Last week we had a great time at Al's Bar discussing what a community bike shop in Lexington might look like. There was a lot of ideas being thrown out with lots of potential to back them up. My presence there was more about how it can offer cycling as transportation to those who don't know it or can't afford it. My hope is to partner with something like this in the future.
For now, it looks like the general idea is twofold. They would like to sell bikes and bike gear for under $200 and they would like to serve the community through cycling. I have no passion for retail. Although, I agree that a sub $200 offering is a better price than anyone would find anywhere else. I'm more inclined to get excited about a bike consignment shop than a retail store. Either way, I've got less interest in that side of the discussion.
But a centralized location that does offer bicycle maintenance, training and even free bikes to those that need it would be really cool. The program I'm working with now does a stellar job getting bikes out. But we do have callbacks when guys get flat tires or even major mechanical failure. I'd love to have a place near them. We could easily hand them a bike and say, "If you need help let us know! We're here!" This meeting made me think that this could be the place.
For now, I'll keep an ear on the meetings. Only time will tell if this thing is going to work out in a way that would make a great partner for what is already going on.
Get out there.