Thursday, November 19, 2009

If You Build It They Will Come: A Warning!

Yes, I know - I've not been writing regularly.  There is the small problem of me still having a day job.  Widgets, it seems, do not make themselves, and when the widgets get backordered, the worker bees have to put in lots of extra time getting caught up.  As such - I've not been tending the COMO CYCO fires as much as want to.

But too much is happening in the crazy, ridiculous world of cycling NOT to widgets be damned for the time being.

In pro-peleton news, some interesting shake ups in teams are occuring.  The newly-formed RadioShack team has decided to rob the cradle and sign a new cyclists who is both pretty young and pretty inexperienced.  Matthew Busche,24, was just a Cat 2 last season and riding on a small regional Wisconsin team and now will be the teammate of Leipheimer, Horner, Popovych and Armstrong. 

His fast track to the major leagues went something like this:  7th at Tour of Utah (seen above), 6th and the Gran Prix and then 5th at US Pros in South Carolina where he was one of only 8 left standing the last summit over Paris Mountain.    According to VeloNews, by the time he was racing here in the Tour of Missouri, he had already received the call from Bruyneel about joining the Shack.

And literally days after Floyd Landis entertained the COMO cycling crowd over at Orr St. Gallery, he announced that he and Team OUCH have mutually decided to part ways.  In a statement released by the Momentrum Sports Group, Landis wishes to race the longer tougher stages offered in Europe rather than continuing to focus on domestic races which OUCH will focus on.  This is precisely what he eluded to in the Q&A session of his talk on Saturday night.

Now I have to admit, that not being able to write posts over the past couple of days has had me down.  Not having the opportunity to prattle on about cycling related issues has left the part of my brain that obsesses over cycling feel rather constipated.  Which is EXACTLY why I would desperately love to build a new bike shop here in COMO.  I have the master plan all laid out.....high end road bikes, and randonneuring rides, a comfy lounge to watch Giro d'Italia DVDs on a flat panel screen while sipping good coffee from the espresso machine, a small cafe serving homemade pastries, sandwiches and beer for after Saturday morning group rides, shop space and tool rental for the do-it yourselfers, a full library of every cycling book published plus copies of Cycle Sport and VeloNews strewn about the coffee tables.  In the spring we would host Alleycat races and in the winter, Goldsprint races and trainer sessions in the basement.  Essentially a place where you can come and revel in the geekiness that is our obsession and just disucss cycling. 

In looking for models of this concept, they aren't too difficult to find.  I stumbled upon one called Superb Bicycle in Boston.  Not only a shop, but a gallery and collaboration with local designers, artists and frame builders, Superb Bicycle seems to be exactly what I was gearing for, if you will excuse the pun.  That was until I stumbled upon the marketing campaign they are employing to advertise some new lines of apparel.

In the photographs above is Jason of Superb Bicycles, who as far as I can tell, is both the shop owner and also the self-appointed male model showing us the new Nari Furi Crooked Zipper Backpack, Nari Furi Polka Dot Jacket, Swrve Skinny Fit Denim jeans and Octopus cap.  Of particular interest is the way a Krypto lock is shoved inside the back left pocket of the aforementined skinny jeans, but the wad of keys Jason is toting is left to dangle from a carabiner attached to a belt loop.  One doesn't want to risk keying one's own balls, it seems, and these jeans would certainly pose that risk.  Plus, this is the hipster way.

Not only is Jason apparently younger than I am, but he's dressed douchetastically - at least a 3 on the LCU douche scaleHow in the hell did this guy generate the capital to start his own new shop?  Perhaps he simply took out a loan, in which case his balls truly are bigger than mine and it's no wonder he has to dangle those keys outside his pants rather then slip them into the front pocket.  I'm certainly not privy to their accounting books, but by the appearance of the website, it looks like Jason and company are doing well.

Regardless of my own jealousy of his success and dream realization, if pandering to the neo-hipster movement is what it takes to succeed in the bike-shop market these days, so be it.  I therefore have delved into more research exploring the marketability of some of my other ideas, like the basement goldpsrint races.  Goldsprint races are essentially pairing two cyclists up to sprint a predetermined destance, say 500m or so, on stationary bikes: the fastest time wins.  It seems to be a great way to keep people in the shop and drinking beer during the long, dark months of winter.  When I Googled the term and hit "images" this is what I came up with.

Note the footwear of the cyclist on your right, please.

It may just be my general disdain for feet and all manners of footwear that result in toe-display, but as well-pedicured as those little piggies are, I'm rather unamused at seeing them crammed into toe cages by this hipster chick.

It is difficult, I suppose, to know what kind of audience one will attract when opening up a shop, and therefore the wise shop owner shouldn't be discriminating in these troubling economic times.  But how can they resist?  Sure, if you are targeting masses of rich kids who desire nothing more than to burn through their parents' money on knock-off, candy-colored fixed gear bikes, everything is great.  But what if you are cut from a different kind of cloth.  Such discussion is reminescent of a recent discovery I made on Craigslist.  It is a rant of sorts from a frustrated bike mechanic/shop owner.  The original rant is far too long to post , but if you feel so inclined you can read the whole thing here:  I've chosen instead to post a portion of the rant that seems most germane.


-If you shitheads had any money, you wouldn't NEED a vintage Poo-zhow to get laid.  Go have an ironic mustache growing contest in front of American Apparel so that I can continue selling $300 bikes to fatties which is what keeps the lights on.

-Being made in the 80's may make something cool, but that doesn't automatically make something good.  The reason that no one has ridden that "vintage" Murray is because it's shit.  It was shit in the 80's, a trend it carried proudly through the 90's, and rallied with into the '00's.  What I mean to say is, no, I can't make it work better.  It's still shit, even with more air in the tires.

It would seem that everyone hates their jobs, occasionally, whether you are making widgets or selling bikes.  I'm sure that even Jason of Superb Bikes in Boston must get tired of modelling his supertight, Krypto lock-stuffed skinny jeans and just craves some nice, stretchy yoga pants from time to time.  Maybe he blogs about it in his spare time?

Pedal on!

1 comment:

  1. Does this mean you've already applied for a loan? When's the grand opening?