Category Archives: Bike Shop/Cafes/Dual Purpose Shops

Commission-hungry Chainy Bike Shop Reptile

That’s it. I HAD IT with these Bike Shop Rip off Merchants

For Christmas -well, it was a late present actually (snow buggered up things), I had arranged to get some bike lights (decent ones).

So my friend with a budget of £40 (to which the bike shop reptile knew) sold us a bike light for a whopping £60 – he had convinced us that it was very powerful.

We had been shopping and it was getting dark and late, and we didn’t have our bike tools with us (well, we were shopping, and not going on some epic ride) and we didn’t want to get oil and muck and whathaveyou), so we asked him if he could fit them on. Silence. Then he said we can do it for a ripoff labour charge of £9 (that’s the price of a couple of chinese eat-as-much-as-you-can-buffets for two (or even a Valentine’s meal!)) or perhaps sponsoring a dog for half a year. £9 is much more than the minimum wage for an hour and it is much more than a cinema ticket in the provincials). So it meant ‘I don’t want to do it, I can’t be ar*ed’, you do it” .Considering the bike lights cost £59 for two which is fairly pricey and the shop was empty, he couldn’t be bothered to fit do it. I go to a second hand bike shop sometimes and that guy never charges to put on lights! (unfortunately he wasn’t open).

Well, we flatly refused. (the bike shop reptile was probably estastic about that (unfortunately). So I had to walk home without lights, mostly on the pavement because mine were cr*p). Women’s safety comes at a price. He was probably a Tory, with no conscience.

£70 for two pairs of bike lights.Yes, we wanted one quickly, didn’t want to faff around on the internet even though it was cheaper. Bike shop salesmen always say ‘oh if you use the internet it isn’t good quality etc etc and all that guff) and when you DO use them, they try and fleece you. No wonder their chainy shops are closing down.To be honest, I think we paid for the lights – in shock. It was awful as it was a present, and my friend only had so much. I had offered to pay for some of it, but he had refused.

I wonder how much these labour charges are round the country, how do they vary? Maybe I will ring a few bike shops.

Then the Bike Shop Reptile of Cha iny Bike Company failed to even ask if my friend had a CTC discount?Nah, that was ‘conveniently forgotten’. Funny that, folks.

To top it all, and this really knocked me for six, Commission-hungry Bike Sea Serpent said ‘is there anything else?’

I am now thing of creating a Ripped off by Bike Shops.

Other people may have been happy to pay for it but £9 is steep. I mean, how long does it take to fix both lights on – what a whole hour? Isn’t there a ‘British standard?’

This shop may not have my custom in the future and I have been a customer for years.

Lance Armstrong & the Bike/Cafe shop

Last spring, (ok, it is late but I’ve only just discovered it!), Lance Armstrong opened a commuter bike/cafe shop:-

He opened a commuting center, training facility and cafe in a 1950s-era building at the northwest corner of Fourth and Nueces streets.

From the Austin Stateman: (why not Person?!, getting all feminist here):-

He said “This city is exploding downtown. Are all these people in high rises going to drive everywhere? We have to promote (bike) commuting,”

Mellow Johnny’s, named for the nickname Armstrong earned while wearing the Tour de France leader’s “maillot jaune,” or yellow jersey, will be housed in a yellow- and red-brick building next to the music venue La Zona Rosa. It is a block north of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway, a path that will cut east-west through downtown Austin.

Armstrong said he’d like to see Austin evolve into a place like Portland, Ore., where biking is part of the culture and people pedal to work, to restaurants and to run errands. “Walk outside, and the streets are lined with bikes — because they have a safe place to ride,” Armstrong said of the city long known for its bicycle-friendly amenities and policies.

So how does Austin get to that point?

“The (Lance Armstrong Bikeway) is a big start,” he said. Armstrong and his general partner in the project, Bart Knaggs, said they’d like to see Austin create bike lanes separated from vehicle traffic and a system like a new one in Paris where people can use a credit card to rent a bicycle from a bike rack station and return it at any of the dozens of other stations around the city.

“There are times I ride in Austin, and I’m afraid of cars,” Armstrong said. “Imagine what the beginner cyclist must feel like? I think (Mayor) Will Wynn’s dream was this whole revitalization of downtown, which we’re getting, but it’s going to make it a lot easier if people can get around on bikes.”

The shop will celebrate the culture of biking, from the historic memorabilia hanging on the walls to a counter where customers can sip coffee and ask questions as they watch bike mechanics at work”

It’s lovely isn’t it? Another idea of a dual purpose bike shop. I particularly like the balcony where you can have a nice coffee. Don’t you envy all that Texas sunshine too? It’s also convivial for men and women, not just a place for blokes.

I often find going to British bike shops a very ‘souless experience’. It’s all about ‘sell, sell, sell’. The customer is ‘just a number’ and it shows. There is nothing ‘personal’ about it. And, it is not exactly ‘fun’ being in a bike shop. It always feels over ‘formal’ too. I just tend to wander around, get what I want. I never like hanging around there. I think the longest I have spent in a bike shop was half an hour but I am usually out in 15 minutes flat. I never know why they have such an old stuffy atmosphere. Many of the bike shops I go to are often devoid of customers and you would have thought the bike shop owners would wonder why that is so. It is stuffy and boring (and often doesn’t have what you want but that is another thing).

I think we ought get some bike cafes in London. Cyclists rarely talk to each other whilst commuting etc so a social atmosphere such as in a bike cafe is a great place to meet and chat. It could have a good notice board too.