2020 was a great year, in spite of everything, for Bike Baby! I couldn't have done it without you! My customers, and prospective customers, are highly respected and valued!
What did we do? Let me count the ways! With Covid, I tried to close the first week, and the plethora of phone calls had me picking up and delivering. The next week, I tried to schedule appointments, and found folks standing in line outside my door. So I opened back up, and because of the influx, grew into my new, larger, space, providing more retail floorspace, more service space, more storage, and room to grow for classes, etc.
Bikes and parts became nearly impossible to find, as the newly regenerated interest in outdoor activities exploded. IF we were able to find bikes and parts, the prices were jacked up so high there was no way I could see fit to pass those awful prices on to my customers, so I pivoted. I started buying used-but-in-good-shape bikes, going through them, and they were selling sometimes before I could get them ready. New bikes were sold before coming out of the box. The rush with delivery persons resulted in shipping damage, a LOT, and then involved me taking the time to ship them back.
My manufacturers and other suppliers were closing down factories, laying off employees, requiring higher than normal minimum purchases. They were all unable to keep up with demand. I'm telling you, I thought I was going to have to close because I was unable to get anything, but again, I pivoted. I started shopping......ONLINE (yikes)!!!!
We expanded our weekly rides from one to three until the daylight savings took good lighting away, but no worries, they will return! We are STILL riding every Saturday, no excuses. And one of our regular riders saw VAST health improvements as a result of her riding. Folks meet new people, tour Newberry, and with support of other riders, learn all about their bike, and how to get the best ride! There is no cost or commitment required, just show up and be ready to roll out on time! We do require you wear a helmet, but EVERYONE is welcome! We have a 6 year old, and an 82 year old, and every age in between, so don't feel intimidated, we only go as fast as our slowest rider!
We had a couple of road trips to Augusta, North Augusta, Greenville and Dreher Island, and we are currently overdue for another. They are SO much fun!
Our belated one-year anniversary and grand reopening was a success, with everyone masked and practicing social distancing. We have stepped up after a near-scare over the holidays, where I was directly exposed, resulting in a 10 day shut down, and now have new safety protocols implemented.
Then, in November, the rush started again and we were rushing around trying to keep up with demand. No one had bikes. I had about 100 out at my house that needed too much work to get ready on such short notice, not to mention the inability to locate the needed parts. But we did it, turning over inventory every couple of days. So believe me when I tell you, when I closed for a week in December, I crashed and burned, but came back the week before Christmas full force and ready to help my customers! And I think we were successful.
The week AFTER Christmas proved interesting as well, bikes purchased elsewhere were either poor quality, or poorly put together, so we once again were scurrying to help get folks up on their bikes.
And now we're in a new year with new promises. Were you aware that Councilman Carlton Kinard's (Dist 3) platform includes finishing the paved trail from the west end, through town, all the way to the new sports complex? Won't that be GREAT? Just imagine the possibilities!
And we will hopefully be able to soon crank up the much-wanted classes to help you understand your ride, and your steed, better.
Bike Baby is here for YOU! We welcome your visits, your calls (will ALWAYS return your call if you leave a message) and input to know how we can serve you better.
Yours enthusiastically, Marguerite
BIKE BABY: Getting Newberry Outside, Two Wheels At A Time!