Since the days of my childhood, I've loved cruisin' around on 2 wheels and seeing beautiful sights by bicycle. This week, I'm in my hometown, Cleveland, TN, working at Scott's Bicycle Centre. This family business is the place to go to buy new and used bikes, get repairs, and meet for weekly rides. How did I end up at a bicycle shop?
The rest of my jobs for the summer will be very travel intensive and will take me to new cities I've never visited! This week I wanted to be at home to experience life as a small business owner.
Scott's is special place since it's a family-run business that's been open since 1978. To read the history of the shop, click here. I bought a great used bike from Scott's before heading to Chicago for college a few years ago. The thing that sets Scott's Bikes apart is their customer service. From the time I walked in the door as a customer, I felt like I had the staff's undivided attention and they didn't make me feel dumb for asking lots of questions. In the end, I walked out with a bike that fit my needs, was reasonably priced, and had a great overall experience in the shop.
On Day 1, I walked in Scott's with absolutely no idea of what to expect. With very little mechanical experience, I was nervous about working with the mechanics who repair bicycles like pros. For me, fixing things takes concentrated thought, lots of explanations, and getting lots of questions answered. Scottie, the owner's nephew, explained how they build bikes out of the cardboard boxes they arrive in from the factory.
Did you know that bikes arrive to the bike shop in cardboard boxes?
It may seem trivial to think about, but there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into getting bikes out onto the shop floor.
To start off, Scottie built a mountain bike and explained the steps as he worked.
"Then, it was time for the moment of truth..."
Scottie went over to the shelf of bikes in boxes and pulled down a leisure bike for me to put together! I payed attention to his building lesson, but to do it myself was a challenge. I started by attached the seat post and the rest is a blur. Luckily, Scottie was more than gracious to guide me through the process as I worked on the bike myself! There is something so satisfying about greasy hands! The feeling of accomplishment that flooded me upon seeing the finished Trek Navigator 2.0 was a great feeling!
The rest of Days 1 and 2, I mainly watched Zack, Scottie, and Josh as they worked on both simple and complex repairs, part replacements, and bike adjustments.
How did they learn to fix bicycles?
The cool thing about working in a bike shop is that you can learn as you go. From the time he was a teen until now, Scottie has worked with his uncles David and Doug Coulter, to learn the bike shop business. I love it that they didn't have to go to "Bike University" to become bike mechanics. It's a very hands-on job job that is "nitty-gritty" work, but the reward is so worth it: seeing the customer's huge smile when they come to pick up their bike.
This week is super fun and totally out of my range of knowledge. It's a bit uncomfortable since I'm not the most bike saavy, but that's the point of my week with Scott's Bicycle Centre: to learn and have fun!
I have more pictures and videos to post so keep following my blog!