SE MA NEMBA Update, Nov 2015

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This year is turning out to be a year of club closings--First TT's, Johnny D's is slated to close, the Beachcomber in Quincy, now Church in the Fenway....all places that I've spent time at in the past but cant say I've 'frequented' in recent years but institutions nonetheless that I always knew I could experience vicariously via the WMBR concert report on the Late Risers Club and through video and reports on social media. Bike shops are local institutions as well, always there for the community. One local institution I can say that I've been fairly loyal to for many years is Dave's Bike Infirmary, in Milton. They've been there for me when I couldn't find a rare schwinn tire or when I needed a cassette on the fly--they would order anything you would see in a catalog or online, and get it within a day or two, and their prices were always fair. Like many other 'regulars' , I would stop by on my way to work, or mid-ride, or just before they open, help them get the bikes outside and setup for the day, or, get there as they were closing to pickup that new chain I needed to complete my drivetrain overhaul…..But like the local clubs, most bike shops are independent businesses run by families with their fate at the mercy of the economy and always evolving demographics. Apparently the economy is changing, along with the rising use of the internet and with that, more people who might have occasionally ridden a bike getting lazier and to upcoming generations passing off riding bikes as an unnecessary or dangerous activity. Just as kids can easily listen to mp3’s and watch videos on their mobile devices while live music becomes a thing their parents reminisce about, they are brought up to take the easy, ‘safe’ way to school—in their parents cars. Online bike shops (and Big Internet Superstores )are also making it very difficult for an independent to make ends meet, even as more and more ‘avid’ bikers join our ranks every day. WE are a minority. But a minority that is forcing change in our communities, a minority who is constantly reaching out to the majority to improve riding experiences on our local trails and roads. Don’t be fooled about the ‘roads’ part—we are all in this together, and the agencies in charge of the commuter roads also influence change on the trails we ride. ‘Strength in Numbers’--like the Anthill movie synopsis ( of that name )says, “is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline. is a rally call to connect all mountain bikers, regardless of location or language or discipline”. Look it up. Watch it. Anyways, yes, we are all connected. And yes, as you may have guessed, we are losing a bike shop. Dave’s was there in Milton since 1974, when then Milton firefighter Dave Forsyth started it as a part time business. Dave’s was a huge supporter of the late Blue Hills Mountain Bike Day, and NEMBA and the mountainbike community in general. Always willing to help. Personal family reasons and Dave’s health contributed to their decision to close, along with declining business due to reasons mentioned earlier…but keep your eyes peeled when on Cape Cod, the family is moving to Onset with all their tools and experience.... There hadn’t been any closings of shops in the Southeast Kingdom in many years—lets just hope this isn’t a sign of things to come. And hope that trails we ride will remain plentiful and the streets safer to ride. But HOPE won’t make things change, YOU have to MAKE things change. ADVOCATE. Thank you to Dave and his family for 41 years of quality service to local bicyclists. Please support your local bike shop (AND local nightclub) Steve Cobble