This week we had a minor celebrity in town … well, in the mountain bike world anyway.
This stuff is still foreign to me, though. I grew up with celebrities being movie stars, sports stars, or musicians (Maybe the odd infamous politician). Presently, social media, or what ever the kids are calling it these days, is more likely to create fame than the typical TV, radio, and movie screens of past generations.
Ryan, “The Loam Ranger” is a YouTube star. He started a channel a few years ago and through his riding videos, how to videos, and travels, he has created a large audience in the mountain bike world, and therefore a viable and profitable business.
He was in Campbell River doing promotional videos for mountain bike tourism and I got to show him some of the local trails on Tuesday night.
Both of us being avid mountain bikers and business guys, we had some good conversations on the climbs. I learned a lot about monetizing YouTube and he got more insight into a brick and mortar retail biz.
What made me laugh the most, though, was how our businesses are run. He is the Loam Ranger and the face of the YouTube channel. He gets most of the recognition for their success. I am the face of Swicked and generally known as the owner, the ride leader, and the guy in charge.
Ironically in both cases, our wives are the ones keeping the businesses afloat. They handle the books, the finances, the events, and the scheduling. They do all the boring, but important tasks on the back end of the business, while we go ride our bikes, drink a beer, and try to create a following.
Don’t get me wrong, neither of our ventures would survive without the guys’ hard work and endless hours, but it doesn’t seem fair to receive so much credit for something that would sink like a stone, if not for our partners working just as hard doing the less glamorous work.
So next time you’re checking out a Loam Ranger YouTube video, or enjoying a Swicked event, remember that just because Ryan or myself are looking like we’re in charge, our wives most likely made it happen.
I’m James Durand and I’m Going’ Ridin’…