Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Let's try again..

OK, now it's serious. Seriously. Serious.

After 10 years of working my tail off in a job that has evolved out from under me, I'm ready to get serious about biking. I've got an idea and this blog will be the start of it!

The VeloScene...

"Velo" the French slang for bicycle
"Scene" for "a happening, the place to be.."

My plan is to start up a physical location, a "bike shop," near my home. But I'm not selling bikes. I want it to be a "gathering place" for cyclists around the Puget Sound to start out on rides. I want it to be a "pit stop" for cyclists on long rides that include the I-90 Trail. The location will be near the I-90 Trail that crosses Mercer Island, WA. For those that don't know about it, Mercer Island is a 16-17 mile loop ride on a suburban island in the middle of Lake Washington near Seattle. It is a popular destination ride that is fairly level, windy roads with gorgeous views of the lake and Cascade Mountains , including Rainier.

So how will it make money?

OK, this is still formative, but here is the idea

  • Be a virtual storefront to assist people in purchasing bicycles online. Be a shipping location and do all the setup and fitting once the cycle arrives. Bikes are a complex online purchase. I will do pre-purchase fitting and sizing, facilitate the purchase, handle the shipping and do all the setup.
  • Establish relationships with online vendors to get bikes at a discount or wholesale; free shipping. Charge customer full price and make money on the spread.
  • Be a community resource shop. I will have a couple work stations in the back for doing setup and these can be rented by-the-hour for doing your own work.
  • Small item sales: gloves, beanies, tubes, patch kits... that kind of stuff. Stuff that's too small to buy online.
  • Cafe: the front end of the shop will be a small cafe where coffee, juice and home-made "power bars" can be bought. Tables inside and out will give people a chance to rest, plan a ride and "hang in the scene." The cafe will have a map kiosk, a Cascade bike club kiosk and other ride information
  • The whole place will be decorated in vintage Italian and French cycle graphics and venerate the classic riders of the past.
What do you think? Am I nuts? Let me know in the comments!


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