October Long Weekend Spiel

September 26th, 2011 Posted in General Stuff, People, Rants

The last few months have been pretty busy and exciting at Cheeky Transport. A while back Nick and I had our own little separate existential moments, totally fine now though. Adam and Jennifer welcomed Billie into the world and are now frolicking in the joy of finally having her home. And what might have been a quieter time of year saw the popularity of Bromptons and Breezer bikes swell whilst repairs remained steady.

In the last few months I was frequently working to the wee hours trying to get frames done for bobo and in the process realised whilst the ecstatic joy of being in a workshop building a frame or doing a repair for someone was immense I probably should be spending time helping to raise my family. Finding a balance between the missus, the kids, a full time job and part time frame-building I think will be my lifelong challenge.

I have always felt a tension when I”m building frames between needing my head to be buried in framebuilding, creating solutions to welding or machining issues and servicing bobo’s customers and trying to give a much as I can to Cheeky which has allowed me the opportunity to build frames in the first place.

I love greeting customers, giving no nonsense advice to beginners as well as experienced cyclists and not necessarily forcing a sale, I think people appreciate it. We do have an incredible range of cool stuff though, Stein hypercrackers, skirt garters, Hebie chaingliders, Klean Kanteen, King Cage.

What has been particularly interesting as I spend more time back out the front of the shop is meeting cyclists we haven’t see before who I can only guess are returning or coming anew to cycling in Sydney. Whilst we love our solid core of customers the increase in people deciding they are prepared to give cycling a go and come looking for a bike or accessories to equip their new bike is substantial and a fairly recent phenomenon for us. Quite a few of our new customers experience the City of Sydney Cycling Confidence courses either by our recommendation or after they do the course and need to find a bicycle shop to help them. These cyclists speak glowingly of the course.

Repairing bicycles is a whole lot of fun (although I did get screwed by three consecutive mystery punctures by an unnamed brand of tube today, changed the brand of tube I was using, fixed the problem) and the beginning of Spring has seen many neglected bicycles dusted off and wheeled in to be freshened up and made a pleasure to ride again.

Social media in business looks like its set to be a constant wave of ways to remind customers about cool things to purchase or events coming up. I’m unsure about this whole virtual community thing, what do you actually belong to? A collection of people in front of their screens appreciating similar stuff…..Ecstasy of information overload I think. Speaking of which a customer once gave us a fantastic print of an iZombie, worth looking up to your left as you are walking into the shop to catch it.

Nick has grown into his role as head communicator, facilitating Brompton enquiries with true passion for and expertise of the product is a sight to behold and holding the business together the way he does I think he performs very well. He’ll probably edit my post because he’ll feel a little embarrassed about how I write, it certainly could do with a picture or two.

You might hear Classic FM in the shop a bit more. FBI and 2SER do a sterling job most of the time but we find Classic FM very relaxing and calming to our mood and keeps us in good spirits for our customers.

Well, this has taken me about two hours to write, I tried unsuccesfully to have a picture of a Breezer Villager and a raw lacquer Brompton in it but maybe Nick can work his magic.