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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Bike Store Survey

posted by on July 29 at 14:13 PM

biketrail.jpg

Photo by cloverity in the flickr pool.

You don’t need the New York Times—or any of a hundred small-town newspapers that have run likewise stories—to tell you that cars are out/bikes are in. Not if you work above a bike shop. There is seemingly a new bike in the window at Velo, the bike shop below The Stranger’s offices, every day. The other day there was nothing in the window—and they weren’t just faking people out. “We’re selling 13 or 15 bikes a day on weekends,” says Velo sales associate Annie Gillberg. “Our mechanics are having trouble keeping the shelves stocked.” (There’s currently a 6 to 9 day wait for tune-ups at Velo, even though they have several mechanics and a tune-up is a one-hour job.) Ben Atkinson, a mechanic at 2020 Cycle, says the shop has been “absolutely insane”—not so much with new purchases as with repairs on bikes that people haven’t used in years and just hauled out of the basement. Wayne Fujiki at Gregg’s Cycle says “racks are flying out the door”—lots of new customers retrofitting old bikes, “putting racks on them to carry stuff to work.” He repeats, “Rack and panniers have been going crazy.” Erica at Recycled Cycles says, “It’s really busy in here. A lot of people who come in say they want to start commuting,” and are buying bikes to ride to work.

Just felt like scaring up some good news, bike-wise, to counterbalance all the acrimony over the Critical Mass mess.

(With reporting by Julia Mullen Gordon.)

RSS icon Comments

1

Christopher actually still works at the Sranger? I thought he went the way of Josh?

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 29, 2008 2:12 PM
2

Yeah, I called Velo a week ago and they said it'd be 2 weeks for a tune-up. REI said 3 weeks...

The REI guy told me that 3-4 months of the year it's slammed. The other 8 months of the year you can pick up your bike next-day.

Posted by biker | July 29, 2008 2:18 PM
3

Quick... it's a bird, it's a plan, it's a sattelite tracking prog for surveillance netties and little jacl hornres in a barn stormy floosie mookie mortal...

GAWD THEY NEED MORE MUSIC TO LISTEN TOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..................................

Posted by danielbennettkieneker | July 29, 2008 2:19 PM
4

For god's sake, people, tuning up a bike isn't hard. Get a book or look it up online.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 29, 2008 2:26 PM
5

LOL @ when the rains return

Posted by Non | July 29, 2008 2:27 PM
6

Best time to do any bike spending is during the winter. Especially right before they release new models or gruppos. Thus ends my obvious tip.

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | July 29, 2008 2:31 PM
7

@6- I dont know what a gruppo is but it sounds either delicious or evil.

Posted by Jakub | July 29, 2008 2:37 PM
8

The wait is slightly shorter at the Redmond bike shops I called. Not sure if that goes for all of the Eastside or what. If you find yourself in the uncharted wilds of Redmond though, you should only have to wait about a week to get your bike tuned up.

@4 Matt from Denver, do you have any suggestions on a particular book to use?

Posted by Lobot | July 29, 2008 2:38 PM
9

We'll see how gung ho all these "new" riders are once the rainy season sets in now.

Sure it is all trendy and eco hip when the sun is shining. Revisit the story again in 3 months and see how many people find a way to crawl back into their nice warm and cozy vehicles.

It is just another temporary fad for people with more money than brains

Posted by Reality Check | July 29, 2008 2:38 PM
10

The revolution starts now.

Posted by DOUG. | July 29, 2008 2:44 PM
11

Gruppo: A delicious pastry made of manflesh...

Or, a group mechanical parts for a bike (shifters, derailleurs etc)

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | July 29, 2008 2:45 PM
12

@11: But you only call it a "gruppo" if you're a poseur spandex-wearing roadie-pussy...

Posted by Liked It Better When Biking Wasn't Hip | July 29, 2008 2:51 PM
13

whats with the hate for local hero shop Montlake bikes? The people who work there might look be kooky but they ride daily and have awesome service.

Try to get off the hill every once and a while stranger peeps.

Posted by meanie | July 29, 2008 2:53 PM
14

@9; You are the winner in "Truth telling on Slog" for today! Congrats!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | July 29, 2008 2:54 PM
15

@12

I guess I should call it a manflesh brownie then. :(

Posted by Sir Learnsalot | July 29, 2008 2:57 PM
16

I'm just amazed by all the hostility this story is generating. No one injured, one bike wrecked and a small amount of damage to a single car, and enough hot tempered response to jumpstart a volcano. What a bunch of bored people living in this town. I prescribe more bike riding and less gasbagging.

By the way, allow me to recommend the wonderfully readable Chainbreaker Bike Book for all neophyte bike mechanics.

Posted by Gurldoggie | July 29, 2008 3:01 PM
17

If you want all your information from the tubes then Park Tool's bicycle repair site is quite handy.

Posted by J | July 29, 2008 3:10 PM
18

Maybe we can import them from China, while exporting our cars there?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 3:13 PM
19

I'm one of those newbs, for the last few months. I work mostly at home, so not much of a commute, but my wife and I have been doing most other trips and errands by bike or bus. We plan to dump one car and keep riding year round. I did ride in the snow that day in April, so we'll see.

Even if it's only a fair-weather fad for some, that's still 4 or 5 months of less fossils turned into greenhouse gas.

Posted by pox | July 29, 2008 3:30 PM
20

@ 8 Richard's Bike Book is excellent, but any decent bike shop will have a selection of maintenance books on sale.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 29, 2008 3:40 PM
21

Gurldoggie, are you forgetting the driver of the car, who had to have his head stapled together?

Bike maintenance isn't as easy as some people claim. I used to do all my own, down to the level of packing my own bearings, until one day I took it into the shop for something I couldn't fix and the guy said "you do all your own maintenance, don't you?" At least let a pro go over it once a year.

And I can also tell you from experience that truing a wheel from scratch is a job for the insane, or those who wish to join them.

Posted by Fnarf | July 29, 2008 3:43 PM
22

And meanwhile, the CM driver apologizes for being caught running over a human being:

http://www.breitbart.tv/?p=140813

"I have reservations!" Accident my ass.

Posted by Anon | July 29, 2008 4:05 PM
23

@20, that's the book I had. Don't let that scare you; I'm just inept with tools. Been in print for something like 40 years.

Posted by Fnarf | July 29, 2008 4:05 PM
24

and I should admit I paid $30 for a bike lockup rental for the UW Tower, so count me amongst the number of born-again-bikers.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:29 PM
25

"...not so much with new purchases as with repairs on bikes that people havenít used in years and just hauled out of the basement."

Guilty as charged! I went to REI and bought a Kona Cinder Cone for about a grand with the bells and whistles...and it promptly sat in my garage for the next two years.

Two weeks ago, I took it to Gregg's Green Lake and had them do what they do -- now it's my Scarecrow-QFC-Hiroki-Green Lake path-Molly Moon-Fuel-run conveyance! Woot!

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | July 29, 2008 4:30 PM
26

You can take your bike to the free bicycle repair clinic at Garfield Community Center on Saturdays and they'll teach you to tune-up and fix your own ride. They provide the tools and advice, you provide parts and elbow grease.

Posted by elrider | July 29, 2008 4:33 PM
27

Well, what about those of us who don't live on the Hill, elrider?

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 4:57 PM
28

What the fuck about you, Will?

I can't believe the shit that falls out of your mouth. Same regard to your comment in the movies post; as if being French has something to do with perving over adolescent girls. WTF? Shut the fuck up!

Me: "Hey everybody, we have a Space Needle north of downtown!"

Will: "What about people in West Seattle?"

Me: Wants to kill myself that billions of years of life on this planet has come to this moment.

Posted by Jesus Christ, Will | July 29, 2008 6:39 PM
29

Fnarf @ 21 & 23, my dad trues his own wheels and uses a wheel stand he made 40 years ago. He had spent nearly 10 years in the seminary which taught him focus if it didn't drive him insane. I have him do my heavy duty stuff.

But basic maintenance... anyone can do that. Clean and oil your chain, adjust your brakes, keep your tires inflated, etc. Just like anyone can do the basics of car maintenance.

Posted by Matt from Denver | July 29, 2008 6:44 PM
30
Gurldoggie, are you forgetting the driver of the car, who had to have his head stapled together?

Yes, Gurldoggie is forgetting him. You see, he is a motorist and to Gurldoggie and her fellow Critical Massholes, motorists are subhumans.

Posted by WS | July 29, 2008 7:39 PM
31

Heck, I've built my own wheels for years. It's not that difficult, and it's kind of a kick to do on an afternoon when things are slow.

I rode year round (including a 12-mile round trip commute) when I was in Seattle. It's not bad at all, as long as you have good raingear. And believe me, the bike shops have plenty of good stuff to keep you riding!

It may surprise you but more people in Seattle ride during winter than people in San Diego ride in *summer.* Weather isn't everything.

Posted by Sachi Wilson | July 29, 2008 8:02 PM
32

not subhumans, just douchebags. like pro wrestling fans or frat boys.

also, thanks for remembering that poor attempted murderer who had to go to the hospital for an hour or whatever. that really sux man. i hope you didn't hurt your neck from running over those bikes and that man too fast! next time make sure your victims are alone so nobody can fight back. maybe try stabbing little children walking to school? our only concern is your safety!!

Posted by ps i was being sarcastic | July 29, 2008 8:02 PM
33

Every day more people get killed or injured by car drivers than by cyclists.

Every.

Single.

Day.

Posted by Will in Seattle | July 29, 2008 10:46 PM
34

What's

Your

Point,

Will?

Oh, that's right, it's on top of your head.

Posted by Fnarf | July 29, 2008 11:36 PM
35

Getting back to the subject...

I need moral support...

I bought my bike, fell off my bike two months ago, and have ridden only half a dozen times since.

PTSD issues flared and I'm afraid of my bike!

Posted by Annee | July 30, 2008 10:03 AM
36

@35, Perhaps you should have a biking buddy. Fnarf, could you join her?

Posted by Sam Hill | July 30, 2008 10:19 AM

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