Ghana: California Bicycle Coalition Industry Road Show Mike’s Bikes promises its customers ‘the ride of your life’, and
recently two of the company’s owners, Matt Adams and Ken Martin,
to Africa to give new meaning to that message. As part of a program run
by the non-profit Institute for Transport and Development Policy, Adams
and Martin traveled to the country of Ghana to work with local bicycle
dealers to improve the availability of bicycles and the quality of the
service local shops provide.
a growing working class in Ghana that can afford a quality bike, but
right now there is no established dealer network serving that market,"
says Martin. "If we can help them boost their level of bicycle retail
across the country, we can help the bicycle flourish as a form of
sustainable and affordable transportation in Ghana."
Ghana, Adams and Martin used their 25 years of combined experience in
bicycle retail to help local bicycle dealers fine-tune their business
practices, boost their level of customer service, understand basic
marketing concepts and take the initial steps to develop a dependable
supply network. “The people of Ghana are clamoring for bikes,” says
Adams. “Right now though, the local dealers need more training and
education to properly fill that need, and the wholesale distribution
network still needs to be established.”
in West Africa, Ghana is a country of 20-million and has an average
annual income of $2,100, with roughly 60% of the workforce involved in
agriculture. For the average person in Ghana, a private automobile is
largely out of reach. Yet, especially in rural areas, a bicycle is an
affordable, efficient and sustainable method of daily transportation.
visiting local bike shops around the country including the capital city
of Accra, Adams and Martin presented a series of free seminars to a
groups of invited dealers. The training was free of charge and the
entire expense of the project was borne by Mike’s Bikes and Morgan
Hill-based Specialized Bicycle Components.
goal is to get more people in Ghana on bikes. I think we were able to
have an immediately positive impact with the dealers, which is the most
efficient way to achieve that goal.” says Martin. “The great thing
about this project is that establishing an improved supply network and
creating retail excellence is a long-term proposition that will provide
social benefits far beyond the bike dealers alone - so I know we’ll be
working in Ghana for a long time to come.”
Out and about in Ghana (click on thumbnails below to enlarge)
Bike Shops in Ghana (click on thumbnails below to enlarge)
Instructional Seminars (click on thumbnails below to enlarge)
Riding with Ghana's Starcord Riding Club (click on thumbnails below to enlarge)