JOURNAL: Local Bikeshop Day 2018 @ Bikeshak

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Local Bikeshop Day 2018 @ Bikeshak

A day to celebrate small cycle shops everywhere

 

October 6th saw the very first ‘Local Bikeshop Day’ take place in independent stores across the country. The man behind the idea, Daniel Jones of Random Adventure, saw the opportunity and the need to try and unite IBD’s (Independent Bicycle Dealers) across the country in these difficult times.  The day was aimed at showing our respective customers and communities the value we bring to them and to give them a chance to show their support for us!

As you may well know Bikeshak has been trading in Altrincham for the best part of 20 years so we’ve been around a while, gained a few windswept wrinkles and battle scars but thankfully we are still here serving our cycling community. For us we felt LBS day was a chance to show all you fine folk that our expertise and knowledge is worth supporting and of course we like to think we offer a very personal service with a bit of ‘personality’ at times!

On the day we added a bit of atmosphere with a record player from the 80’s and a collection of fine Vinyl from Ben and Simon’s collections which had a few folk dancing away whilst trying on helmets… We also had some fun games in store, the Puncture Challenge was particularly popular with customers setting their fastest tube changing times to see how they measured up against the staff! We’re thinking of keeping a running leader board in store for anyone to set a time any time they like for club run bragging rights so watch this space.

“Teewns”

Our popular Workshop Classes ran throughout the day giving an opportunity for a top up or just some great free advice on gear and brake adjustment, cleaning and bar tape wrapping. We’ve been running these free classes for about a year now with special nights for Ladies too, it’s all part of the ‘giving back’ thing that local shops are really good at to support their community.

We also had three bikes loaned to us from Alternative Bike Co in Eccles who specialise in custom projects and bikes of a ‘distinctive’ nature. On the day we had a penny farthing, swing bike which pivoted from the seat tube and an alternate steering bike that steered in opposite directions that was just death on wheels . Funnily enough not many folk braved that one but after a lot of R rated language Ben managed to hobble his way around the car park. Google local businesses, you’ll be surprised at what wonderful things are lurking round corners and down quiet streets.

“My new Favouritest Bike”

It was great to see some regulars popping in just to show their support for us, it’s really gratifying to know that the service you strive to give means something to our customers and to know that despite the financial hardships they still come in to keep us open.

One of the big reasons local shops of all kinds are shutting in droves is because the value in the product is the ultimate decider for trade. It’s a little different with a shop like us as the product is only part of it, for a lot of a regulars it’s the honest, experience led advice and the human interaction that keeps them coming back. I managed to collar a couple of familiar faces to ask them why they use their local bike shop in preference of the big online traders on a regular basis:

 

 

The many faces of Bikeshak

 

Paul Woods

Paul recently joined our Service Club (haven’t you joined yet?!) and took advantage of most of our on the day workshop classes.

Favourite Bike

His favourite bike is his Ridgeback Tourer which we used for some brake adjustment advice on the day!

Dream Bike

Ideal bike? Well for Paul one for every occasion! If only!

Why shop at your local Bike Shop?

Paul likes to take advantage of our expertise gained through decades of collective experience. We see the consumer and dealer side of the Bike Trade and having ridden most things with two wheels and without the shackles of big business policy we can be honest with our advice.

 

Jeff Ryan and Barney the Dog

Jeff has been a regular through the year after picking up cycling again recently. We love customers like Jeff, you can’t beat that infectious enthusiasm that every new cyclist (returning or new to the sport) shares.

Favourite Bike

I think I almost broke Jeff when I asked him for his favourite bike, it was a tough call between his Orro Oxygen and Bianchi. We know most of you lot have multiple bikes, picking a favourite is almost impossible!

Dream Bike

Dream bike for Jeff is simply the top of the Bianchi range which could be a Specialissima or Infinito…choices… A pretty solid aspiration if we say so.

Why shop at your local Bike Shop?

Jeff keeps coming back as he’s a fan of our very approachable staff with the words ‘head not up our arse’ getting dropped in there somewhere. We get the impression Jeff doesn’t mince his words!

As for Barney the dog it’s anybody’s guess what’s going on behind those pools of black eyes. I reckon he’s daydreaming of chicken with that little tongue stuck out.

 

 

Adam Sherlock

Adam has been a long time customer of the Shak and is the BFG of Cheshire with bikes so big even I can barely ride them! An all round lovely chap who loves nothing more than to smash out insane miles on all terrain.

Favourite Bike

I didn’t really have to ask Adam for his favourite bike, we’ve seen it often enough through our doors! A beautiful custom painted Open Up adorned in drool worthy componentry. A gravel riders dream.

Dream Bike

Dream bike. Well. See above. Work hard kids and all that…

Why shop at your local Bike Shop?

For Adam the very fact he can walk in and be greeted by happy cheery people is all the excuse he needs to keep coming back. How can you not be happy in a bike shop?!

 

Jo Owen

Jo and her Husband Bruce have been familiar faces throughout the year and have that very rare thing of a shared passion for cycling. It may be a bit cliché but we are indeed #fortheriders which means we heavily support Women’s cycling of all kinds and Jo is just one of many of our female regulars.

Favourite Bike

Jo’s favourite bike is a beloved Trek 6800 ‘Retro’ MTB. One of those bikes that you know is inferior to many modern bikes but that doesn’t matter a jot because with cycling the journeys we take and the experiences we have are what the sport is all about. The bike is simply the vessel and the more joy it brings us the less we worry about what it is.

Dream Bike

Jo’s dream bike was immediately pointed out on our shop floor! Our Specialized Tarmac ‘Peter Sagan’ Ltd edition. We like Jo, she clearly has fine taste.

Why shop at your local Bike Shop?

What keeps Jo coming back is the desire to shop local which brings a feeling of community that big chain stores can never achieve. She’s also a big fan of our Ladies Night repair classes which we started due to demand and a desire to help all our female customers out there who wanted advice just for them in an environment that is friendly and welcoming.

 

 

Frank Wigley

Frank and his wife Laura are more long term Bikeshak patrons. I’m fairly sure the shop was built around Frank as he’s graced us with his custom for years. A keen track cyclist and MTB rider Frank is another friendly giant (must be the water) who’s not afraid of pain and big miles.

Favourite Bike

For Frank his favourite bike is his Starley Track bike which is a specialised race weapon for the boards of the velodrome capable of truly frightening speed.

Dream Bike

The dream bike is up in the air at the moment with Frank looking to get on board the gravel train with either an Open  or one of our amazing Vielo’s. Either that or a Cervelo. Go Gravel Frank. You won’t regret it, liberate your tyres!

Why shop at your local Bike Shop?

Frank has been coming to us for so long because he values our honest, solid advice the personal interaction we share with every customer and the relationship we build with our regulars so we truly understand  their needs and wants.

Due to Franks particular line of work (cycling, ninja Olympic diver assassin) we can’t show his face, but we can show you a picture of him kicking ass on the track. Which one is he? You’ll never know. He is a ninja after all.

 

Local Bikeshop Day 2019? We hope so!

 

We thought Local Bikeshop Day was a great success not just for the extra trade it brought in but because it gave us a platform to really shout about our business and to remind the local community that like independent Bakers, Jewellers, Grocers, Cobblers. All the traditional town stores are what give a high street it’s personality and reflect the community within, it’s something I think many of us don’t want to lose. Now more than ever we need the local community to fight for its individuality as hard as we are fighting to keep bringing you the great service we love to give. Thankfully Altrincham is doing a grand job in this respect and future looks bright and we hope to keep serving the cyclists of Greater Manchester and Cheshire for another 20 years and beyond.

 

 

 

Written on October 17th, 2018 by Ben Othen

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