Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Empowering A Friend

Part of following through on the decision to make a change, to take the leap into a complete unknown, involves having to write up a business plan. One section of the plan is to examine the "competition," so I've been researching existing establishments similar to what I want to do. Not only am I gaining valuable information about what's already out there, but I'm also finding more and more angles to take with my idea. Even just talking with a friend will spark another A-Ha moment, and I scramble to write down what occurred to me in order not to lose it. This happened yesterday when a friend texted me, asking about reflector vests and lights for her bike. When I replied, offering a couple of suggestions, I wondered how many others have wanted to use their bicycles for running errands or commuting to work but don't because of not knowing where to start to ensure comfort as well as a high degree of cycling safety. Then the idea occurred to me to have a clinic on what to wear as well as how to outfit the bike to enjoy running errands and commuting. I've seen clinics advertised--and attended one--on changing a bike tire, cleaning and lubing the chain, and learning the basics of braking and shifting, but I've never seen an errand running/commuting clinic offered. Seems to me that one of the obstacles to trying something is just not knowing where to start. My friend did what I suggested she do, texting me afterwards, and the exclamation point along with the smiley face were all I needed to know she was on her way to using her bike more often for transportation.

Having helped another woman overcome a cycling problem is the exact reason I want to open a women's specific bike shop. I spent the entire evening thinking about how this friend can now cycle with the peace of mind that comes from being prepared. And this morning, her FB status update showed her excitement about the new found freedom of riding in the dark but feeling safe in doing so. I, in turn, felt excited and happy for her. 


Cathy said...

So yesterday, I threw on a backpack and did some errands around the neighborhood on the bike. I probably did about 2.5-3 miles going to the garden and then heading off to deliver some baked goods to a friend. While riding, I kept thinking about a few things that would have made the ride better:

-a nice basket so I could quit worrying about crushing the scones in my backpack
-riding gloves because my hands got COLD riding into the wind on a 50 degree day
-leg warmers so I wouldn't have to practically ruin the elastic in my sock to keep my jeans from getting caught in the bike chain

Maybe some ideas for your lady-centered bike shop? :)

JK said...

Yes, a nice basket would have kept your goods from getting squished. With the jeans, put a rubberband around the bottom, just above the leg opening. This will keep the material away from the chain. The gloves are absolutely necessary with these chilly days. They make a huge difference in comfort.

I'm so happy to hear you rode! If you have any questions, let me know.

All the way home from Tour de Shawnee today, I bounced shop ideas off Hubby. One thing I thought about was having really nice gloves. Classy, warm, functional gloves. :)