Schwinn Insider: Ryan Birkicht
What exactly goes into being the spokesperson for all the brands here at Pacific Cycle, specifically Schwinn? Look no further, Ryan Birkicht is the man that sets Schwinn apart from other brands for media and press relationships. Read on to learn more about what Ryan does here at Schwinn and his advice for anyone who wants to get into biking but isn’t sure where to start!
What is your role and day to day activities for Pacific Cycle? Specifically to Schwinn?
Sr. Communications Manager -
Core responsibilities include: managing press relationships, writing product and athlete press releases, coordinating media-based events, maximizing endemic partnerships (i.e. PeopleForBikes & Wisconsin Bike Fed), curating content for social media team, enhance exposure for athletes and influencer accomplishments/multimedia, and play support role for Brand Managers to optimize their efforts with PR strategy.
When did you get into biking?
I’ve always loved riding my bike but I didn’t start considering myself a ‘cyclist’ until about 5 years ago. Now that I ride more often, I’m constantly looking for the next upgrade and trying to ride every chance I get. Whether it’s on-road, off-road, or somewhere in between :)
What is your favorite bike and why?
My favorite bike is the Schwinn RXe because it gives me the chance to travel more places on two wheels. Prior to riding an electric bike, I would never have imagined trying to pick up groceries using my bike as transportation, but now that I can get a little extra assistance, I’m experiencing the joy of riding a bike to more places than ever before. Thanks Ben Franklin for taking the time to invent electricity!
What was the most rewarding project you worked on?
The most rewarding project is always the next one. PR involves a lot of research to identify the best media outlet and appropriate editor to work with. Once you’ve identified the best editor, there is a lot of work done to pitch the most appropriate product for the specific audience whom will read the final piece. After the editor is pitched and agrees to write the story, the PR role quickly changes to a customer service focused position as you manage logistics and product questions. After all that work, it’s incredibly rewarding to see the final editorial hit print! On to the next one :)
Do you have any advice for novice cyclists just starting out in the biking world?
The unique thing about cycling is all the different ways you can participate in the sport. Most people jump to spandex laden road cyclists when they think of recreational cycling but there are hundreds of disciplines outside of road cycling that allow people to enjoy the freedom of two wheels! My advice for novice cyclists is to find an area of the sport they enjoy and don’t get discouraged if a specific discipline doesn’t bring you joy (#MarieKondo). There are bikes made for every type of riding style so keep searching until you find the one that makes you happy!
Do you have any projects or goals you hope to achieve in the future for Schwinn?
The Schwinn brand is intertwined throughout the history of cycling in the United States. Our team is also working hard to intertwine the Schwinn brand throughout the future of cycling worldwide! My goal is to work with the media to tell both sides of that story, touching on the history of our brand while simultaneously focusing on our future! There are so many exciting things happening around the building at Pacific Cycle and my role has the opportunity to amplify the excitement happening right here in Madison, WI.
Where is your favorite place to bike to in Madison and why?
Madison consistently receives accolades for being one of the most bike friendly destinations in the country and for good reason. There are countless trails connecting our city neighborhoods to the country roads and I love riding all of them! It’s really exciting to look at a trail map and find a new way to get from point A to point B. One highlight of the trail system is the ‘bicycle roundabout’ which is the junction point of the Capital City Trail, Badger State Trail, Southwest Commuter Path, Cannonball Trail and Military State Ridge Path! You’ve got to see it to believe it :)
Who is your biking hero and why?
I usually attribute ‘hero’ to someone whom you aspire to be and I can’t think of a cyclist that fits that specific definition. However, I do LOVE watching Peter Sagan race on the pro tour. This year, I had the opportunity to watch him win a Stage at the Amgen Tour of California because Schwinn was participating at the event as one of the keynote lifestyle sponsors (fun fact)!