing it jointly herself, or acquiring it transported in one particular piece by Kitzuma.

“For me it was so really worth it to get it delivered by now set collectively simply because I’d have to carry it to a bicycle store to get it set with each other in any case, which would be considerably less handy,” White stated, incorporating that a Kitzuma lower price created the choice even cheaper than the box shipping choice.

Relevant: Scenic views from climbing and biking trails in Haywood County preserved around Canton

She said the driver retained in contact with her by textual content, permitting her know exactly where he was and when he would arrive.

“I talked to him about Ironman, because he was also associated in the Ironman organization. He place on a bottle holder and pedals. It took considerably less than 15 minutes, so by the time he left, I was in a position to experience my bicycle,” White stated. “It was a wonderful encounter for me.”

“From working day one, we have been fully commited to by no means harming a bike,” said COO Cosgrove, of Asheville, who is also an avid bicycle owner.

He said Kitzuma ships only bikes, unlike shipping giants like UPS or FedEx, which are not automatically set up for managing merchandise that doesn’t come in a box. The company also backs each shipment with a guarantee for risk-free supply.



a person riding on the back of a bicycle: A Kitzuma Cycling customer stands with his bike after it is delivered.


© Courtesy of Edde Burgess Photography
A Kitzuma Biking buyer stands with his bicycle immediately after it is shipped.

“What sets us apart is our enthusiasm for cycling and the outdoor, and using that enthusiasm for innovation and technologies and applying new points to fill a void we see in the cycling market,” he claimed.

Essick however has daring strategies in advance.

RelevantAsheville greenway now stretches for 2 miles through River Arts District on Lyman Street

“We want to be a person of the leading biking brands in Asheville, and that’s a daring assertion taking into consideration we have remarkable companies like Market 9 and Cane Creek (bike element brands), and businesses like the Riveter (a bike park in Mills River) who are accomplishing amazing points,” Essick explained.

“The race producers and the constructive work of Asheville on Bikes also deserve a substantial pat on the back for the attractiveness of biking in Asheville. We take into consideration ourselves a huge advocate for the activity. We want to do our finest to be a portion of the group in a way that serves anyone,” he said.

Karen Chávez is an award-successful outdoors and natural environment reporter for the Asheville Citizen Instances and Usa Right now Community. She is the author of “Best Hikes with Canine: North Carolina,” and is a former Nationwide Park Services ranger.

Arrive at me[email protected] or on Twitter @KarenChavezACT

Browse additional outside newswww.citizentimes.com/outside

This article at first appeared on Asheville Citizen Occasions: Asheville bicycle transportation company launches to fulfill expanding need to have for the duration of COVID pandemic

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