Tag Archive for Small Business Saturday

Morning Links: F*** Black Friday & and support your LBS instead, ebiking clergy, and handicapped people ride bikes too

I doubt I have to tell you Thanksgiving is coming.

Which means the unofficial holiday dedicated to worshiping unbridled consumerism and spending will inevitably follow, as day follows night, and doping allegations follow cyclists.

Which is why a writer for Outside clues you in on tested and approved Black Friday deals for bike riders.

But seriously, screw Black Friday.

Get out and ride your bike instead, to burn off that Thanksgiving dinner and restore some semblance of post-holiday sanity, then go spend some money at your local bike shop the next day for Small Business Saturday.

Maybe you’ll find some of these things to kick off your holiday shopping.

Speaking of which, a few years back, David Kool, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, wrote what remains the best explanation I’ve seen for why supporting your local bike shop matters.

Because it does.

Photo by Michael Gaida from Pixabay.

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A surprising common theme today: Ebikes and the clergy.

Starting with a Sacramento nun who combines her love of bicycling with her vocation to serve those in need, riding her ped-assist adult tricycle to perform outreach to the homeless.

Then there’s this Brooklyn priest, who’s nearly as evangelical about his ebike as he is the church.

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Carry this one with you to your next public meeting, when someone will inevitably insist that handicapped people can’t ride bicycles.

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This one from Spain is scary as hell. And naturally, the driver flees the scene afterwards.

Maybe they forgot to make eye contact.

Let’s just hope the victim is okay.

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It’s our first ‘Tis the Season of this year’s holiday season.

And more than one.

The bighearted owners of a Santa Maria gym are raising funds for a bike rider who’s learning to walk again after losing the use of his arms and legs in a bicycling crash.

Around a thousand volunteers turned out in San Jose on Saturday to build 2,400 bikes as holiday gifts for low income kids.

Tennessee community members turned out in force to raise $2,000 to buy an adaptive tricycle for a four-year old kid suffering from an extremely rare gene disorder.

It’s not unusual for a cop to make a woman cry. Except in this case, it was a kindhearted Louisville KY cop who dug into his own pocket to buy her a new bicycle, just 20 minutes after she told him the bike she used as her only form of transportation had been stolen.

A Louisville KY radio station held its annual bike collection drive and bike build to ensure around 2,000 children will have a happy holiday season.

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The war on cars may be a myth, but the war is all too real.

A Birmingham, England bicyclist became just the latest victim of that country’s recent anti-bike terrorist fad of pushing people off their bikes from a passing car, shattering his arm and destroying his bicycle in the process.

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Local

Government Technology says the recent CoMotion LA conference pushed attendees to rethink the nature of mobility in a city with fewer cars.

LAist explains how Santa Monica brought order to the city’s e-scooter chaos.

 

State

The San Diego Association of Governments, aka SANDAG, is giving you a chance to put you money where your passion is, offering $3,000 mini-grants for “local programs and organizations that encourage people to choose biking as their main form of transportation.”

San Diego could be the next landing spot for Brooklyn-based Revel’s dockless, Vespa-style mo-peds; one EPA scientist says “I hope Revel users have signed their organ donor cards.” Because that sort of extreme safety judgement is exactly what the EPA does, right?

A San Diego family estimates they’ve saved as much as $150,000 by trading their cars for bikes and transit.

The annual Eroica California vintage bike ride will return to Cambria next April — assuming it can find a new home.

San Francisco’s new transportation chief wants to create a city where cars are no longer king.

Berkeley is working on its own Vision Zero plan, with a goal of eliminating traffic deaths and injuries by 2028.

Sad news from Sacramento, where a homeless bike rider was killed by a hit-and-run driver, who may have been seen swerving all over the road.

Once again forgetting the lessons of induced demand, a Sacramento-area highway project would remove bike lanes from a causeway to widen I-80, replacing them with a separate bike/ped crossing. Thanks to Megan Lynch for the tip.

 

National

Somehow we missed this one, as The Verge ranks the transportation modes in the Wizard of Oz; surprisingly, the bicycle came in second behind the ruby slippers. Personally, I would have gone with the witch’s flying broom. And maybe toss in a few of those flying monkeys, too.

Arizona’s annual El Tour de Tucson rolled on Saturday with nearly 6,000 participants, including former congresswoman and gunshot survivor Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, former astronaut and possible future senator Mark Kelly. Another participant was riding after suffering multiple skull fractures and a collapsed lung last year while training for the ride.

The newly elected mayor of Lewiston, Maine, hit a woman walking in a crosswalk with his van two weeks before the election. So naturally, it’s people riding a bicycle and a scooter in the bike lane who get the blame.

A Manhattan bike messenger shares a bike rider’s view of the streets after getting $240 worth of tickets for riding though a yellow light.

A Long Island writer tells the tale of Mile-A-Minute Murphy, who set the first bicycling world speed record by riding 61 miles an hour while drafting — and crashing into — a train.

DCist tries to crack the city’s #2 case, talking with a repeat poop smearer to try to answer why someone has been smearing crap of unknown origin on bikeshare bikes and scooters for the last few weeks.

Los Angeles continues to fall further behind the rest of the country, as Washington, DC commits to building 20 miles of protected bike lanes over the next three years.

Chris Pratt is one of us, going for a “brisk” Atlanta bike ride with semi-famous wife Katherine Schwarzenegger.

Palm Beach FL authorities make an extremely belated arrest in a six-year old case where a driver killed a homeless vet riding a bicycle, while traveling at twice the speed limit. And tried to let the woman he was with take the blame. Be forewarned, this was a horrifying crash, and the story gives a graphic description of it.

 

International

Travel & Leisure says cities around the world are cracking down on e-scooters; CNN agrees, saying scooters could be running into serious trouble, in part because they disproportionately affect people with disabilities.

Cyclist says don’t let winter weather keep you from riding. Especially here in LA, where temperatures sometimes drop all the way into the 60s. Brrrrr.

Game of Thrones star Kit Harrington is credited with saving a woman’s bike from thieves, noticing she’d left it unlocked and carrying it into the pub where she worked.

There’s a special place in hell for anyone who would steal a ghost bike; a British Columbia writer found a stolen ghost bike that had been stripped of its wheels, not far from where the victim had been killed.

A British Columbia city councilor says forget drive-thrus, what the world really needs is a few good bike-thru restaurants because bicycles run on calories.

I come across a lot of horrible news, but this is the worst I’ve seen in years, as heartless Toronto motorists continued to drive around a hit-and-run victim as she lay dying in the street next to her bicycle.

Life is cheap on Canada’s Prince Edward Island, where a speeding driver got a whole two years behind bars for killing a bike rider — despite driving 25 mph over the speed limit, fleeing the scene and reeking of alcohol when police found him hiding under a house five hours after the crash.

File this one under you’ve got to be kidding. A Scottish police chief says close passes by motorists aren’t a problem, and it makes more sense to target people on bicycles because drivers aren’t causing any wrecks. Meanwhile, councilors in another Scottish city insist the real problem is those damned inconsiderate bicyclists who ride two abreast, just because they don’t want to get killed or anything.

A British man went to the market to buy some cat food, and left with someone else’s bicycle — then someone else stole it from him four days later.

A Cork, Ireland dealer will take your car in trade for a new ebikeSpeaking of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, they beat that by seven years, working with the car dealer across the street to accept cars in trade for a new bicycle

India’s Congress Party promises a job for every family in one state, along with a free bicycle for every girl whose family earns less than 10,000 rupees a month — the equivalent of $139.

 

Competitive Cycling

Sometimes just riding a bike is cheating. A woman has received a lifetime ban from the Shanghai Marathon for using a man’s number and riding a bicycle instead of completing the race on foot.

French pro Elie Gesbert was lucky to escape without any major injuries when he became just the latest cyclist to be hit by a driver while training.

 

Finally…

If you’re going to ride drunk, try not to get in a crash with a police car. Who doesn’t need a Vogue-designed Shinola bike?

And no, the bicycle wasn’t invented in ancient India some 1,800 years before the first European velocipedes.

 

Guest post: Looking for a Bike? Shop Local and Shop Small. You’ll Be Glad You Did.

As you may have noticed by now, I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop.

So in honor of today’s Small Business Saturday, I’m reposting a couple of guest columns from two years ago, by bike shop owners explaining why that matters.

And you can support this site by donating to the Fourth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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Last week, I asked if any bike shop owners or employees wanted to explain why you should do business with your local bike shop this holiday season.

First to respond was Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village, who explained the importance of buying your ebike locally.

Today we hear from David Kooi, owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, one of the city’s most popular shops for road and off-road riders alike.

Not to mention the shop that created one of the bike world’s most brilliant marketing efforts by partnering with the car dealership across the street to allow people to trade in their car for a new bicycle a few years ago.

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By David Kooi

Are you looking for a bike? Here are some reasons why you should visit your local bike shop.

Personal Attention and Friendly Expert Advice

Choosing the right bike isn’t always easy. These days, there is a different bike for just about every type of riding and terrain. A good local bike shop is staffed with friendly, helpful experts. Go in and talk to them about the kind of riding you would like to do. They will help you make the right decision. Choosing the right bike will ensure that you’ll get the most from your purchase. If you pick the right bike, you’ll enjoy riding it. And, if you enjoy riding it, you’ll ride it more often. If you pick the wrong bike, it might languish, covered in dust, in your garage. And nobody wants that.

cute-kid-on-a-bike

Quality Products

The bikes you’ll find at your local specialty shop are usually better quality bikes than you’ll find online, at department stores, or at big box retailers. Why? Most of the best bike manufacturers only sell their bikes through local, independent shops. Why would they do that when they might be able to sell so many more bikes online or at Wal-Mart and Costco? It’s because they recognize the importance of dedicated specialty shops. They count on these shops to educate their customers on the value and features of their bikes. And they trust these shops to build, fit, and service those bikes properly and professionally.

A Professional Bike Build

When a bike arrives at a shop or at your local Target, it’s in a box full of parts. Some of it is partially assembled in a far-away factory, but it needs a good amount of work and fine-tuning to get it ready to ride. Whom do you trust to build your bike? At a good local bike shop, your bike will be assembled by an experienced professional mechanic and test-ridden for safety. When you go out for your first ride, you can be confident that the bike is safe.

Fitting

Bikes come in difference sizes. Then, within each size, the bike needs to be adjusted to the individual rider. If you buy the wrong size or don’t get a proper fit, you probably won’t be happy with your bike. When the bike is set up perfectly for you, you’ll be comfortable and happy – and you’ll ride it a lot more. And, if you’re a rider for whom speed matters, a properly fit bike will make you faster. When you buy your bike from a local shop, the bike fit is often included with the purchase of your bike. Further, if you need additional guidance on how to use the bike, most shops are happy to teach you about how to use the shifting, the brakes, and other essential features.

group-cruiser-ride

Maintenance

Bikes, much like cars, need maintenance. Some maintenance can be performed at home, like keeping the right amount of air in the tires, cleaning the bike, and lubing the chain. Your neighborhood shop can teach you how to do those things. More complex repairs and maintenance should be performed by experienced mechanics. A good local bike shop is home to such people. Furthermore, some amount of maintenance is typically included with your purchase when you buy from a local shop.

Accessories

When you get a new bike, you’ll likely need some other items to maximize your enjoyment of that bike. The friendly, knowledgeable experts at your local bike shop can help. The right pair of gloves can help with numb fingers. The right pair of shorts can literally save your butt. A good set of lights and a properly fitting helmet could save your life. A well-stocked flat/repair kit could save you from an Uber ride home. Or maybe you just want some flashy, fancy socks to match your new ride? Whatever you need, a good local bike shop will have the expertise and the selection to help you.

david-with-local-school-kids

Community

Your neighborhood shop is often a hub for the local cycling community. They can tell you about where to ride, about local events, and about local clubs and teams. They also might host clinics and classes about bike safety, bike handling, bike repair, and bike maintenance.

A good local bike shop also gives back to your community. At my shop, we work with local elementary schools to help get more kids on bikes. We teach local Boy Scout troops about bike safety. We donate bikes to the local Boys & Girls Club for kids in need. We sponsor a mountain bike team at a local high school. And we’re always looking for opportunities to do more. That’s how communities work.

boys-and-girls-club

You can also get to know the people who work at your local shop. Most employees are passionate about cycling and excited to talk about it with anyone. Employees don’t turn over at the same high rate as the big box retailers. You can get to you know them. They’ll recognize you when you come in the door. In these days of the Internet and Big Box domination, you might find it nice to have a small, welcoming place to go where everybody knows your name. And they’re always glad you came. At most shops, you are welcome to stop by and say hello and check out the newest gear – even when you don’t have any plans to buy anything new. Or, imagine you find yourself out riding and want to refill a water bottle. Someday, a drone sent by Amazon.com will fly up to you to refill it for you, but in the meantime, feel free to stop by a shop along your route.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

SMMC staff Michael B., David Kooi, Mike P., and Patrick O.

A Vibrant Local Economy

Do you want to make a difference in the local economy and in the lives of your neighbors? When you spend $500 at a small local business, you change their day. You get noticed. You get remembered. When you shop local and shop small, your money matters. The money you spend helps to pay the rent. Your money keeps the lights on. Your money pays the salaries of people working there. Those people, in turn, use that money to shop locally and the cycle continues. They pay for tuition. They buy stuff for their kids. They go out to eat at local restaurants. Your money keeps storefronts occupied, keeps your streets and sidewalks clean, and helps sustain a vibrant community. When you shop local, you make a difference.

When you spend $500 at Target, Wal-Mart, or Amazon, you won’t move their quarterly earnings per share one tenth of one penny. You’re just a tiny part of a larger demographic.

Price

Don’t assume that you’ll get the better deal online. Give your local shop a chance. You might be surprised to discover that your local shop is competitive with online prices, especially when you factor in the value of the products they are selling and other services provided. And, in the end, maybe you’ll find yourself willing to spend a few extra bucks for the friendly, expert service, the quality products, and to contribute to your community and local economy.

storefront

About the Author

David Kooi is the owner of Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery in Woodland Hills, California.

Santa Monica Mountains Cyclery, 21526 Ventura Blvd, Woodland Hills, CA 91364

david@smmcyclery.com

818-456-4105

www.smmcyclery.com

www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-mountains-cyclery-woodland-hills

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If any other bike shop owners or employees want to weigh in on the subject, just email me at the address on the About page.

 

 

Guest post: Support your local ebike dealer or local bike shop on Small Business Saturday

As you may have noticed by now, I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop.

So in honor of today’s Small Business Saturday, I’m reposting a couple of guest columns from two years ago, by bike shop owners explaining why that matters.

And you can support this site by donating to the Fourth Annual BikinginLA Holiday Fund Drive.

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These days, a lot of people are considering ebikes, for obvious reasons. They’re a great way for beginners to get into bicycling, to ride without fear of hills or going too far, or commute to work without breaking a sweat.

Not to mention they’re a lot of fun.

But where you buy your bike matters, as Linda Coburn of Pedego 101 in Westlake Village explains.

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At least once a week we receive a call from someone asking if we can help fix the e-bike they bought online. “It was a really good deal,” they say. “Their website has excellent reviews,” they continue. “But they don’t respond to phone calls or emails now that I have the bike.”

This is exactly why you buy a technologically-advanced machine from a local bike shop, preferably one that specializes in e-bikes. You certainly can’t test-ride a bike online. Many times a customer comes in after doing a lot of Internet research thinking they know exactly what they want but after trying a variety of styles, sizes and power options they often fall in love with something very different.

The staff of your local e-bike shop have likely ridden in the neighborhood. They know how each bike will perform on that monster hill and in the riding conditions that you will encounter. Most local bike shops host group rides and will be happy to give you directions to great ride locations. You may even end up making some new friends!

And of course, when you buy local you meet the actual people who will be there for you in case a problem should arise. Most local shops handle warranty repairs and will get your e-bike set-up just right. They will make sure the accessories you choose will fit and even install them for you.

So support your small and local business owner on Saturday, and every day. It’s good for you and it’s great for the community.

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I’m a firm believer in supporting your local bike shop, because they’re the ones who will take the time to ensure you buy the right bike or gear for the way you ride, and be there to support you long after they take your credit card.

I’m told some shops even accept cash.

So take a few minutes out of your frenzied Black Friday, or tomorrow’s Small Business Saturday, to stop by your favorite LBS and buy something. Anything.

They’ll appreciate the business.

And if you’re new there, take the time to introduce yourself and get to know them, so you won’t be a stranger the next time you come in.

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