Tag Archives: Joe Royer

29th Annual OICX Race

As time nears for our 29th annual OICX we have been busy prepping to host a fun yet competitive event for all ages and levels. In preparation for this thrilling race we sat down with co-founder/owner Joe Royer to discuss the beginning and creation of the longest running Cyclocross (CX) Bicycle Race in the US.

In order to bring everyone up to speed on the history of this race and CX in general, this style of riding which began in Europe is a mélange of road cycling meets mountain biking and was meant to be a Fall/Winter sport for riders. As Royer said, “The kind of weather we have experienced lately is exactly what Cyclocross riders are accustomed to.”

Royer and Outdoors Inc. cycling manager Joel Glasgow recently attended the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) World Cup hosted in Las Vegas this year to ensure that our event along the banks of the Mississippi River Sunday, November 1st at the Green Belt Park in Harbortown has all the current flair that the premier international event has.

The course is 1.5 miles and asks pros to dismount from their cycles to carry them over obstacles, run up the hills of the park and ride all-out for as many loops of the course as possible in a designated amount of time. Dependent on the weather Royer says the top cyclists this race attracts can expect each lap to take between six to seven and a half minutes.

The race is not only for the expert and professional riders as it includes a B race for intermediate riders and even three races for children to ride through the course and short rides for kids just learning to ride a course without obstacles to kids riding on tricycles!

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Ready. Set. GO!

Speaking of obstacles, a unique feature found only in this race is that the obstacles riders carry their bikes over are made from recovered logs from the Mississippi River to further add a touch of local flavor. Royer refers to the Mighty Mississippi as North America’s “Mt. Everest” and is proud of how amazed even the top cyclists are of this exclusive feature.

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Cyclocross often involves being able to get on and off your bike quickly to get over obstacles.

Royer summed up his three most important aspects of hosting a fun, respected and responsible race: “Make sure the fans, riders and other park users stay safe and have fun; follow all the guidelines from the UCI and USA Cycling and start on time; and be responsible in cleaning up the park following the celebration and party after the ride. We want to make sure park users have their beautiful, green park back Monday.”

As with this ride, much of Royer’s enthusiasm for his outdoors activities has stemmed from meeting, talking and working with people who find joy in their adventures. For him cycling, paddling the Mississippi (both still current activities) and climbing mountains in the Cascades of Washington to the Alps in Europe have afforded him the chances to engage with other enthusiasts of these sports.

“Experiencing the evolution of these sports has been fascinating over the years. Change is good,” said Royer.

Join us at the Green Belt Park in Harbortown this Sunday, November 1st to ride, cheer and/or just observe a race unique in the US and characteristic of Memphis. Riders can register beginning at 8am. Races begin at 9am for children, 9:20am for intermediate riders and 10am for expert/pros.

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And they’re off!

Please visit http://www.outdoorsinc.com or email Joe Royer <joeroyer@outdoorsinc.com> for more information and be sure to follow us on Strava for all future rides.


Written by: Hallie Burgess and Eric Bleier. Photos by Joe Royer.


Outdoors, Inc. Co-Owner Honored by University of Memphis

In current times, specialty retail stores that remain open for fifteen years are spectacular. Moreover, specialty retail stores that consistently open its doors for forty years are anomalies. Joe Royer, along with co-owner Lawrence Migliaria, have accomplished a feat that most entrepreneurs still consider a dream. For the past forty years, Outdoors, Inc. has “outfitted human-powered recreation.” Exceptional service, product knowledge, and product purchasing practices allowed Outdoors, Inc. to reach its current level of success.

engroyerThis past April, Joe Royer received the “Outstanding Alumnus Award” from the University of Memphis’ Herff College of Engineering in recognition of past and present achievements, mainly in the ways of Outdoors, Inc. and his philanthropy as a board member of Tennessee Parks and Greenways Foundation, Mississippi River Bicycle Trail, Greater Memphis Greenline, and his position on the Advisory Board of the Wolf River Conservancy.

Royer’s engineering background compels him to focus on efficient design (weight, length, flexibility of products) specifically on bicycles and boats. A knowledgeable staff that rides, runs, and climbs is critical to understanding the slight differences within the above categories in different products.

“Every human being is different…which makes every bike build, shoe fit, backpack choice, and ski/snowboard binding mount unique. Our staff has paddled in Glacier Bay, Alaska, completed coast-to-coast riding tours, trekked around the world, completed marathons, and climbed around the continental United States. We hire daily users to ensure our customers safety and satisfaction in their adventures.”
– Joe Royer, President and Co-Owner, Outdoors, Inc.

After arriving in 1967 for the University of Memphis Engineering program, Joe Royer has watched the Memphis outdoor community continue to grow as numerous climbers, cyclists, runners, trekkers, and the sort call Memphis home. While the Memphis outdoor experience expands, Outdoors, Inc. expands in conjunction with the Bluff City to currently include five locations.

Upon questioning Royer about the reasoning behind Outdoors, Inc. success, he replied, “[Our] best skill is to not underestimate Memphians. They are running the Boston marathon, climbing the Matterhorn, and paddling the Mississippi. Memphians are strong and need reliable gear as apparent in our daily interactions. [Our] stores, for the past 40 years, have consistently offered high-performance products for customers.”joe and lawrence

While the success of Outdoors, Inc. is in part due to the management, a large part is also attributed to the knowledge and experience of the staff. Within the staff at each location, there are cyclists, runners, skiers, paddlers, climbers, and hikers. A collection of the staff has completed bicycle tours from the Pacific to Atlantic Ocean as well as simply commuting to work via the Greenline. Five of OI’s bicycle technicians have attended the U.S.A Cycling training center in Colorado Springs. Further, staff members have paddled in Alaska’s Glacier Bay, the Sea of Cortez in Mexico, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon, and many other rivers in the continental U.S. and Europe. Employees have also hiked the entire Appalachian Trail, climbed the Matterhorn in Switzerland, and attended Mt. Rainier climbing school in Washington State.


Written By: Marie Mason, Outdoors, Inc.