Archive for The business of bikes

Guest Post: Beeline Bikes Expands Fleet of Mobile Bike Shops to SoCal, Offering a New Path for Mechanics.

Recently, I heard from Peter Small of Beeline Bikes about their new mobile bike repair service coming to SoCal, offering franchise opportunities for local bike mechanics.

It seemed like an interesting idea, so I offered Small the opportunity to write a guest post for this site.

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Beeline Bikes’ Mobile Bike Shop model enables mechanics to own their own business, deliver expert service, and do what they love.



A few years ago, Beeline Bikes Co-Founder Pete Buhl found it nearly impossible to get his bike serviced after visiting a shop that only serviced bikes they sold…another that refused to work on his brand…and two other shops had wait times of two to three weeks. It was at that moment he recognized a need that had yet to be served and so he built a business model focused on empowering mechanics, customer service, and enabling more people to ride bikes.

ExteriorSan Carlos, California-based Beeline Bikes thus began in 2013 and the company has been growing ever since. After servicing thousands of customers at their homes and 100+ corporate locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, Beeline recently announced plans to franchise nationwide.

Beeline’s approach satisfies a customer’s need for convenience. Customers can visit beelinebikes.com, see real-time availability, and quickly schedule an appointment at the location of their choice – work or home. A shop on wheels then arrives equipped with the tools and parts to perform the service, along with a full complement of accessories. And the scheduling algorithm in place ensures mechanics arrive to each appointment on time.

InteriorAs for mechanics, the technology platform plays an important role too. Appointment management, customer communication, bike history, and routing are all accessible from mobile phones or Wi-Fi enabled laptops as they travel onboard the Mobile Bike Shop. Beyond that, Beeline has built an integrated supply chain with 80+ distributors and brands to ensure reliable component and accessory availability.

Beeline Bikes is a departure from the traditional bike shop and places mechanics central to the business. It’s exciting to see mechanics develop an ongoing relationship with customers, and benefit from their knowledge and expertise. This is an opportunity for mechanics to build a long career in the bike industry.

Beeline has seen a strong response to its franchise expansion plans from all over the country and will initially focus on West Coast markets, including Los Angeles.

To learn more visit https://beelinebikes.com/franchise or email franchise@beelinebikes.com.

 

Morning Links: Businesses benefit by trading parking for bike lanes, and new upscale spinning studio in DTLA

A new study from UC San Diego shows what we already knew.

The seemingly endless and nearly universal argument over parking versus bike lanes is no more valid than the mythical war on cars.

According to San Diego’s KPBS, after looking at cities all over the globe, researchers concluded that designing cities for active transportation — in other words, bicycling and walking — resulted in increased retail activity.

Or to put it another way, greater sales. And presumably, profits.

In fact, one study found that people who bike or walk to shop spend up to $200 a month more in a given store than people who drive. And there’s no research that shows removing street parking negatively impacts business, despite the fears of nearly every business owner, everywhere.

Someone should tell that to Gil Cedillo and Paul Koretz.

And the benefits go beyond just retail sales. As the article says,

The report says there is increased business revenue and economic development in cities designed for physical activity. The researchers said prioritizing the needs of bike riders and walkers over drivers can have broad reaching and positive impact on communities, including healthier citizens and a cleaner environment.

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I’m a firm believer in doing all my cycling outside.

However, for those who prefer to ride indoors, for whatever reason, the new BESPOKE Cycling Studio is now open at FIGat7th in DTLA.

As they describe it,

BESPOKE Cycling Studio offers clients the new carbon blue technology bikes for better performance and for an authentic outdoor ride feel and virtually zero maintenance.  This coupled with lightweight performance handlebars with ErgoLoop, aero bars, and 12 degree incline enable multiple user positions and increased comfort levels.

In addition to offering a unique fitness experience for spinning enthusiasts guests at BESPOKE also have access to complimentary shoe rentals, L¹Occitane natural beauty shower amenities, an alkaline water station, and conveniences such as digital lockers, towels, and fresh fruit. Clients can also opt-in to their tailored fit services including preset cycling shoes, weights and bikes that help them sculpt and tone all in an uplifting fast-paced class.

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Local

KTLA-5 is giving away two American Flyer Wave bicycle-shaped objects bikes every day this week.

 

State

The Race Across America (RAAM) kicks off with solo riders departing from Oceanside today, followed by teams on Saturday.

Google wants to turn Silicon Valley into the American Copenhagen with a low-stress cycling network, although plans for Mountain View may be in jeopardy after the city rejected a proposal to expand its office space.

 

National

The Wall Street Journal profiles a tandem riding Colorado couple, and offers advice on how to get one of your very own. A tandem, that is, not a couple from Colorado.

The Missoula MT marathon is accused of discriminating against disabled athletes who wanted to compete using handcycles.

Hays KS police explain what bike lanes mean, and say cyclists must wear proper attire. I assume that means coat and tie for the men?

Grand Rapids MI is the latest city to get bike share before LA; even tiny ski resort Jackson Hole WY is trying it out before we do.

The World (not really) Naked Bike Ride makes its way to Gotham.

New York plans a bike safety blitz because a pedestrian stepped in front of a bicyclist riding in a bike lane, who didn’t stop after hitting her. After all, it would just be silly to conduct a pedestrian safety blitz.

Just weeks after Secretary of State John Kerry broke his leg riding in France, the US Secretary of Commerce is out of action after hitting gravel on her bike while training for a triathlon.

North Carolina cyclists are urging the state Senate to oppose a provision that would require the state Board of Transportation to approve any road diets.

Thirty New Orleans police officers receive 16 hours of bike and pedestrian safety training to get a better feel for the obstacles both face on the roads.

Political will is needed to make South Florida cyclists safer. Or anywhere else, for that matter.

 

International

Toronto riders call for a citywide grid of protected bike lanes following three cycling deaths in the last two weeks.

West London sees a more than 10% increase in bicycling injuries in the last four years — and a nearly 20% increase in injuries to middle-aged men. However, that could be a result of increased ridership. Or out-of-shape blokes thinking they’re better riders than they really are.

A British Parliament member slams government plans to cut funding for bicycling.

This is why throwing tacks on the road isn’t just a prank. A rider in a Welsh Velothon suffers a nasty gash requiring surgery after suffering a blowout.

Keep your credit card handy. Irish riders who blow reds will soon face on-the-spot fines of 50 euros, the equivalent of $56.

The first woman to ride across Africa now plans to pedal across Antarctica via the South Pole.

A Canadian cyclist riding in Singapore is fined $2,500 — the equivalent of $1,855 US — for allegedly brake-checking an angry driver, then throwing his bike onto the hood of the car after the driver bumps his wheel.

 

Finally…

In a case of what the hell were they thinking, the organizer of a Belgium women’s pro race apologizes for rewarding the winners with bikini-clad podium girls. Whatever you do, don’t throw your pink Barbie bike at a group of cops five floors below.

And an academic researcher says the key to getting away with doping is don’t get caught. But apologize if you do.

 

Weekend Links: Own your own bicycle coffee café, slower driving works in Scotland, and WeHo candidate surveys

Ever want to just chuck your damn job and become self-unemployed self-employed like me?

Now you can become a bike-born coffee entrepreneur with your very own Wheelys.

No, not those kid’s shoes with a wheel in the heel.

But a full service café on wheels that folds out in just minutes to put you in the business of serving caffeine aficionados anywhere you can pedal. And it folds back down to store in the shipping container it came in, which doubles as a garage.

Think of it as your very own food truck. Without the truck.

Better yet, at just $3450, it costs less than a lot of road bikes. And less than 1% of the cost of opening your own Starbucks.

For that price, an enterprising cyclist could park one along PCH, and make enough to retire just from the riders who pass by.

Heck, I even want one.

If only to make sure I’ll have fresh coffee and Danish on my next ride.

Wheelys graphic

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As slower traffic speeds spread through Scotland, attitudes that bicycling is unsafe are changing, and more children are riding to school — jumping from 3% to 22% among older children in Edinburgh.

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Harelbeke posterThat ridiculous E3 Harelbeke poster has been banned.

As much as I hate censorship, this isn’t the way to promote bike riding to women. Or anyone but than teenage boys, for that matter.

Then again, it’s nothing new for the folks at Harelbeke.

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The West Hollywood Bicycle Coalition has received candidate surveys from 10 of the 12 candidates for the city’s three at-large seats in next week’s city council election.

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Still more bike events coming up this weekend and beyond.

Los Angeles Magazine recommends Saturday’s Chinatown Firecracker Run/Walk & Bike Ride, as does commenter Brian Nilsen.

Culver City Walk and Rollers will host a Family Fun Ride and Smart Gardening Workshop on Saturday.

UCLA’s Fowler Museum invites you to celebrate all things bicycle at the Bike Day Family Festival this Sunday.

The Santa Monica Bike Center is hosting a women-only Ladies Bike Ride for International Women’s Day on Sunday, March 8th.

Zócalo and Metro host a discussion on whether Car Culture is Dead on Wednesday, March 11th at MOCA. We don’t actually have to kill car culture, just tame it.

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Local

Streetsblog asks what DTLA needs to do to get ready for bike share.

Tori Spelling teaches her unicorn-helmeted daughter how to ride a bike.

That gargantuan six-way Los Feliz mess where Hollywood Blvd, Hillhurst Ave, Sunset Blvd and Virgil Ave connect remains a challenge for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

 

State

Maybe it really is a new era at Caltrans, as the notoriously auto-centric state transportation agency releases an annual report focusing on non-motorized travel. Although, as Streetsblog’s Melanie Curry points out, calling bicycling and walking non-motorized transportation is “like calling women nonmen.”

More confirmation of a change in attitude at the agency, as the Adventure Cycling Association looks at Caltrans’ agreement to allow bike tourists to legally ride through the high desert, completing the Bike Route 66 through the state. The ACA thanks Calbike and CABO, among others, for their help in finding a solution.

The San Diego Untion-Tribune says California’s proposed mandatory helmet law doesn’t make sense on the boardwalk, while BikeSD spells out the reasons a helmet law doesn’t make sense. And Pedal Love says requiring helmets is a step in the wrong direction; better to remember it’s another person out there, whether on a bike or behind the wheel.

A Sacramento bike shop doubles as a pedal-powered delivery service for farm-to-table restaurants.

A new city report says San Francisco is dangerous but not deadly for bike riders.

 

National

A trucking website suggests bikes could be the next wave in cargo hauling.

Clean Technica says the US has built as many protected bike lanes in the last two years as it had in the previous 140 years. But what exactly did bikes have to be protected from in 1875, except maybe outraged equestrians?

Maybe the LAPD should follow Portland’s lead and establish a bike theft task force.

A Colorado House committee votes to encourage dangerous driving by banning red light and speed cameras over the objections of law enforcement agencies.

Kentucky’s best known liability lawyer is back at work after a near-fatal bicycling collision; the driver played the universal Get Out of Jail Free card by saying he was blinded by the sun.

A Boston doctor says bicycling can help provide relief from migraine symptoms. Having blown chunks home more than once trying to make it back home home after developing one while riding, I can truthfully say it didn’t help me.

Credit fellow bike blogger the Witch on a Bicycle for pointing out a New York site that keeps track of cops who park in bike lanes, including here in LA.

Parking wins out over bike lanes in Princeton NJ.

 

International

Saskatoon gets its first protected bike lane this spring.

London introduces bike-friendly construction trucks loaded with safety features in an attempt to reduce bike fatalities, while a UK cyclist argues it’s safer to jump red lights, even if the cops ticket you for it.

A British woman posts a public sign demanding the return of her stolen bike.

Caught on video: A Brit bike rider jumps a railroad barricade as a train bears down on him.

A Chinese man set out on a bike ride in 1997 to explore different cultures. And he’s been cycling around the world ever since.

 

Finally…

Here’s your chance to be a star, as a British TV show is looking for a “speed freak” bicyclist to travel the world competing in local racing events, including Mongolian yak racing. You could own your very own Transformer as Ford patents plans for a car that reassembles into a bicycle.

And LA’s notorious bike thieves take it too damn far by snatching one of those new bicycle-shaped Echo Park bike racks.

I wonder if they realize it’s not really a bike.

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Not only was Leonard Nimoy one of us, but William Shatner stole his bike.

 

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