Monthly Archives: September 2010

Fun ride with Becky!

The "other" Roberts Market, in Portola Valley

Normally Sunday would find me out on the coast or at least up to Skyline, but things didn’t quite work out as planned. This was supposed to be Kevin’s first day back on the bike, but his pains (which may yet be from Kidney stones) were much worse today than yesterday, so instead I did a short ride on “The Loop” with my daughter Becky. Yes, it was pretty darned warm, maybe hot, but she hung in there and didn’t at all mind stopping for a drink at the “new” Roberts Market that’s in Portola Valley. Hopefully we’ll see more of Becky out on the road in the future!

I’m sure people relatively-new to cycling have discovered the “new” Roberts Market, with its outside tables and bike rack. It’s us old-timers who have ridden “the loop” the past 30+ years that it may come as a surprise to.

Bicycle retail is a strange world

At our Redwood City staff meeting before opening this morning, we discussed the fact that it was likely to be a busy Saturday with the warm weather that’s finally hit, and being short a mechanic (Joey’s out ill), we could be in a triage environment and have to be very careful about what we can get done today. Which could mean that, if someone wanted to buy a $5000 bike and it wasn’t built, we wouldn’t be able to do it for them. Which, sometimes, means losing that sale… especially with such nice weather. People want a bike now!

Trek Mystic 16

But here’s the thing. We’ll lose that $5k sale sometimes, because someone came in for a bike for their 5 year old, maybe their first new bike, and it wasn’t built up… and I’m sorry, but we’re just not going to disappoint a 5 year old kid if there’s any possible way we can move the world to make things happen. And that’s what we did today, when a young girl came in for a pink Trek Mystic 16, which we only had in a box. My son came up to me and asked if we could get that done, and y’know, it wasn’t something I had to think about. You just do it. It was her birthday and likely her first new bike.

We didn’t lose any $5000 bike sales today because we built up the birthday girl’s bike, but a few situations did come up that were delayed a bit so we could get her bike going. From a bottom-line standpoint, it’s kinda nuts, but it’s so incredibly heart-warming to deal with a young kid who can’t imagine anything more special in her life than that bike, especially in comparison to dealing with some “adults” who make the bicycle buying process so researched and analytical and stressful for themselves that you wonder if anything about cycling is actually fun for them. Kids know fun. We can learn from them. In the meantime, you and I can wait our turn. –Mike–