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Old 12-13-14, 07:27 PM
  #18  
downtube42
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Location: Portland, OR
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Bikes: Volae Team, '74ish Windsor Carrera Sport, Priority Eight, Nimbus MUni

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Sometime around 1974 I walked into the neighborhood Schwinn shop with a Continental I'd bought used, to ask for advice on loosening up the freewheel. I was a 14 year old kid with $5 in my pocket. With the owner's blessing, the mechanic put the bike up on his stand and ran probably half a can of cleaner through the freewheel. He then sent me on my way with a smile.

Over the years, as I became a 'serious' bike rider, I not only bought bikes and accessories there, I sent a ton of business their way. His ROI on 15 minutes of shop labor and a half-can of cleaner is through the roof. I think that was darned good business.

Decades later, I returned to the city and stopped in the shop, which was being run by the owner's son. We talked about the old days, and he told me that his dad hadn't been a very good businessman - hadn't run the shop like a business. I was dumbfounded. This was one of the Schwinn shops that survived the demise of Schwinn. This guy didn't realize the only reason he had a shop to inherit was his dad's good business sense.

Take your business to the place you want to see survive.
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