Behind again here, and why not, pretty much everything in my world is behind right now. The “Essential Business” status for the bike shop has us going nuts from the opening bell until shortly before closing. It’s common for all three phone lines to be going at the same time, and with between 3-6 staff for customers at any given time, the math really doesn’t work out very well. We’ve actually had to leave a message on the answering machine that lets people know, if we can’t get to the phone during normal business hours, send us an email. Never, ever, thought we’d have to do something like that.
Been in this business for over 40 years and there’s never been a time like this. Kids bikes? Sold out. Mountain bikes & hybrids? Sold out. Some will be arriving in a few weeks, some in a couple months, some not until October???!!!
And then there’s the new shop. It’s not much fun paying for two locations while occupying just one! But construction is complicated, permits something we weren’t prepared for, and of course, not much time for a clear thought when things are so busy.
But there remains the bicycle, and despite the craziness, I’m still at it, commuting to the shop, dragging myself very slowly back home at the end of the day. Sundays, nothing too long, although that can change now that the county’s eliminated the 10 mile radius from home limitation. Pescadero here I come! Tuesdays have been relatively easy; Kevin (pilot) usually shows up and he’s happy with a moderate effort. Thursdays I’m typically on my own, and Thursdays are when I find the drive to hammer. Not just up Kings, but pretty much the whole ride. I seem to be in a game to get the highest average weighted power possible… up to 221 watts now.
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.