It’s no secret that while bicycling is popular, bike shops are suffering. This hit home for A Dude when he was in Bicycle Sport Shop on Guadalupe yesterday and learned that it was going to shut down. Retail will stop on September 28, but repairs may continue for a little while. When word hit two years ago hat the local chain was taking over the site of dearly departed Ozone Bikes (which lasted 23 years!), people were happy and relieved.
But the sales of nearby college students and homeowners never materialized. It’s especially sad because this is where Sophie the Fairdale Weekender Archer that I won in a raffle came from here, and I’ve gotten to know the shop folks. The good news is that all the employees they’ll all be able to be absorbed into the remaining BSS shops to keep their jobs.
Today’s University of Texasat Austin publication, The Daily Texan, has a front-page story about the scourge of rentable so-called “disruptive” technology being dumped on our streets and the campus. See “Dockless scooters temporarily removed: New city ordinance suspends dockless scooters until companies obtain proper permits.” Basically these companies came in like Uber and Lyft and started operating illegally (or quasi-legally at best), and then the City of Austin had to play catch up and regulate them. We the citizens of Austin chased the ride-share companies out of town after an election, even though they cynically spent over $8 million.
As for rent-a-bikes, I don’t have as many problems with them, because that’s a big part of the point of this blog: more people can and should use bikes. But when they or scooters are clogging up the place, people dump them, vandalize them, or they obstruct lawful bike commuters and pedestrians, they’re a safety hazard to the operators and to others. So I have a few words about this. I’m like an antibiotic ointment: I’m topical!