Monthly Archives: June 2011

Free Bike Clinic at Creekside Farmers Market

Free Bike Clinic this Sunday at Creekside Farmers Market. Read all about it at Citizens Call – Local News & Community Connections for Cheltenham.

We’re also offering a free bike clinic outside our shop on 2nd & 4th Thursdays from 5-7pm.

The Car-free Mitzvah – A Rite of Passage into car-free living

The first ever car-free mitzvah was held at the High Point Cafe at Allens Lane Station. Over coffee, iced cocoa & iced elixir friends gathered to honor & support Barb Pearson (52), a Mt Airy resident who decided to sell her car and attempt to live car-free in Philadelphia. With a job about 2 miles away, Barb often bikes to work. When too hot or rainy, she opts for a combination of walking and the bus. Barb decided that she could save about $600 per month (see AAA driving costs) and use PhillyCarShare (Philadelphia’s unique car-sharing system) the occasional times she needed to drive someplace.

Barb with friends

Barb with friends, holding up transit map of Mt Airy

Smart woman.

An adult American giving up her car is breaking new ground – a decision to honor and support.

Suggested gifts to celebrate this step were…

  • stories about (y)our relationship with (and dependency on) cars
  • bus tokens
  • bike & transit maps
  • gift certificates to keep her bike well-serviced
  • refill on her High Point Cafe Yummy card; remember.. food is fuel for a cyclist!

By sharing her decision with friends, Barb has found them offering to include her in their driving plans. So for example, she was going to the Manayunk Arts Festival later in the day with a friend. Turns out Another friend gave a coupon for rides to the vet.  We learned about a car-sharing arrangement between friends, where the costs are split and a contract spells out details like who gets use of the car when both want it. Barb & I are considering  modifying this contract to try a car-sharing scheme amongst ourselves, since my car often remains at home.  Anna, a friend that couldn’t make it to our mitzvah, shared that she, too, chooses to live car-free, and just hearing about this celebration has greatly added to her self-esteem.

Though ready with the 12 suggested steps of Oilaholics Anonymous, and this ad asking if it’s OK to support terrorism if it’s only a little bit, I held back on the political, and instead pulled out a transit map of Mt Airy, showing bus & train routes to get in and out of Mt Airy. Though familiar with the bus system, Barb found the map useful, as did neighbor & friend Rick.

Ideas for future car-free mitzvahs to celebrate this significant rite of passage are welcome.

A visit from the bike industry

Yesterday we were visited by a team of industry specialists from BRAIN – Bicycle Retailer and Industry News – a trade magazine we subscribe to. They wrote a pretty accurate piece about us here. During the course of the interview, we realized quite how different we’ve become from other bike shops. No cycling apparel or hydration paks are to be found in our showroom, just tubes & patch kits to keep the neighborhood bikes rolling, and just enough accessories to remain safe – locks, helmets & lights.

We’ve become the go-to place for quite a diverse group of people – most in street casual clothing – often needing their bikes serviced, sometimes coming just to share milestones in their life. Take Barb, for instance; she came into our shop announcing that she recently sold her car and was planning on getting around by bike. Then there is Keith from Jamaica and Ana from Russia, both helmet-less and in open-toed shoes, enjoying summertime mobility on their “mountain” bikes – great for city potholes. Last month, out-of-state couples visiting family in the area discovered our shop. A test ride with Afshin cinched the deal – PHEW! has happy e-bike riders in Maine and Arkansas.

Hang about our street corner and you’ll certainly see a slice of America come ‘n go! This is urban mobility… redefined.

We thank all our customers for putting their trust in us and coming along for the ride!