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):