NORMAL, Ill. (BRAIN) — Bike retailer Chris Koos figured the best way to diffuse the protest of his shop was offering an exclusive sale.
“PROTESTER FLASH SALE! Protesters Only 5-6 p.m. Bike Parts And Accessories On Sale!” read the banner above the door of Vitesse Cycle Shop on May 7.
Koos is also the mayor of Normal, a town of about 55,000 in central Illinois. The group of 12, including a couple who have run against him for mayor in past non-partisan elections, protested because the town remains closed to non-essential businesses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bike shops in Illinois are considered essential.
“Any time I do anything bike-advocacy related, (they think) it’s because I’m just trying to sell bikes,” Koos told BRAIN on Wednesday and added he got wind of the protest in advance and had the banner ready. “It’s an ongoing issue with them.”
The banner “was as much of a joke as anything,” he said. “Our response was, if they come in, we’ll give them sale prices.”
The protest was organized by a Facebook group, Koos said, and billed as an “Open Our Community Social …read more