Come March 1, 2019, Sooke Mountain Cycle LTD. will be celebrating 15 years in business.
Seems like a milestone to us. Mostly because it has the number 5 in it, although I guess a 0 may have similar significance. Regardless, 15 years is 15 years, and surviving in business in Sooke is hard enough to do for 5 years, let alone 15, so we’re just going to pat ourselves on the back simply for hanging in there.
But…SMC is doing more than just hanging in there. SMC is thriving, and it’s time to rethink our future. When you’re doing better than simply surviving, it takes some good amount of thought and consideration in order to get ahead of the game and continue to flourish. The passion which birthed Sooke Mountain Cycle LTD. is going to be the wind in our sails as we navigate the next fifteen years. To stay buoyant, we will be keeping only the cargo we need in order to stay afloat and reach the promised land.
Electric assist bikes from Giant and LIV will take up a lot of floor space at SMC in 2019, and I’ll be gearing up at the repair end of things by making sure I’m ready for whatever comes my way. We’ve invested in a motorized lift, and our worn out tools will be replaced and replenished as we can afford them.
Mid to high end mountain bikes will make up a significant portion of what you’ll find when you step through our doors. Bikes from Giant and LIV and Knolly will festoon the place. Mountain biking is the heart whose contractions pump the lifeblood into what we do, and we owe it to ourselves to follow our heart in any event.
While SMC has historically attempted to appeal to the broad spectrum of interests represented in the bike industry by stocking a little something for everyone, this has proven to be a difficult business model. It’s a noble effort, but tends to dilute our focus and is simply not viable going forward. It doesn’t make sense to stock road bikes here, for example, because it makes up a teeny tiny portion of our clientele. Stocking products that don’t sell diminishes our ability to invest in inventory better suited to our area, and to the needs and wants of more of our customers.
Fortunately, Giant offers direct to consumer sales, and if they have the bike in stock that you want, you simply buy it online and pick it up here, after we’ve expertly assembled it. The only difference is that you only get one free tune up in buying your bike this way, as opposed to the year long assembly guarantee you receive when you buy your bike from our existing inventory, or if we special order it for you. Do you want the least expensive bike that Giant offers? Buy it from them, pick it up at SMC. Do you want the most expensive triathlon bike that Giant offers? Same deal.
Knolly Bikes also offers direct to consumer sales, which also flow through SMC. Knolly provides simply the finest mountain bikes on the market, in my opinion, and those online sales will enable SMC to more easily stock their products going forward.
What you’ll find at SMC in 2019, are select products, (components, accessories, clothing and helmets) from Dakine, Chromag, Leatt, Maxxis, Michelin, Ortlieb, Smith, Sundog, OneUp, Shimano, Sram– and others, of course.
We will continue to provide the highest quality repairs that we can, to all bikes. Keep in mind, however, that we charge $90 per hour for repairs. That means that each minute is worth $1.50. I try to provide accurate estimates and I’m pretty good at that after 24 years in this business. If a customer isn’t comfortable with spending what I think it will cost for me to address their mechanical woes, they are welcome to find someone who will provide cheaper labour. I don’t hold that against anyone, but I will not cheapen my work by racing to the bottom in order to get labour sales.
SMC has always specialized in repairing, maintaining and perfecting the mechanical function of your mountain bike, and by simplifying things somewhat, we’ll be able to really bring that quality to another level.
So, that’s about it. I can’t think of much more to add, other than to thank all of our customers over the past 15 years for choosing to do business with Sooke Mountain Cycle LTD.
Cheers, and happy trails to you, my friend.