January, the month of introspection, of resolutions kept and abandoned. This issue of the Bicyclical is generally addressed to those subjects. One word of warning. Remember last month’s issue that was so short and sweet and quickly readable? This month won’t be like that, so you might want to grab a cup of coffee in the morning or perhaps something more fortified in the evening. Or hit delete now.
I occasionally use this organ to discuss the health of Pedal. I think our customers show great faith in us, and it’s only fair that we let ’em know that — thus far — their faith has yielded a successful bike shop. We’re just a few weeks away from our third birthday, and I think we’ve come a very long way since our first few days.
So things have changed a lot. We’ve increased our inventory. We expanded our service area. We’ve hired good people. We are better equipped to serve a greater variety of needs than we were a while back. It’s good stuff. And in that time we’ve also never had a sale. Why? I don’t like them. I don’t like charging one thing one day and another the next. I don’t like the idea that item X has this value on Tuesday but a different value on Friday. I like to take a different approach, one that is more value- than price-oriented. I want you, Pedal’s customer, to know that you can come into the shop any day at all and we’ll give you a fair price and excellent service. That is our deal, and I don’t think it’ll change anytime soon.
However, we make purchasing mistakes. Our vendors change things around and phase out old models and, yes, that stuff has to go. We have things that fall into that Gotta Go category and you are welcome to take advantage of these changing times. Right now we have a good number of really great Easton wheels that need good homes. You may recall (or more likely not) that Thule purchased Chariot a couple of years ago. Thule decided to rebrand Chariot as Thule for 2014, so our existing child transportation system floor models are, well, no longer current and are in need of good homes. Note: this Chariot stuff is as good as it gets. Primo. Deluxe. Don’t miss out on a good deal.
Help! Our queen of back office affairs inexplicably took another job, and we need a sharp cookie to fill her shoes. If you are or know someone who can handle tasks related to inventory in a friendly, efficient manner, we’d like to talk. The Pedal application is here. Why am I bothering you with this? Odd fact: 100% of Pedal employees were Pedal customers first.

New Stuff:

HED makes great aerodynamic wheels and really, really terrific aluminum race wheels. New this year are wider rims, disk brake compatibility and insanely light carbon fat bike rims. I’ll admit that I’m something of a wheel junkie, but one of my favorite recent purchases was a pair of HED Ardenne Plus for my cross bike. They are extraordinarily well considered and constructed.
No doubt the biggest name in aerodynamic wheels, Zipp continues to innovate and improve. We’ve had enough customers hassle (er, ask) us about Zipp that we just can’t say no. Clincher or tubular, all Zipp aero wheels are totally carbon, very strong, very light. We have an 808/404 combo hanging on the wall, about which Ryan said, “Those black Zipps look bad.” Indeed they do. Fast, too.
I’ve always been a little bit mystified by these guys with cameras on top of their helmets or on their handlebars. Even so, when Garmin recently released the VIRB we snapped up a couple and have been putting one through its paces. I’ll admit: it’s fun. It didn’t take too long for us to load up a Micro-SD card, charge the battery and start filming. Once we had actual footage, we used Garmin’s downloadable app (PC or Mac) to transfer the data to a computer and then on to Facebook. Minutes later, we’d interfaced the VIRB to both an iPhone and an Edge 510, such that either device could control the camera. Pretty darn cool. Available now. Here. At Pedal. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnLGejV4e0o

Things to Do:

I’ve been pimping, er, promoting this Melting Mann race because — hey — it’s the kind of race I like. Over the past little bit, things have gotten more interesting. In conjunction with our friends at Central District Cycling in GR and Kona, we’re giving away a Rove at the race. You know, just in case you need another reason to sign up. Hurry! I’m not sure where we are on the 500 limit, but the buzz has been high and I’m afraid it’ll sell out soon.
Two weeks after is the fastest growing hootenanny in Michigan cycling: the Barry Roubaix. I could write a 1000 word essay on the number and intensity of emotions I’ve experienced surrounding this race the last couple of years, but I like you guys, so I won’t. Here’s the dirt: if you have a bike with reasonably chunky tires and some smattering of desire and/or competitive nature, you will have a memorable experience. I’m not talking about something you post on Facebook and forget; I’m talking about the kind of thing that lives in your heart and puts a smile on your face from time to time.
For people who’d like to get especially intimate with their mountain bike saddle, may I recommend the Lumberjack 100? The gold standard for 100 mile MTB whoopins around these parts, it occurs on the solstice this year for your druid pleasure.

Big Finish

Let’s come back around to resolutions. I’d like to lose some weight. I could swear less. I think Pedal could be more… tight, more precise. Yet I worry that I see what I want to see and not what I should see. I worry that our customers (that’s you) are kind people and won’t tell me what they want or how we should improve. In an effort to avoid that potentially unpleasant moment when you have to break it down for me face to face, I’ve created a short survey you can take if you have the time and inclination. If you don’t, that’s totally cool. I know I’ve turned down about 100,000 survey opportunities from AT&T. If you do have a few moments and an opinion or two, I hope you’ll participate in this, the first ever Pedal customer survey.
And it is with high hopes and good intentions that we march into 2014, trying to be a better bike shop  to serve you, our wonderful customers. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Tim

Monkeys on Typewriters

Each month we go to the zoo and hand out typewriters to monkeys. After a few days, we collect their thoughts and format them into an email newsletter suitable for framing or birdcage lining. Sound good? Enter your email below and check it out.

Note: we will never ever ever ever share your email. Ever. No monkey will contact you directly.