Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery pay customers to ride

Buy a bike before 22 January, and get $0.10 per mile ridden in 2012

New year resolutions are sometimes easy to keep in January, but now a California bicycle shop is offering a cash incentive to those who buy a bike before 22 January; the shop will pay those riders to ride for the whole of 2012.

David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery tells BikeRadar that resolute customers, who buy a bike before January 22nd, will have the opportunity to earn $0.10 for every mile they ride this year. He says he’s offering this goal as a way for customers to stick to their fitness goals. “Knowing that a lot of people choose improved health and fitness as a New Year's resolution, I had been thinking about some kind of New Year's promotion that would encourage people to choose cycling as part of their attempted life change,” said Kooi.

It was around Christmas, he says, that he first considered the gifts that people were receiving, many of which were used at home, in ways that were anything but exercise focused. Knowing that he runs a business that help people get fit, stay fit, and enjoy the outdoors he thought of the promotion. “I think that retailers and customers are numb to the ’20 percent off New Year's Sale Extravaganza’ type of promotion, so I wanted to do something different,” said Kooi. “At first I was thinking about paying for pounds of weight lost, but I thought that coming for the weigh-in at the bike shop would be more than a little awkward.”

After discussing the idea with employees they came up with the pay per mile promotion, which really is made possible through technology, including GPS applications in smart phones.

Those who take part in the Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery’s promotion will log their miles at Strava.com, a social training website, using their GPS devices. Twice during the year, SMMC will reward participants with gift cards for the miles they have ridden. There is still a bit of an honors system said Kooi, but he says he has a little more faith in human nature than to spend time worrying about whether anyone would try to cheat the system.

So far has generated what Kooi says is a lot of attention and excitement. A number of customers have already taken part, but since the beginning of the year no one has logged any really serious miles. Still he isn’t deterred. “If we can even help one person transforms their health and fitness through cycling I’ll consider it a success.”

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