We're closed until Monday, 11 August!

Yes, we’re taking a vacation in the middle of the so-called bicycling season, 27 July to 11 August. Why? Because we are sold out of nearly all our most popular products! (Bakfietsen? Xtracycles? Child seats? Certain Bromptons, Retrovelos etc…) It’s a combination of some of our suppliers being sold out themselves, and others being simply too far away for timely resupply. Sales have exceeded our most confident hopes; thank you! Even though this is a forced break, we’d like to spin it as part of our attachment not only to practical, non-seasonal European bicycling sensibilities, but to humane European summer vacation norms. We need a rest, and then to work on some of our internal processes, train our newest people, and yes, give Stokemonkey some quality time behind closed doors.

We are reluctant to present bicycling for transportation as a response to hardship, because it is a pleasure and privilege. But gas prices are on so many lips, we can’t pretend that they have nothing to do with this year’s blistering business. Word is that some local bike shops who sell car racks and bikes appropriate to them aren’t doing so well. Easy driving is over. Few of our customers are refugees from rising motoring costs, because we live in a city. But everything’s connected, and even urbanites have family, or friends, or enemies addicted to the “freedom” of cars. Too many of them live in cities, too.

Some of our customers are extending the trend lines and seeing a near future in which utility biking is less a lifestyle preference than a key element of their own economic well-being. Others are awakening to an ethical awareness beyond the usual environmental, quality-of-life, and political considerations of not driving: the growing scarcity of motor fuel imposes an obligation on those who don’t need it not to use it lightly, regardless of their ability to pay for it. To our way of thinking, this includes most households in places designed before and without cars: places like Portland. We want our farmers to have motor fuel, and industry, and freight, and mass transit. But for mere personal or family transport in town, for those of you not yet incapacitated by decades of forfeiture: reclaim the legs and lungs of your ancestors for your one and only life ON YOUR BIKE!

Please note: we’re not quite sold out yet, nor closed for a few more weeks. Don’t make us lonely! Notably, we’ve got stock of Azor Dutch city bikes. One of our customers made the cover of The Oregonian one proud day recently, perched upon her Oma with her son off the back (hint: excellent posture):
from the cover of the oregonian

23 thoughts on “We're closed until Monday, 11 August!”

  • Kevin

    Pure genius. What a phenomenal business strategy. Offer great products that no one has at reasonable prices, corner the market and sell out of everything forcing you to take a vacation when the weather is good.
    Why the hell didnt Jim and I think of that first?

    Congrats and have a nice break. best to the family,

    Kevin

    Reply
  • patrick

    Does this mean we'll get to see you outside the shop?

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  • xtrasue

    Congratulations on a stellar first year!

    Are you guys planning any ...downtime during your vacation? Sounds like you've got a lot of work planned. :)

    Reply
  • Bruce A. Wilson
    Bruce A. Wilson July 2, 2008 at 3:03 am

    I hope the work on the Stokemonkey comes on well.

    Reply
  • Mauricio Babilonia

    "[W]e’re taking a vacation in the middle of the so-called bicycling season [b]ecause we expect to be sold out of nearly all our most popular products!"

    Wow. That's a good problem to have.

    Reply
  • Debi S.

    Thanks for all your hard work. My X is stellar. Thank you for helping me get it and for being so kind when I came to test out your wares. I really appreciate the service.

    May your vacation be restful and wonderfully relaxing as it is well deserved.

    Reply
  • Dennis

    Congratulations on an incredible first year!
    Keep the magic flowing, and we'll keep rolling!

    See you after your hiatus.

    Reply
  • Val

    Way to go folks! I've been pointing your timely hiatus out to all my colleagues as a leading indicator of things to come; you'd be amazed how ready they still are to dismiss this phenomenon as a "niche" or something peculiar to Portland (or maybe you wouldn't). Personally, I congratulate you on being well ahead of the curve, and I know the rest of us will be doing all we can to catch up. Cheers!

    Reply
  • Nathan

    Clever Cycles CLOSING?!?! Whaaaa?
    Oh, wait... it's just temporary. You certainly got my attention with that headline.
    Whew. Deep breaths, pulse slowing, blood pressure returning to normal, panic subsiding.

    Reply
  • apple dumpling larry
    apple dumpling larry July 2, 2008 at 9:04 am

    This is great news (except that my wife is now on board with the Bakfiets idea). Any eta on more ?

    Also-- change the headline-- people in these times just say "eeeeek...another cool business going under" before reading the details. or was that the point ;-) .

    Reply
  • Donna

    Congrats on being able to take time off after just a year in business! I know you've got other pots on the burner, but I hope you all get some good R&R during the closure.

    Reply
  • [...] the full post at the Clever Cycles [...]

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    Congrats to everyone at Clever! I'm very proud of what you've done and happy that Portland is able to support you.

    It has been interesting how the comments I get when riding the bakfiets have changed over the last year and a half.
    --At first it was such a 'novelty' and no one had seen them... unless they had been to NL or seen the other one or two that were roaming our streets. Now I get more comments like, "hey there's another one of those bikes with the big box on the front. So-and-so has one of those. I hear you can buy them here in town now?" stuff like that. I always love the conversations they start.

    Here's to another year and many more after that!
    True Sustainability...

    Scott

    Reply
  • Jim

    If your business is like ours, early-mid August is a slow time anyway. I know you probably won't actually stop working during this time, but I hope you enjoy the time off.

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  • beth h

    Congrats on your first year! Hope we'll see you cruising the streets during your summer break.

    Reply
  • vj

    Good for you guys. And I do hope you get some vacation in there, not just work. (though am I the only one having a pang of capitalistic panic -- 2 weeks without Clever Cycles?!?!)

    Reply
  • RH

    Just wanted to say that I really like that 3rd paragrpah you wrote in this post. The sentence about 'reclaim the legs and lungs of your ancestors for your one and only life' ....so true.

    Reply
  • Chris Sullivan
    Chris Sullivan July 23, 2008 at 7:27 am

    You actually have two customers in that photo...notice my bright and shiny red cleverchimp bag toward the right? Unfortunately, you can't see the Opa I've been riding as a satisfied customer for about a year now.

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    Oh yeah... I didn't see you there, Chris. I should have looked a little closer. Too bad your Opa is obscured but you sure look happy being on the front page of the 'O' and all... ;0)

    Reply
  • hhw

    what I did on my summer vacation (well, on a late July sunday evening, anyway):

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/hhwlib/2708259165/

    Reply
  • Scott Mizée

    Nice demonstration on National TV this morning, Todd:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/sections/i_video/main500251.shtml?id=4297826n

    and:
    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/27/sunday/main4297624.shtml

    Reply
  • Travis Wittwer

    Congrats on the break. Well deserved. I agree with the statement you made about being hesitant to connect biking to high gas prices. To do so would be to belittle the bike. The logic being that if gas prices fell, biking would lose people. I would hope that this is not the case. For me, I wanted to make my life slower, more peaceful so I gave up one of the family cars and use the one we have rarely. I use biking, not as a way to save money on gas (because when I figured it out, it really is not that great of a savings), but as a new lifestyle for my family. http://bikenounverb.blogspot.com/

    I look forward to when you open. I will be one of the first people there to get one of the cargo bikes--an envy of mine for many a year.

    Thanks for all that you do for PDX.

    Reply
  • BAW

    I love the "excellent posture" picture--pretty lady on a pretty bike, looking relaxed, alert, and elegant. Do you have a similar picture with a handsome gentleman? I'm having some mods done on one of my bikes to "Dutchify" it, and I'd like something to show the mechanic to let him know what I am shooting for.

    Reply
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