October 14th, 2021
After a one-year break, THOK enjoyed a fresh new start and organized the usual annual gathering for THOK and DUCATI powered by THOK e-MTB owners.
The setting chosen for this year’s edition were the Alpi Cozie in Bardonecchia, one of the most renowned tourist destinations in the Susa Valley, Piedmont’s iconic skiing area in the winter and increasingly bike-friendly destination in the summer. It features over 400 km of trails, made for MTBs and e-MTBs, which include high-altitude trails and bike parks. It is also a strategic crossroads towards the great road cycling classics. From here riders can cycle towards the legendary uphill roads of the Giro d’Italia and of the Tour de France, such as the Col d’Izoard and the Col du Galibier.
The event took place in Campo Smith, the base of the ski lifts.
After attracting 70 participants in the first edition held on the Apennine mountaintops of Fanano, in the province of Modena in central Italy, which turned into 150 in the second edition held on the hills of Salice Terme, in the province of Pavia in Lombardy, this year’s edition in Bardonecchia attracted over 300 participants. They came from all over Italy (the farthest participants came from the southern regions of Apulia, Calabria and Sicily) and Europe (Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Romania and Croatia).
The event included not only the THOK Points (shops where one can purchase THOK bikes) and many THOKers (aka THOK bike owners), but also their relatives (spouses, children, parents etc.) and friends, who raced to our THOK Rent facilities – which were also present at the event – to get ahold of a bike and participate in the riding event.
Yes, because to ride along, participants had to go on a brand’s bike.
The event began on Friday with the Press Day dedicated to the invited journalists, who enjoyed a preview test of the brand-new MIG-R (top-range bikes from the All-mountain series) along with the rest of the range, including the TK01 and TK01 R bikes from the Enduro line. They went up the trails to the top of the Mulattiera Pass (2,500 m) with Stefano Migliorini, CEO of THOK and former world-class professional rider; his daughter Beatrice, a downhill champion both at national (multiple titles) and European level; Stefano Rota, Italian Enduro champion (multiple titles), and Pippo Marani, the internationally renowned trail builder who has built some of the most famous DH trails in the world, the most famous of all being the Black Snake trail.
On Saturday the THOKers officially arrived at the event. After going through the reception – for the registration and check-in procedures, to pick up their welcome kits and show their EU digital COVID certificate – the many participants enjoyed the activities put in place at the event, such as a free ride on the Alpine Coaster, or the over 70 km of trails prepared specifically for the event. They were prepared by the THOK staff and divided into three levels of increasing difficulty: ECO, TRAIL and BOOST. They were joined along the trails by photographers, video makers and more than 20 guides from the THOK staff.
Although all participants share the same passion for fat tires and assisted pedaling, THOK Tribe does not only entail riding, but is first and foremost a great moment of celebration organized by THOK for its customers, where everyone plays a part, both e-riders and those accompanying them, thanks to the light-hearted and joyful spirit of the entire long weekend.
The key moment of the celebration was during the Saturday evening aperitif offered by DESA, with its typical products from Piedmont, and by Teo Musso (who is a THOKer himself), founder of the Baladin beer, an Italian product of excellence loved all over the world – and by all those present at the event.
The evening featured speeches, acknowledgments and award ceremonies, including: the first THOKers to sign up for THOK Tribe 2021, the most active THOKer on social media, the worst at taking care of their bike, and of course our friend Lorenzo (the first to blindly buy a MIG, back when no bikes had been built yet and we only had a project on paper), the participants from France, the wildest female THOKer, the most active regional club manager and many more.
A great celebration, with a lot of laughs, fun and a nice atmosphere, thanks to the work of the charismatic Pippo Marani, a true legend of Italian MTB.
The participants then had dinner at the Harald’s restaurant. The dress code, you ask? The THOK T-shirt given out to everyone as part of the welcome kit, of course! The teal blue wave of 300 THOKers was truly breathtaking.
Many Ambassadors and VIPs were present: apart from Pippo Marani and Teo Musso, there was also Livio Suppo, one of the 4 founding partners of the brand, former team manager in MotoGP with Ducati Corse and Honda HRC, and Nicola Dutto, the most famous Italian motorcyclist with a physical disability, who rode the iconic Dakar and will soon be riding a THOK that was tailor-made to meet his needs.
On Sunday, despite the rain, which prevented us from going on our planned long group rides and to our high-altitude lunch, the THOK staff and the Colomion Team were able to replan the day at the Harald’s restaurant. Then, as the weather got better in the afternoon, the toughest riders resumed their riding, together with the THOK staff. The day finally ended with heartfelt goodbyes and thank-you from everyone.
The Tribe is not the only opportunity for the brand to meet up its affectionates, but it is compelling evidence of how much time and energy is spent by the brand to take care of its customers. There is a direct line constantly connecting the company and the final user, that always goes the extra mile, using all tools at its disposal, including social media, to keep this connection alive.
This is more of a mindset rather than a marketing strategy, and while many other brands may deem it hard to keep up with, it comes naturally and therefore easily to THOK.
THOK’s nice, helpful, empathetic and welcoming staff seeks to associate as much as possible a bike being sold to a face, a name, a story, rather than merely seeing the financial transaction. THOK is always going all in with everything it does, and customers consequently recognize its authenticity, along with its passion and expertise. This, along with an unfiltered communication with the company, helps the customer feel like they are part of the project.
The outcome of this approach is a strong sense of belonging that leads to brand loyalty. The sense of becoming part of a family is compelling and creates a bond.
THOK is unique and has an innovative communication style, which is how it has succeeded in engaging its THOKers like very few other brands have. Hence its large, united community: this community is extremely active and solid, both on social media and on the ground, where regional clubs are born spontaneously.
So, when the brand calls, the public answers. And the 2021 event in Bardonecchia was proof of this, where we witnessed a true love declaration for the brand.
It is no coincidence that the brand’s new hashtag the THOKers themselves came up with is: #THOKunabicidavivere (THOK, a bike to be experienced).
THOK Tribe would have not been possible without the help of the following THOK partners: Colomion, Bardo Bike, the Tourism Consortium of Bardonecchia, Mercedes, Birra Baladin, Galup, DESA and Spryke.