The first couple of weeks were largely marked by the incredible heat, and lack of AC. I came home every day feeling lightly roasted, especially on sunny days where the western windows drove the temperatures up dramatically. After a comedy of errors involving an illegal 220v outlet masquerading as a 110 outlet, Home Depot's incredible return policy and a long hot wait for an installer to put in the new 220 unit, we have nice cold AC, which is a huge relief.
People who come in randomly off the street not knowing anything about the shop seem fairly divided.
About half are very interested and excited that such a shop exists. They gush about how pretty the bikes are or talk nostalgically about the bikes they used to own and the simpler life of three speeds. Several of these people have bought bikes, and it's a real kick to see them riding by weeks later through the shop windows.
Another 25% are just window shopping, not really interested in buying a bike, not having a bike that needs accessories, they're just checking out what's in this funny triangular space. They like to tell me about the businesses that have failed in this spot. Cheerful!
The final 25% are not really interested in this kind of bike and some of them are not afraid to tell me about it. Like the woman who did a quick lap and then asked me for directions to Wheelworks because she wanted a bike with shocks (!) Or the guy with stereotypical piercings, tats and facial hair who wanted a fixie because he had a friend with a fixie. Or most disconcertingly the guy who told me he'd thought about buying a dutch bike, but got a mountain bike instead because dutch bikes were too heavy and impractical. Those people are better served elsewhere, and fortunately there are a lot of other local shops which can really help them out.
Beyond the people coming in randomly, I've had a ton of bike-friends, bike acquaintances, and friends of bike friends who had heard about the shop through the blog or through others' blogs or tweets. Many of these people already own a bike, but it's still great to see them, and meet some in person after only knowing them through the blogosphere.
|Henry the Shop Dog enjoying the AC|
Working 6 days a week has been an adjustment, and I pack my Mondays off with lots of errands and to-do's. I definitely don't know everything there is to know about bikes, and I am never going to be someone who has all the details of gear ratios and frame geometry at the tip of their tongue. But I sometimes have to stop and giggle that I get to spend my days talking to people about bikes all day!