By Tom Demerly.
“Support Your Local Bike Shop” has been a battle cry of hipsters, struggling shop owners and condescending vendors for three decades. The emergence of this flaccid anthem corresponds with the rise of e-commerce, Amazon.com, e-Bay and a host of technologies that make consumer shopping more convenient.
My first bike shop went out of business after 17 years because I wasn’t a good enough businessman to compete in an evolving market.
I deserved what I got. It’s that simple.
Like every business that relies on discretionary income- from computers to boats, skis and electronics, specialty bike retail has had to evolve to survive during the last 30 years. Some dealers have survived, many have not.
But the pouty little bike shops still beg for support, as if they are some quant, soulful charity instrumental to the sport of cycling itself. Save the whales. Save the harp seals. Save…
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