11.12.2009

Capitol Hill Bikes Closing... everything is on sale!

Lost Our Lease! Total Store Liquidation!

We've lost our lease and need to liquidate our entire inventory. Everything must go! Save up to 75 % off! Everything is on sale! Come early for best selection. When it's gone, it's gone. All sales are final.

Also, get your tune-ups while you can. We're offering our White Tune-up (which includes a drive-train clean) for $110 (regularly $130) and our Blue Tune-up (a complete overhaul) for $200 to $225 (regularly $225 to $250).


many moons ago I worked at a location of Big Wheel Bikes on Capitol Hill
this location was in a small row house on 7th Street a block down from the Eastern Market
the shop did not do that much business... well... not much by Washington DC standards
a good deal of the foot traffic was browsing... Eastern Market browsers... Saturday morning coffee browsers... no intention to make a purchase browsers

yet... people claimed to value the presence of the bike shop
but more as a service than a business
there were always people coming in asking for air or an adjustment
so many of these people who had purchased their bikes elsewhere
(at this time the Capital Hill Bikes was a different shop... maybe Metropolis or something else... the details have faded)

the biggest population that drifted through during the summers were the kids from the neighborhood
it was like my own little Chain Reaction... before Chain Reaction came to be... before Chain Reaction vanished from this world
kids would come by to hang out... kids would come by looking for adjustments
seldom did these kids or the families of these kids understand the basis of the "business"
so many people misunderstood that the "service industry" is a "cash transaction" industry
not a community service

the sign on the wall... minimum for an adjustment 7.50
I would loosen that to... if the bike goes in the stand... money needs to go into the register

as for air or a turn of the wrench... that depended upon my mood
a dollar or two for the lunch fund usually greased that wheel

it amused me when people would purchase a replacement tube or a replacement cable and they would ask me to make the replacement on the bike
the shock and disgust when I tried to explain that I could do it... but for a fee
people would often push the issue... gesturing that they had made this purchase
this evoked a textbook response that came out something like this... "when you are at the register at the grocery store and you buy your food... do you expect the person at the cash register to cook it for you?... same thing"

times have changed... that part of town was a little more fringe back then
it got rough... it got ugly... theft was part of the vibe
many managers before and after me were the victim of aggressive thefts
there had been an incident where an alleged customer bludgeoned a manager in the head with a hammer... this after a feigned relationship of purchasing a bike
I was robbed peaceably by a man who claimed to be returning to look for work... while he was really just casing out the joint... learning the routine... so he could cut the lock and steal one of the bikes out front the shop on the brick patio
there were all sorts of ugly incidents... just glad that none of the real ugly ones happened to me

one guy was attacked and maced by a few guys who emptied the register and rolled away with a few bikes
most of the crimes I was the victim of were shop lifters... it breaks my heart to think that some of the kids that I was so "cool" to were so quick to steal from me when my back was turned


enough on this...



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