Tuesday, 12 November 2019

The bike shop is closing

and this is going to cause yet more problems.
There is another bike shop. It is actually closer but it does not provide the same sort of service.
The closer shop is not interested in tricycles. They regard tricycles as a nuisance. On the rare occasions I have used it - out of sheer desperation - I have been given to understand that they do not cater for such things. They won't service tricycles. They "know nothing about them". Their interest is in racing bikes, mountain bikes and the "more professional" side of cycling.
The other shop, the one I used, actually knew about tricycles. I sent more than one would-be tricycle rider off to see them - and they came away satisfied. It takes a lot for me to recommend anyone. I don't do it as a matter of principle - because so many things can vary and the experience someone else has might be quite different from my own. 
But I did with the tricycles because I knew that the shop in question would not sell something they thought would not suit the rider without at least telling them, "We don't think that is suitable for you."
They make, and thankfully will continue to make, tricycles for people with disabilities. They actually design them for people with very special needs. A former student of mine had one built. He was independently mobile because of it right up until his death. 
There is nothing fancy about my tricycle but the person working on it does need to know how the thing is put together. Mine is a commercially available set of wheels but the specially designed tricycles can need specialist attention.
Let it be said here that tricycles often get a lot of hard work. I have worn out a few in my lifetime - and I'd like to think I might wear out a couple more. Tricycles can be the difference between someone going out or staying at home and being dependent on someone else to get them somewhere. I'll be using mine this morning to go to a meeting at which I will be an "interpreter" for a couple of other people.
Tricycle users are often people who fall through the cracks of the mobility schemes. They don't get "taxi vouchers". It isn't always safe for them to use public transport. If they want to take their wheels with them then they need to use the train service because you cannot take tricycles on buses and trams. For some of us it isn't a matter of choice either. If we can't take our wheels or it is too far to pedal then we don't go. 
Having a bicycle shop which understood and catered for our needs is something we appreciated. Its closure will be a huge loss. 
I was about to fill out the survey our local MP has sent out about public transport use. I had things I wanted to say before and I have even more now.


Jan said...

That is a shame. Kmart type cycles have cut into market with cheap junk. The professional market of racers etc is probably not enough to sustain shops. Good will from personal service does not pay the bills.

Jodiebodie said...

Very sad news about the bike shop. The customer service and expertise was second to none. They had an excellent range of reputable products not cheap and nasty and not exorbitant. Plus catering for disabilities. It will be a loss for the community.