A Great Bike Shop
As a touring cyclist there are few things as important as finding good bike shops for local information and gear support. Sometimes you are in remote areas and you have to take whatever comes your way. You don't get to decide which is the best shop to deal with because the choice is simply one or none.
Then there are times when you are in suburbia and there are choices to be made. I typically try and visit as many shops as possible, if nothing else other than to stop in, ask about the area and say hello. Sometimes I need some bits and bobs and those purchase generally go to the first shop I stop into, no matter how I may feel about them.
However, the intriguing thing to me is how often there is one shop that simply resonates with me. I don't have a check list, it is just a feeling. I have been thinking about this for the past 7 weeks since arriving in Anchorage-- about what that feeling is and what makes a shop so special. After thinking about this for a while i have come to the following observation.
I think at the heart of it is that feeling that you are welcome and appreciated each and every time you walk through the door. That no matter what is going on in the shop, the staff has time for you. It does not matter if you are buying or not, you are still made to feel welcome. When you need information, it is dispensed with the same care and friendliness as if you were buying a $2,000 bike. If you just want to talk, that is ok, because you, as a customer, are important to each and every member of the staff. From the mechanic who greets you at the back entrance to the sales guy to the manager.
Now some shops do this really well and some just suck at it. Sometimes you figure it was just the day or moment and you give them another chance and still, you get that same negative vibe. It is a shame to me, because each shop has something unique to offer and my money, what little I may have, is going to the shop that makes me feel appreciated and welcome each and every time I enter there store,
In Anchorage that shop has been The Bicycle Shop. From the first day I entered the store looking for information to the final stop asking for a bike box, and the purchases in between, they have been amazing. Each and every person in that shop has greeted me with a smile, a hello and the offer of help. It is the kind of great positive energy that I search for all the time.
A great big thank you to these guys. Keep it up, you have the right mojo working for you.