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The LBS & Social Distancing does them no favors

Old 06-19-20, 02:23 PM
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SamSpade1941 
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The LBS & Social Distancing does them no favors

Over the last few days I have had a need to go to the LBS, and sadly it's my opinion after having felt like I was being interrogated in Corvallis by Peak Sports , and then having to call ahead at my favorite LBS in Salem that while this "health emergency" may be bad for lot's of businesses , it will be very dire for the LBS . While I freely admit that I have purchased only one new bike at a bike store, before this mess all occurred. I frequently visited local bike stores to purchase a LOT of consumables of all types since one of my hobbies is restoring and overhauling bicycles.

While in the store I picking up tubes , tires, cables and God knows what else ... It was not an uncommon event for me to make a lot of impromptu purchases both large and small . That however has changed, why on earth do I want to give patronage to a business for let's say a new bike when you are not allowed in to browse the selection / try various frame geometries and make comparisons ? I can buy a bike online at a considerable savings if I just want to look at sizing / geometry charts and hope that I am getting something that fits.

Circling back to Peak in Corvallis; My customer service experience at Peak has left such a bad taste in my mouth that in all likelihood I will never give them my business again , and while I used to love to browse the local bike co-ops and LBS for items , I have no desire to goto a co-op at all when I can't dig through the bins or handle the merchandise.

I am not trying to make light of the virus and its potential for some folks who have less than robust health, at the same time though I feel like many are having knee jerk reactions and they are doing irreparable harm to their livelihoods in their efforts to try and social distance .


Rant off...
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Old 06-19-20, 02:27 PM
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The shop i work at has sold way more than normal.
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Old 06-19-20, 02:31 PM
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There's a subforum for this:

https://www.bikeforums.net/coronavirus-covid-19/
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Old 06-19-20, 02:35 PM
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Yeah, no, there's no "virus" going around.

And yeah, even 80 IQ grease monkeys at the rattiest bike shop in town now think they're empowered to enforce "social distancing" lol.

F--k 'em.
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Old 06-19-20, 02:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 52telecaster View Post
The shop i work at has sold way more than normal.
Because they have you on staff, Russ. I'm not blowing smoke up your seatpost. I'm only saying that like-minded people gather like-minded folks around them. Quality people recognize good qualities in other people and strive to have them close. Likewise, turds beget turds and propagate turdish atmosphere for all to wallow in. In my honest opinion, its the hardest thing for any bike shop to overcome - the elitist rudeness toward potential money-paying customers. Its like you have a festering wound that needs a few maggots in it to be able to keep from going bad, and you slap the flies whenever they land.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:01 PM
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This for the time being is the new reality. Not poor customer service, but regulating the folks who want to/have to touch everything. Many clothing stores are not allowing people to try on clothing in the dressing rooms, and some do not allow returns. I feel once there is a vaccine these rules will be dropped, but for now it is what it is. But again, bad customer service is never a good thing.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:10 PM
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Social distancing and mask wearing is not always for your health and safety, but for those around you who may not be as fortunate with good health/youth. I don't want to be the reason to spread corona to another person, the end result could mean more at-risk people dying. We can allow this virus to separate us over debates, but I think this is a time for community action to prevent lives from being lost.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by jjafterdark View Post
There is no coronavirus and vaccines don't work.

Enjoy your mercury poisoning and dose of aborted fetal cells.

And when did a grease monkey at a bike shop get a license to practice medicine? Those who defend stupid are themselves...
Hope you don't plan to cut yourself on any rusty metal or contract shingles...
Hope your kids don't get exposed to polio and develop permanent disabilities...

This thread is a silly entitled old man thread. Your right to get your grubby little hands all over everything does not override the right of people to have a safe workplace. Maybe your area has no coronavirus, I'm thankful that mine doesn't because of the collective actions people have taken. But if you're in the US the coronavirus doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. Maybe the people working in a bike shop don't have health care and don't want to catch it, being that a hospital stay would ruin a person's life by permanently placing them in debt.

If it's bad customer service it's bad customer service, but I would not consider asking people to follow a couple basic rules during a pandemic to be bad customer service.
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Old 06-19-20, 03:34 PM
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Moved here from Classic & Vintage
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Old 06-19-20, 03:43 PM
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Coronavirus is a hoax, bro. Don't get your panties in a bunch.

Originally Posted by cb400 View Post
Hope you don't plan to cut yourself on any rusty metal or contract shingles...
Hope your kids don't get exposed to polio and develop permanent disabilities...

This thread is a silly entitled old man thread. Your right to get your grubby little hands all over everything does not override the right of people to have a safe workplace. Maybe your area has no coronavirus, I'm thankful that mine doesn't because of the collective actions people have taken. But if you're in the US the coronavirus doesn't appear to be going away anytime soon. Maybe the people working in a bike shop don't have health care and don't want to catch it, being that a hospital stay would ruin a person's life by permanently placing them in debt.

If it's bad customer service it's bad customer service, but I would not consider asking people to follow a couple basic rules during a pandemic to be bad customer service.
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Old 06-19-20, 04:18 PM
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I guess I am not clear on what your objection is. They require social distancing and masks? Appointments to come in?
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Old 06-19-20, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Biker395 View Post
I guess I am not clear on what your objection is. They require social distancing and masks? Appointments to come in?
They are not allowing people come in at all. I do not like that model , If I want the online shopping experience I can get that online and it is actually cheaper than giving an LBS my patronage at a 20 % plus markup . If Masks are good protection then just a require everyone wear a mask but do not be so asinine that you you create a retail space customers can't use.
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Old 06-19-20, 05:19 PM
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I always thought the only reason for the markup was that they have to store it and you get to wander up and get it right there and then. That business model seems to have been shifting a bit for many types of retail anyway with the dominance of amazon.

But if you know what you need, why the need to enter the store? Wouldn't it save time to look up what you need, call the bike shop to make sure they have it and pick it up at the door?
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Old 06-19-20, 09:08 PM
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A month ago there were notes that COVID did not readily spread from surface contact

There may well be an element of being too cautious. Although my local grocery store does continue to wipe down returned grocery carts. Bulk foods finally popped back up at the grocery store. And this is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Corvallis.

I'm not sure what the situation is like now with the supposed bike boom. However, my experience in the past was that it should be easy enough to "social distance" in most LBS stores.

Other stores don't seem too concerned with customers touching everything on the shelves. But, with assistance to try bikes, the bikes could be sanitized before putting back on the racks.

Those tire kickers will be a pain, but likely have been a thorn for stores for quite some time.

I don't know about trying on clothes. One might be able to minimize the impacts by say doing a 2 day turn-around from trying on to hangers to back on the shelves. And, of course, do physical separation between changing booths and sanitizing them between use.
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Old 06-19-20, 09:10 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400 View Post
But if you know what you need, why the need to enter the store? Wouldn't it save time to look up what you need, call the bike shop to make sure they have it and pick it up at the door?
There are some "LBS" stores that will do exactly that. I'm not sure what BikeTiresDirect (LBS in Portland) is currently doing, but back in March/April they allowed online ordering with local pickup at the door.
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Old 06-19-20, 09:30 PM
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Oregon's daily new COVID case rate is now roughly double its peaks in April and May. Those (probably uninsured) bike shop employees have good reason to be wary of customers being "spreaders". There are probably owners who genuinely care about their employees. (Maybe even that employees or even themselves taking this disease home might mean the end of their parents or grand parents,)

I am trying to spend money locally but also do it responsibly. (I've also sat down and done the math as to what happens down the line and I get sick and infect others. Think geometric progression. It's an eye-opener.) One of the things I have to accept is that there are a lot of things I will have to postpone - some probably until I am too old to do them.

Ben
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Old 06-19-20, 11:05 PM
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This has been great for bike shops' business. For every person like the OP who will never go to particular shops again because they're being cautious in a pandemic, there are 50 buying new bikes or dusting their old ones off and bringing them in for service. Bike shops haven't done this well in decades.
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Old 06-20-20, 04:02 AM
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Those bikes will make for a profoundly rich craislist market by next winter.

My "LBS" (NYC suburb) also isn't allowing people to go in. I moved from there last year, but they're a sponsor of my racing team. I went to pick some stuff up when I was in the area, and had to bolt as I waited outside for 20 minutes and didn't have time to pull it off. My son went for me a few days later and got serviced right away (outside). Even picked up a new helmet. Seemed to work. The shop up here in the north country has been open inside throughout. They don't quite get the regular volume of the other shop though.
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Old 06-20-20, 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
This has been great for bike shops' business. For every person like the OP who will never go to particular shops again because they're being cautious in a pandemic, there are 50 buying new bikes or dusting their old ones off and bringing them in for service. Bike shops haven't done this well in decades.
Shops in my area have been crazy busy without letting people inside. Had my tubeless tires re-mounted several weeks ago. Called to ask about turnaround time. Dropped them off one day. Picked them up the next day. During both my visits there were three people waiting outside to pick up bikes that had been worked on.
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Old 06-20-20, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by cb400 View Post

But if you know what you need, why the need to enter the store? Wouldn't it save time to look up what you need, call the bike shop to make sure they have it and pick it up at the door?
+1. Even the small, independent pet shoppe near me is taking on-line orders with pickup outside. The Ace Hardware across the street from the pet shoppe created two windows. You can either order on line for pickup or walk up, tell an employee what you need and they’ll go through the store and get it for you. The place has remained busy throughout the pandemic.

Adapt or go extinct. Seems like a lot of people’s panties are in wads because they have to do things differently for now.
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Old 06-20-20, 09:30 AM
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If I was the owner of a small bike shop right now, I would gauge my employees' risk tolerance and definitely err on the side of keeping them safe over losing a customer or two who aren't able to understand the concept of considering the well-being of others in difficult situations ahead of their own hobbies. If a business sets up some rules that you find inconvenient, shop elsewhere and don't b**ch about it. Bottom line... it's their business, not yours.
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Old 06-20-20, 10:29 AM
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Originally Posted by JW in AK View Post
If a business sets up some rules that you find inconvenient, shop elsewhere and don't b**ch about it. Bottom line... it's their business, not yours.
“But I’m a snowflake who melts if I can’t do whatever I want!”
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Old 06-20-20, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
Oregon's daily new COVID case rate is now roughly double its peaks in April and May. Those (probably uninsured) bike shop employees have good reason to be wary of customers being "spreaders". There are probably owners who genuinely care about their employees. (Maybe even that employees or even themselves taking this disease home might mean the end of their parents or grand parents,)

I am trying to spend money locally but also do it responsibly. (I've also sat down and done the math as to what happens down the line and I get sick and infect others. Think geometric progression. It's an eye-opener.) One of the things I have to accept is that there are a lot of things I will have to postpone - some probably until I am too old to do them.

Ben
The new cases aren't hitting the state uniformly.

Lots of cases in the Portland Metro counties, down to Salem, and to Lincoln City, and a few scattered cases in North East Oregon.

The OP was in Corvallis (Linn & Benton counties). I'm down in Eugene (Lane County).

Linn County, population: 129,749 - 127 cases total, 3 cases in the last 14 days. 9 deaths, none recent, including 7 deaths in nursing home in Lebanon.

Benton County, population: 93,053 - 66 cases total, 4 cases in the last 14 days. 5 deaths. None recent, including 3 deaths in a Corvallis nursing home.

Lane County, population: 382,067 - 93 cases total, 13 cases in the last 14 days. 3 deaths, none recent.

It certainly adds up, but the risk remains low.

The bulk of the cases are further north.
Multnomah County has had nearly 500 cases in the last 14 days. A different organization, but only 812,855 population.

Clackamas County with a population of 418,187, but nearly doubling the total number of cases in the last 14 days with 322 new cases.

And, of course, Union County with the church fiasco, a population of 26,835 and jumping from 7 cases ten days ago up to 253 cases yesterday.

And, a few other counties in the Portland area as well as a seafood plant in Lincoln City.

Anyway, what one does in Portland, or even Salem might be very different than what is appropriate to do in Eugene or Corvallis.

Nonetheless, a store needs to make decisions to keep their staff and customers safe. One of the few remaining Mom & Pops auto parts stores completely shut down a month ago. I haven't been back to see if they are open again. But, it is possible that several of the staff members were owners, and in their 60's. It was their decision to keep SAFE.

It is my belief that we could stamp the virus out in most of the counties in Oregon if it wasn't continuously being reimported.
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