Sausage Cross Interview – Rich Smott

The Smott Family. His (much) better half.

One of the main members of the “Sausage Cross” family is Rich Smott. ?Rich currently works, in part, for Pactimo and is racing for Alberto’s. ?Rich has been a part of the local scene for a Looooooooooooong time.

Q. Rich, let me start this off a little differently than other interviews do. This is more local community and industry related so I feel like I should touch base with everyone first and talk about my first recollections of meeting each other.

I believe we met during Campton Cross last year. You mentioned something about Tim Speciale winning a custom kit during the Golf Farm race. After that I think the next time we talked (in person) was at Glencoe this year when you were putting on my timing chip. You?

A. Indeed that was it. I spoke briefly to Tim after he won the Prime, but i needed to get a hold of him to get the art process started. It was nice to follow you online and of course to see you at Glencoe

Q. How many years have you been in the industry?

A. This one is tricky – as i wouldn’t truly consider myself to be IN the INDUSTRY. I have raced for 25 years since i was 13 years old. I wrenched at the old Hillside Cyclery shop for several years as a kid, and learned a BUNCH about the ins and outs of a shop.

 

Clan of the pink skinsuit. Indian Lakes 2010. Who is that super cool guy in the brown parka and black hat?

Q. What companies have you worked for since coming over to the industry?

A. Just Pactimo. The fact of the matter is I rep for them as a part time gig. I met Karl Heidgen several years ago and have helped him out a few times on various projects. He would call me every 8 months or so and see if i was ready to jump on board, and when we had our third child my wife was only working part time, and i was riding almost 0. I thought it would be a good way to stay connected to cycling and be able to use the extensive network of people i have met over the years.

Q. What do you like most about working for a Company like Pactimo?

A. I think that everyone that is IN the industry, and even anyone that has ever sold anything, would agree that the company has to be behind the product it sells, or it doesnt matter if its the coolest gizmo around, no one will want it after they get bait and switched or when the actual delivery time runs double the quote. I like Pactimo because they put the customer first. They stand behind their products.

I have seen us write clothing credits for anything from logo’s that were wrong (even if the team approved the art), to occasionally missing promise dates. We are serious about building long term RELATIONSHIPS, by making sure we always have happy customers. I also like that we have several things that changed the clothing game. We were the first company to do online ordering and team stores. We were the first company to direct ship to various team members as well.

There are a lot of people i meet that say ‘ I had some Pactimo gear about 4 years ago, it was ok”; and they were right, we are constantly learning, evolving, and improving. The gear we had 4 years ago was decent, but now we offer 3 different lines to accommodate a variety of needs.

Q. What’s the least glamorous part of your job?

A. 2 parts – Sizing Discrepancies and quality issues – both give us a chance to show our focus on customer service. Like the rest of us, we are all human. We will take ownership of any quality issues. Again, i have seen free replacements, future credits, pretty much anything that the customer and i agree on.

They like it when we own mistakes if they happen. The other part is sizing. Our clothing fits a little different from other companies, and we encourage teams to take advantage of our free sizing kits and encourage try on days to make sure everyone has the best fit. I generally try to make it to those try on dates to be available to answer questions.

Q. What is, in your opinion, something that you don’t think many riders understand or see about the working side of the cycling industry that they might be interested in knowing?

A. It’s not a lot of glamor and freebies. I think the riders get more free stuff than the reps do. Its a lot of work, a touch of fun, but at the end of the day, its nice to hang out with people that have the same passion I do (Rob: “Amen”).

Q. What do you feel is the biggest challenge facing the industry right now? What would you like to see changed in order to help the industry grow?

A. Thats a great question. I can honestly say that i dont feel that I am enough of an Industry guy to give a valid answer. I think that some of the women’s specific programs and junior programs need to be supported, as thats whats going to keep the industry moving forward.

Q. Time to work – what do you want everyone to know about Pactimo and/or their offerings right now?

A. We are serious about relationships. We have an ordering process that has revolutionized the clothing process. We have options for every kind of club or team out there, and with 5 piece minimums across the board, we can serve groups from 2 to 200.

Q. What do you think the future holds for Pactimo and customers of Pactimo?

A. continued partnerships that lead to continued product development and bringing the very best in garments to the hands of the end user !

Q. Sometimes racers like us can be a lot like baseball fans in that we always feel like saying, “there’s always next season.” – What keeps you wanting to race week in and week out?

A. I WISH i could race week in and week out, but baby number 4 has slowed me down.. ok has brought me to a standstill! when i was racing full calenders, it was the people and friendships that were the biggest pull to do a 75-85 race calendar. I have been in the ‘there is always next season’ mode for several years now, but it seems like i have never missed a beat when i do pin on a number and see my old and new friends out there on the courses.

Q. Why cyclocross? What do you think makes cyclocross so popular right now?

A. Without a doubt – the fan frenzy! its the ultimate in family / friends / and spectator participation. Its all in good fun. Warming up for crits – there is always the ONE guy or girl that gives you the stink eye.. at the cross races – its serious on the course, but even when im getting lapped the fast guys are cheering me on.

Q. Favorite beverage?

A. pepsi – its a huge vice, and i need to cut down the sugar!

Q. Favorite hand-up? (To give or receive)

A. Cold hard cash baby!!!

Q. If you were to be made into a part on a bike – which would it be and why?

A. Tough one.. id say the 11 tooth cog, because this one…. goes to 11! I used to be a decent sprinter, and nothing feels better than unleashing the 11 in a field sprint.

Q. What’s your goal for Sausage Cross?

A. I wish it could be to be a good competitor, but ive only made 3 races. i WILL say, the prize is looking GOOD! thanx Rob for the chance to share my views and for the idea behind Sausage Cross

So stop by and see Rich at the next race you can. Offer him a Pepsi and a dollar bill and see what he’d be willing to do for it! 🙂

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