January 02, 2020
Hello to 2020! I took some time on the first day of January to make a video talking through what I learned in my first year of business, and what I'll be working on in 2020 (it is a lot!) The video is below. If video isn't your thing, your kids are over your shoulder, or you just don't have the time then scroll past the video to my typed recap!
1. My bike shop is very unique and that is why I opened it. I didn't find the family-focused, and high attention to detail anywhere else, so I started it. It took me giving a couple of employees a few trials to fully understand that what makes my bike shop unique is me. A mother, a once marketing agency director, a great mechanic, and a person with the passion to help families bike more.
2. In the spring of 2019, I moved to running the shop by appointment for all new bike consultations and bike service estimates. My friends and loyal customers know they can stop in anytime my bike is outside but this appointment system has allowed me to provide the best customer experience and keeping the overhead lower. Sure, I'm sure I am losing business but if you are looking for expert service or 1:1 attention with your family then you'll respect the appointment system and really appreciate it. Some of my deepest relationships this year outside of my family have been the conversations I get to have while customers sit at my bar top as I work on their bike or finish installing their accessories to their new bike.
3. Not all "city bikes" are created equal and after testing out carrying a lot of electric bikes I have decided to focus on city style bikes that can safely carry children on the back if needed. This includes the Cannondale Quick line of city bikes that I carry mostly for my high schoolers and neighborhood friends that need something affordable but durable to use as an everyday bike.
4. My specialty is families. This sounds silly as we are a "family cyclery" but that is my superpower in all of this.
5. Do it for the kids. Helping kids learn how to pedal in my parking lot and growing our Kidical Mass monthly bike ride kept me grounded this year. I started this bike shop as it is my own unique way to making this world a better place for my kids, and that is something I tried to remind myself every day when the days were long sometimes.
6. Climate change is real and I have to help people get on the bike and leave the car at home. Hashtag #leavethecarathome
1. Focusing on my superpower of families. Helping families bike, leaving the car at home when possible, and getting more kids on bikes. That's it, sounds simple right?
2. Telling better stories and make more content. I sold MANY bikes this year due to a photo or video posted on social media to show people how to use a bike differently. For example, grocery shopping, carrying kids and beating the zoo parking line, bringing my 110 lb dog to work every day, and what gear to use for winter biking.
3. A new podcast! Bike Here will be launching later this month (January 2020) and will be a city biking podcast focused on taking my mission of helping people to get on the bike and leave the car at home. Education, culture, profiles and more.
4. Building a local community hub for biking, walking and "strolling" in Stapleton, our community in NE Denver, with a few other local active living advocates. Curating events, top places to stroll & roll, and highlighting topics like new bike lanes or trail closures. See the bones of the project here: Stroll & Roll Stapleton
Okay, 4 massive goals and I'm looking forward to knocking them out of the park with your help!
THANK YOU to everyone that has helped me in this bike shop journey so far. I can't wait to see what 2020 has to offer.
January 05, 2020
Enjoyed your 2020 video. Wanted to comment back on Twitter, but the feed kept bumping up. Love the city bike/cargo and family focus. I LOVE Dutch style bikes: fenders, skirt guards, chain guards, sitting upright, cargo holds front and rear, and of course a stout and reliable kick-stand, again, I love the Dutch style on this.
As a kid I hated having to lay down my bike on the ground because of an unreliable kick-stand. My bike was a part of me and putting it down on the ground felt very disrespectful!
My favorite bike is the one I rode in elementary school, a black Huffy BMX style that was not made for off roads but I never had a problem. It had a black banana seat where the rear support came up along and became part of the seat, not protruding upward. The frame of the bike angled downward to the rear in a curve and it seems I am always trying to match that design in my adult bikes. It had a similar line to the one in white I see painted to the right on your shop, but with the all important banana seat. I have never gotten over outgrowing my elementary school bike. I never did make friends with a 10-speed, as it was all the wrong design.
I look forward to gaining some education on electric bikes through all your postings. I have no idea about them at all.
My tip from life experience: when I was a kid, maybe kindergarten or first grade, my half brother tried and tried to help me learn to ride my new bigger bike. He raced up and down the street with me, trying to teach me how to balance myself to no avail. But one day, when I was alone, I reasoned out the problem. The bike was too big for me! I went in my garage, got a wrench, and took off the training wheels off my old smaller bike and I immediately, confidently rode it around the garage on the very first try. Then I rode it up and down the driveway and around the whole neighborhood. I could ride this bike. No problem. It was MY size. I immediately showed my mom how I could ride the smaller bike and told her that the problem was the bigger bike was just too big to balance. My mom was not as impressed as I thought she should be.
My point, don’t let parents buy a bike they think their kid can grow into. Get the kid on a bike that is the right size for them now—lease it to them if you have to, and the kid will have a much more positive early experience with bikes. That is my life experience tip.
Thank you for sharing and I look forward to learning more from you.
P.S. Those handle bars for kid seats are a great idea. I would have wanted to ride on the back more if there were real handlebars to grab hold of side oval metal rails that flipped it down and we’re no real source of safety—I was born in 1967 and folks weren’t so safety conscious then, I guess. Thanks again. 🙂
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