About 3 1/2 years ago now, my Local bike Shop (LBS) relocated from a converted slaughterhouse to a converted house and outbuildings that had been used for a number of years as a computer shop. Prior to the move, much modernisation and extending was done and a shiny new shop was born.
As a customer of old, I was invited to come to the grand opening where tea, coffee, juice, wine and Rebellion Brewery Beer was to be had, along with nibbles.
Whilst perusing the wonderous bikes and stuff I got chatting to the owner and said that if he ever needed any help, to give me a call. Well, he called and a week later, I was issued a shirt, taught how to use the till (cash register) and card machine and let loose on the public. I was a part time bike sales droid and minor repairs wonk.
Working in a bike shop for me is like being a kid in a sweet shop. I absolutely love it. I get to talk with like minded folk (and beginners) about my passion, helping them choose new bikes, pointing them in the right direction for equipment, clothing etc. sorting their problems, mending their bikes, getting them back on the road after a mechanical. The list is endless.
I also get insight into new developments, early sight of new models (having a new Trek Domane SLR in the shop 3 days before they were launched was a bit special), passes to trade shows and the like.
One of my favourite things though is to see the look on a kids face when they come in with Mum and Dad or Grandparents to choose a new bike. I remember the feeling when my parents got me my first shiny new bike. It was miles too big for me (they were right though, I DID grow into it) but I loved it. That bike and me had some adventures over the years. Some adventurew would turn my parents hair white if they ever got to know about them but that is another conversation.......
Another good thing to do is to help folk either gain or maintain independence. We recently had a young man with a physical disability come int the shop wanting to see if we could help. We managed to get him mobile on an recumbent trike with an adapted pedal system to deal with his particular needs. He had a huge grin on his face after his first test ride.
We also stock electric assist bikes that use the Bosch and Shimano Steps systems. These are much better specced and more reliable systems that we have previous experience of and I thing electric assist is going to be a big thing in the future over here in the UK.
Oh, and staff discount ain't bad either!