I loved selling bikes. Better put, I loved selling cycling. I sold the experience and guided customers to bikes I felt would give it to them. I didn't get caught up on specifications and details. I'm not a gear head but I knew which bikes would work best for the customer, or at least I tried to figure it out. I rarely sold a bike because of price. I would work within the customer's budget to find the absolute best option and often if I felt like they really had the means, I would show them something a little bit better so they would walk out of the store feeling like they didn't settle. I didn't earn a commission so I simply steered the customer to buy the best bike they could so they would have the best possible experience. With a bike, like anything, you get what you pay for.
In a bittersweet decision I am moving on into a completely new industry, but as a single dad I need to make some money and be responsible for the future of my daughter and myself financially. It's a tough balance of doing something you love and making money. My new job involves business development for a logistics company and the owner, who hired me, is a very dynamic and cool dude, so I think I will excel in the position and learn a lot.
I loved working with the customers and equally loved the people I worked with. They are simply the best. I've worked with some great folks over the years, but there is nothing like working with people who do it because of their passion for bikes. In retail, it's tough to make a career, especially with a family. At Wheat Ridge Cyclery I really felt appreciated by the company but I simply needed to grow and increase my income. I hope to work there part time and continue to help them grow their multisport business.
For someone like me, who has a hard time sitting still or doing mundane work like restocking shelves, retail is tough when it's slow, like right now. With our warm winter and our reputation as a shop, we still sell more bikes than I ever thought in the Winter, but there is some serious down time on the sales floor. In other words, it can get a tad boring.
That said, a few things I learned from working in a bike shop, at least this one....
1. We just want you to have a sweet bike and all the cool gear that goes with it.
2. We just want your bike to work well and fit like a glove
3. Bike shop employees could all make it in stand up comedy
4. Nobody at work is rich and i'm not sure they care, but they are the happiest group of people ever
5. Free beer and especially food given to a bike shop employee is worth more than money
6. Don't wow us with how fast you are on a bike, we don't care, we can probably smoke you, don't underestimate the baggy jeans, we can ride bikes too--that's why we work in a bike shop!
7. You can wow us with beer--did I mention that?
8. Bikes do talk to you, buy the one that does and you will be happy
9. All bike shorts are not created equal...spend the money, your ass and bits and pieces will love you
10. Why do people cringe at $300 bike shoes but wear $300 jeans....don't get it.
11. It's funny, those with the most money expect the biggest discounts, maybe that's why they have the most money?
12. Bike shops are really just about dreams, we all dream of the ultimate ride, make it happen