What Do You Look for in a Bike Shop?

In my constant quest for excellence and in hopes of crushing my bike shop competition, I thought I’d ask anyone who checks this blog out… what do YOU look for in a bike shop?  What is your hierarchy of needs?  Do you demand a high level of customer service?  Is the repair area most important to you?  What about product selection?

What’s important to you?  What makes you want to come back to your shop of choice?  Please let me know by leaving a comment on this post.  Thanks a ton!

Winter Training and Testing?

I don’t know what in the heck has gotten into me lately.  I’ve ridden my bike several times in the last few weeks… If you recall, one of my earlier posts was all about how I hate winter riding and training in the garage on the rollers and such.  I still haven’t done that.  I’m actually braving the cold and getting out there and doing it.

I posted some snow pictures from the last few days, too.  Our weather has been extremely weird lately.  This does not make for good training weather, however… that is what I need to motivate me sometimes.  I won’t ride in the partially-miserable stuff, but when it snows or gets stupid-cold is when I like to get out there.  Sometimes I do it, if for nothing else, than just to say I did it.

This feels a lot like unintentional training.  I really haven’t made an effort to officially “train” for anything over the past few years, primarily because I have been busy with work and family, and can rarely make it to the races on weekends.  Most of my riding has consisted of leading group rides.  I think I only did around 5 “fast” rides in 2009, and the Roswell Criterium counted as two fast rides, since I raced two different categories.  So, more and more riding is creeping in, including some fixed-gear stuff to get my spin back before the season starts.

I got involved with Andrew Smith, an endurance coach from Lifetime Fitness in Woodstock, GA, a few weeks ago.  He came into the shop to pick up a few things and to tell us about the Team Kenda Pro Cycling p/b GearGrinder event at Lifetime on the 28th (which we have since gotten involved with).  We talked a bit about the training and the facilities that are available at Lifetime, and our conversation progressed to the point where he invited me to do some VO2 Max Testing this Thursday at the gym.  Now, it’s definitely sounding  a lot more like training…

I don’t know what to expect, in regards to this testing.  I think it will be good to have the test performed, just to see where I’m at, physically, before the season starts.  Later in the season, I’ll go back and have the test done again, and see where my levels are at.  I think that testing like this, and developing that referral system between the gym and us, will be good for our customers.  Together, we will have a much wider range of services to offer our customers/clients, which is yet another extension of how our shop’s customer service level eclipses so many other bike shops in the Metro Atlanta area.  Can’t hurt, right?

I’ll post pictures and a report of the testing after I finish it on Thursday.  Can’t wait!  The coffee pot is almost empty, so I’m going to bed.  Thanks for reading.

I’m Sponsoring a NASCAR Team…

Well, I’ve got some exciting news… Thanks to the contributions from sponsors of PROBIKEWRENCH.COM, we’re fielding a NASCAR team for 2010!  I know… it’s not exactly cycling-related, but it’s a good way to get the sponsors’ names out there.  Here’s a sneak peek of what the PROBIKEWRENCH.COM car looks like:

But seriously… I was watching the Daytona 500 today and Toyota (with all their problems lately) have created a website (http://www.sponsafier.com/#/home) where you can create your own car.  They’re going to take car submissions for about 3-4 weeks.  The winner will have their car made into a REAL NASCAR car and raced later this season.  Pretty cool marketing by a company that’s been in the tank as of late.  Can’t wait to play around with it some more.  Try it out for yourself and post a link in the comments section so I can check it out.

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