Over the years I have noticed a growing elitism in the online backpacking community in regards to Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI). These self-appointed experts disdain, poo-poo, and generally criticize REI for all kinds of faults, ethics, and lost purity. Many say the only things at REI of value are gas canisters for stoves, and only when they are on sale. They shout out that REI is only for the poor load carrying burdens of beast – the “traditional” backpacker.
You may ask, “What do bikes have to do with backpacking or camping?” Well, we often take our bikes when we go camping. I have a lot of experience touring and camping with a motorcycle, and a bike can be used for that too.
For our 12th wedding anniversary I bought Joyce a bicycle. I have to admit, it was a truly romantic gift, if I don’t say so myself.
At the time, I decided to buy one for me too. Women like that kind if stuff. You know, matching his and her stuff. So this is our first matching his and her purchase. But I have to make this public. I am drawing the line at bikes. There will not be any matching his and her clothes, or any other kind of matching stuff.
Aside from my wonderful attentiveness to Joyce’s wants and needs, and my propensity to pick out the best and most unique gifts for birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries – I thought I might share a little about my bike research, selection, and the purchase itself. We bought two REI brand Novara Safari bikes.
Recreational Equipment, Inc., one of the country’s largest outdoor gear retailers (nearly $2 billion in annual sales) has been around since 1938. Actually it is a co-op and members receive approximately 10% of their purchases in a yearly dividend.
REI has been well known for its no-questions asked return policy. And the strategy worked – at least until recently. It appears that those who put the long running 100% satisfaction guarantee policy in place, failed to anticipate the decay of the public’s integrity and morals.
Every spring many hikers, backpackers, campers, and others look forward to their REI dividend check. REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated) is a co-op that operates retail stores and online sales. Founded in 1938, each year members receive a dividend based on their previous year’s purchases.