I’m a bit of a hippie. I like small towns, riding my bike (I hate cars.), and I try to “shop local” as best I can. I’ve worked for White Pine Touring, one of the best bike shops in Park City, for a long time, they are a hyper-local business that actually does quite a bit to contribute to the Park City Community. White Pine Touring is part of the Jans family of stores, a collection of ski and bike shops that only reside in Park City.
We have all heard the importance of “shopping local” and about the merits of small businesses. It’s true that shopping local keeps more money within your local economy. And local businesses tend to largely reinvest in local banks and support local charities or sponsor community events.
Diversity Among Local Bike Shops
Every time I go to a new town or city I like to check out local bike shops. One of the cool things about bike shops is that they are always different and don’t follow a pre-determined formula. The people that run them, the neighborhood they reside in, and the people and customers they attract are all different.
One bike shop might be full of beer-guzzling mountain bikers and the one around the corner will be full of uptight roadies comparing yesterdays watts. Some are service based while other shops are more about making sales. Most bike shops have group rides or at least sponsor community cycling events. Others have top-level mechanics that are known for their wrenching skills. Whatever characteristics a shop has, they are always different from the next one. And there is always a next one. Most towns or cities will have a lot of bike shops. They will all have different brand products for sale and different opinions on certain products.
Bike shop diversity is key. If there was only one bike shop or a large chain and you had a bad experience, you probably wouldn’t be too excited about going back to that business or riding bikes at all. So what does the local bike shop in Park City do for the community?
Local Bike Shops in Park City
Our bike shops, Jans and White Pine Touring, not only provide full repair/service for anything and everything related to bicycles, guided bike rides in Park City twice a week, and sponsor community events, but our shops also invite our community to come out and experience man’s noblest invention with us. We use our bike shops to encourage the community to come and share their love of cycling. That’s what it is all about in the end: Riding bikes, talking about bikes, looking at bikes, and fixing bikes. And you’re not going to get that discourse or community feel at Wal-Mart, Target, or Costco. So the next time you can, shop at your local bike shop. The bike shop mentality does so much more for you as a member of a community and your shopping experience. The big-box stores will only treat bikes as another commodity, not as a means of contributing to a healthy lifestyle or community.
By Paul Boyle, Marketing Specialist
Note: This post was originally published in August, 2013 and may not be up to date.