Passion goes both ways, JIFC roots. Posted on April 1st 2010

Here at JIFC world headquarters we are all things IF. The roots of JIFC in the beginning was a joke between Joe Ingram and myself. A simple conversation where I was giving him a hard time as usual had me sign off as the president of the “Joe Ingram Fan Club.” I continued to use that as my tag line for the next several months in emails back and forth. Once my first cross season came around and I registered for my first race I began looking at the teams people would sign up under. Not having a team and going into this supporting myself I ended up getting an IF kit to race in. Joe kindly threw in a couple of pairs of socks and a few H2O bottles. I figured I had my first sponsor (even if it was in my own warped mind) and put down JIFC as my team. As many of you know it means nothing to write that down on the race registrations and I continued to do that for the rest of the year. My friends asked me about it, but I never let them in on it as it sounded goofy. I made a few t-shirts as it was becoming something more to me and sent some to Joe as a way of saying thanks for the support and for answering questions over and over again. Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt? Joe was gracious and appreciate the support I was giving IF when I raced.

It was a little joke that only two people really knew about. It wasn’t important outside of the conversations we had. I am sure he had to explain it to the rest of the staff at IF when the shirts came and they more then likely and rightfully so they took the piss out of him.

Over the past years my understanding and appreciate has grown for IF. I have purchased bikes, have a decent collection of shirts, socks, kits, and other soft goods. I have spent countless hours on the phone and on email with local shops trying to get someone local to carry IF and have had a little success. They just don’t get it with the world of disposable big box bike companies. Shops want new models each year and some have even gone to say that it is easier to promote the hype then it is to train folks to understand how to fit and set up customers the right way. I have found that incredibly humbling as I feel the potential to build customers and a brand are being lost. I have sold dozens of folks via word of mouth on IF and know for a fact that they have placed orders with their dealers for bikes based on our conversations. It makes me happy to hear back in following weeks and months how much they love their bike and thanks for the encouragement. I am not a dealer, just a fan!

Why do I do this you ask? Once in awhile we come across something that embodies our own principles, beliefs, and in the end captures our passion. I have had the opportunity to meet several staff, talk to them on the phone, and hang at big events like NAHBS. They have always greeted me warmly and from the top down embody the class that we have all come to expect from IF.

JIFC has grown over the years from a joke between Joe and I into a choice. JIFC is more about choosing to ride and spread the brand through a passion. There are many of you who probably belong to JIFC and don’t even realize it. Being passionate about the brand and the folks behind the product is truly what JIFC is. It is a choice to ride, race, and promote Independent Fabrication to the best of your ability. JIFC today is more about a choice to to keep it real and promote your passion for IF. JIFC is no longer a joke,it has become more as many of you have asked me what it means and shared your own version. You, like me have the passion and have helped me develop an idea of… Just. Independent. Fabrication. Cycling. my version of what others have shown me more then anything else. My desire to promote and ride only Independent Fabrication bikes is my choice. The great thing is that I/we are a small part of a larger group. Cris, the genius behind showed me the way to this passion we all share. My brother Darren introduced me to IF and helped me see what I was unaware of. The staff at IF have graciously opened their hearts for us owners to learn more and enjoy in the greater experience…but the best part is that they give back the same enthusiasm for us owners as we show them.

Yesterday I got a package from IF that was a bit unexpected. Inside was a gift from the staff of a seat-cluster lug from an XS and a one off bag Gary made for Liz. Every staff member had signed the little “trophy” with a thank you included. Joe tucked in a note that simply said thanks for promoting IF and for being crazy for us. Also a note saying Liz deserved something special for putting up with a nut like me.

Folks, passion goes both ways and I am fortunate to have built friendships with the staff at IF and Cris of ifrider. These are the people who put in countless hours to make our passions come to life. Supporting IF and ifrider is part of being an owner and the greater experience. I hope to see man of you this summer in North Carolina!

Spread the word!

Cause…that is just how we roll!

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