Date: December 12, 2012 @ 11:57 am
Anyone scheduled to open the Shop has it a little tougher these days. It’s a dark commute. We open at seven a.m. each weekday, which is cruel and ungodly for those who are accustomed to a 9, 10, or eleven o’clock wake up call. You can probably imagine that not many new Madones are rolling out the door at 7:30 am on a Tuesday.
This begs the question, "Why open so early?"
It’s our belief that the answer to this seemingly simple query says a lot about who we are as a bike shop and what we are trying to accomplish. Conceived as something beyond the basic, Mellow Johnny’s works hard to promote the cycling lifestyle and provide a commuter hub for the downtown Austin area. We’ve got clean showers, day-use lockers and everything else that you would need to get ready for a day of work. If you ride your bike to MJ's you can get a fresh towel and we’ll even store your bike for the day—no lock required all for $1. This is all based around the simple premise that if we make commuting easier, more people will commute. Amazingly enough, extolling the virtues of biking to work goes over a lot better when you’re not taking a bath in your office sink.
We’ve also added staff to our service department. A lot of staff. We’ve committed ourselves to a quick turnaround time at the shop. Chances are, if your bottom bracket is creaking on the way to work, by the time you pick up your bike on the way home it’ll be fixed.
But that’s only a small portion of what we’ve been doing. Our behind the scenes work with organizations and events like Bikes for Kids and People for Bikes, our efforts to bring Bike Share to Austin and even our Director of Operations seat on the board of Movability Austin reflects our commitment to cycling and this great city. Many of our employees are going to city council meetings and getting involved with new projects on a weekly basis.
The hours that we put in for things like this may not have a direct economic impact on our shop. Instead, they help to promote the sport/transportation we love and grow the community in a healthy way over the long term. Besides the espresso, it’s one of the greatest things about this place.
We open early because it’s necessary. Because work starts at eight. If you’ve ever thought about commuting, come and see us. Show up on one of our Scout a Route rides to get a feel for biking in the city. New bike lanes pop up daily, and there’s just something remarkable about riding through a vibrant town on a bike. I can guarantee that it will give you a new appreciation for the city.