Steve, Dean and I have spent the past week talking to dozens of shop owners about their plans for the pandemic and their experiences so far. Stores in large urban markets with subway systems are selling lots of $500-1,000 bikes. For the rest, it’s service, repairs and necessary items like tubes and tires that create the core demand.
When you look at retail in general, especially restaurants, bars and other businesses that depend on gatherings and many touchpoints, we’re clearly better off as an industry. And yet, those limited repairs and tube sales aren’t likely to pay anyones’ rent or mortgage.
States and municipalities recognizing the importance of cycling and access to shops has been stunning. In some cases, it’s been due to lobbying by individual shops and advocacy organizations. For the most part, governmental agencies have made these exceptions on their own.
So while we are better able to serve our customers than many businesses, and there’s an acknowledgment that keeping shops open is important to the general welfare, there’s still an element of heroism when shop people risk their own health for the benefit of their customers.
And of course, this is a choice that each shop owner must make for …read more