What’s it like, running an “Essential Business” during the Covid-19 crisis?

We have three lines coming into the shop. All three were in use quite often today. The aftermath is seen on the right, as Kevin & Becky take stock of what’s left. Of themselves.
Wow. It. Just. Doesn’t. Stop. There is no question that people feel a need for what cycling offers. Since we can’t go out in social groups, the family unit becomes ever-more-important because they’re the only people, those living under the same roof, we’re allowed close contact with. And bicycles have served as a sort of effort-leveling device for young & old. If there are very young kids, say, 4-7, they’ll be on their 16 & 20-inch-wheel bikes with the parents walking behind. As they get a bit older and faster, the parents will be on their cruisers & hybrids, extending their range, sometimes pretty dramatically. Married couples who had never seen so much of each other, desperate to find something new to do, with getting out on a bike being a unique combination of social, exercise and seeing things in a new light.

And so they come to us, bringing bikes that had been sitting in a garage (if they’re lucky) or left outside in the yard, needing tires, chains, gears unstuck and more often than not having to be told “She’s dead, Jim” (immortal line from the original Star Trek). Our repairs are literally a month behind, our floor is running out of bikes. Nobody thought it would be like this. And having to plan our move to the new location at the same time? It’s like, you’ve got to be kidding.

Meantime I’m trying to keep riding as much as I usually would, “celebrating” the reopening of Huddart Park by riding through it on a Tuesday (we normally ride through Huddart on Thursday) with both Kevin (pilot) and Jenny, a local female legend who can hang with the infamous “morning” ride.

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