“Hi, do you guys have any Specialized Rockhopper bikes in stock?” This was a question we heard multiple times a day throughout the Shelter In Place and it continues to this day! Many other questions too, such as “Do you repair bicycles?” have been flooding the phones. While Trail Head Cyclery has been building Rockhoppers and repairing bicycles since 1997, this year has broken all the records.
It started with a very gloomy outlook back in March when we closed the doors thinking it could be a long time before we opened them back up. Then we learned that bicycle repair shops were deemed essential businesses and could re-open. With about 70% staff able to work under the new conditions we opened back up and started to adapt. It was slow for a few weeks, and then it happened. The Bicycle Boom of 2020 began and we were flooded with requests for all sorts of bicycles and repairs!
Oh, and not just bicycles and repairs, but helmets, water bottles, saddles, shoes, pedals, pumps and TUBES! Wow, we thought tube sales would continue to decline since tubeless tires are really common but oh no, not in the 2020 Bike Boom, tubes are selling faster than they can be delivered. That can be said for all parts and accessories. Yeah, pretty much everything actually.
How busy are we? Well, we have over 400 active work orders in our service department. Not only are we building new bicycles for anxious riders, repairing our regular customer’s trusty steeds and handling a daily stream of walk-in repairs, but oh no, that isn’t even the best part. All the bikes that have been hiding in the darkest reaches of people’s garages, full of spider webs and dried-out tires are suddenly re-discovered by their owners and flooding the shop. Trail Head Cyclery is not the only bike shop seeing the boom, because we sold all the parts for those old bikes have been working really hard to find more. Brake pads, tires, tubes, chains, derailleurs, shifters, gears and all the rest have rotted out or rusted shut but their owners want to ride again. And ride they shall!
We have been working extra hard under new laws and challenges to research, diagnose, evaluate and schedule seemingly endless work orders. How many work orders this year? We are now up to 3843 work orders and counting. And we are very happy about that! Is it challenging? Yes. However, the alternatives are not good and we all consider ourselves very fortunate to be as busy and essential as we are.
Shout out to all of our customers who have shown patience and understanding during these crazy times! And here’s to more folks riding bicycles for exercise, transportation, fitness and all-around mental health. Yes! It may have taken a pandemic to elevate the bicycle and all the shops like ours, but we are happy to see the Bicycle Boom of 2020 and hope it lasts a long, long time.
Ride hard, take chances…