Tuesday, July 05, 2005

All of your questions answered...and then some.

Were you in some way associated with The Bike Club that was located in Broadview Heights?
Yep. I owned The Bike Club since I opened it in 1991. I wore many hats during those 12+ years. When the lease was up for renewal, I chose not to renew my lease.

Do you regret the decision to close the shop?
Nope. It was one of the best decisions that I have ever made.

So, how exactly did RogueMechanic come about?
The short answer is that it was the result of an overwhelming response from my customers of TBC. They opened my eyes to the need when I sent out the letter informing them that I was closing TBC. That and, well, I've always been crazy about how important great customer service is. It's a recipe that includes, integrity, professionalism, knowledge, and common sense.

And, what's with the name?
I was describing to someone that I believed that there is a market for a bike mechanic that went against what has been and currently still is the norm in the industry. Someone that is willing to rise up, or rebel, so to speak against the mediocre and for the most part low level of professionalism and integrity that has permeated the industry. This person would be a rebel with a cause in the industry, but ultimately bringing and doing all that's good to the end-user....This person would be seen as a "rogue" mechanic... Going against the grain of industry while at the same time trying to make changes for the better. A typical David vs. Goliath scenario....

Besides TBC and RogueMechanic, do you have any other experience in the cycling industry?
Yes I do. In the past I worked in a bike shop, designed and built custom cro-moly road frames, worked at Trek Bicycle Company, and also did somework for Pearl Izumi, Camelbak, NiteRider, and Speedplay.

What you're doing is kinda radical compaired what has been the common practice for years. Historically, when I need to have my bike fixed/maintained/upgraded, I would take it to a bike shop or do it myself. I'm having a hard time wraping my head around the concept of RogueMechanic....Am I alone?
Nope. Most people, whom I have yet to work with, have a hard time comprehending the SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) of RogueMechanic because it's so radically different from what they're used to. Because it makes so much sense and because it takes the level of service to a completely different level, it almost seems to good to be true...but it is.

Are you cheap?
Nope.

Do you hold some type of certification that acknowledges your skills and knowledge of bicycle mechanics?
Yes I do. I am certified by Barnetts Bicycle Institue as a Certified Bicycle Mechanic. BBI is the benchmark for the industry. The last time that I checked, the only other person that holds the same level of certification from BBI practices his trade in Southern Ohio near Cinci.

Do you ride?
Yes.

Do you live to ride or ride to live?
Definitely ride to live.

Road bike or mountain bike?
I ride more road to improve my endurance on the mountain bike.

Dream bike?
BMW R1150rt, but the new R1200ST really looks interesting.

You have some strong opinions in your blog. Are you anti-bike shop?
For the most part no, but I am against any business that constantly provides lousy service. If that specific business happens to be a bike shop, then in that respect I'm anti-bike shop (that specific one). I will not promote this type of shop. On the other hand, I will go out of my way to promote those bike shops that are doing a good job.

Do you think that bike shops as we have know them are here to stay?
No. I think that there's going to have to be a major evolution that will correspond with the current retail trends and business models. The industry needs to if it wants to grow. This evolution will probably be in the form of consolidation, changes in distribution, and higher levels of services. One consequence will certainly be fewer local bike shops.

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