Sunday, January 25, 2015

Adventures of the First Lady- Forward Progress

I started my third week at the shop on the 18th. I can say that I'm feeling a bit more comfortable with the surroundings of the shop.
The weather wasn't cooperating for much outdoor recreating in terms of skating, skiing, snowshoeing, or fatbiking. Sadly, the temps had been too warm and we had a "no renting fatbikes for mtb trail riding" until the ground firmed up again. (Which happened mid-week)

Over the past several days I've cleaned a couple gnarly repair bikes, both of which tested my patience and I decided were terrible objects to try and test myself to see how fast I could potentially clean. One shouldn't try to time themselves when you are cleaning off a bike with probably at least 2 years worth of dirt and stray bird turds. Dried bird poo. I have now seen everything.

Okay...perhaps not.

There is something blissful about taking a rag down the bike and seeing shiny paint come alive again. The bike might be old and a bit unloved, but it still has some beauty to it. The fact that it can be made to be mobile again with some new parts (say new cables, chain, brake pads, etc.)

I have started humanizing the bikes already. Wondering what stories they could possibly tell me- where have they been. The old Gary Fisher that had shiny silver hubs and a pair of crawdad stickers on the seat tube. Would it have a male or female persona? Would the voice be smooth as silk or rough and filled with deep baritones?

I realized that one could make a coffee table book of old repair bikes- what they look like brought in and what they look like cleaned up. Maybe still looking old, disheveled, and worn- but amid the chipped paint and worn stickers they could still show vibrancy of life.

I've been helping Travis put together some Electra Townies. These bikes are amazingly fun looking even tho it's far from something I'm really interested in riding. However, I will admit to being almost head over heels in love with the pink Townie with green rims. It's like a literal, rolling flower. I want a flower power bike filled with a bell that has some sort of peace sign or hippie flower. Throw some streamers on the bar ends and let me feel like a big kid! How fun would that be?

I have installed my first derailleurs and I feel a bit more confident which way I turn my wrench.
I'm installing pedals and can say I know how to tell which is a left and right without any sort of R or L sticker. That was one of the first things I learned.

We've worked a little more on inventory- a task that is obviously never fun for ANY business unless you have oh, like 2 items to sell.

We met with our Trek rep to do a review and SWOT analysis on the business and come up with some new goals. It turned out really well, Travis had a sense of relief over the whole thing after realizing it was much more helpful than not. Keep an eye out for some future changes and fun things- like an email newsletter!

It was a little nerve wracking for me, especially as I signed up for some of the actions to help out. (Well, besides Travis there isn't anyone else that could.) It made me excited as well. It gives me some clear-cut goals/tasks to work on. I'm taking ownership of something that I'm really excited for and I believe in.

We stopped at the Co-Op for an early supper on Tuesday. I still feel a little strange going in as a customer ONLY. It's humbling to go in and see my friends, get hugs from customers (who are also friends!) and still feel welcome at a place that was my home for many years. I'm very thankful for that.

I'm thankful for so much right now, and it's awesome to feel excitement over new changes and possibilities!

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