Personability is everything, especially when it comes to bike shops. In our internet obsessed society the modern store front is faced with a multitude of challenges. Each day dozens of websites announce a new sale, promising the lowest possible prices and free shipping. Add to this the bidding wars on Ebay plus the digital yard sale known as Craigslist and it has to make you wonder how any bike shop can keep their doors open.
This gets us back to that personal touch. Since bike shops are in a losing struggle with online retailers, they have to make up for it in other ways. Their top three weapons are quality service, location and personability. At their September grand re-opening I got a chance to talk to Tempo Cyclery's owner and see their new shop. My question was, have they achieved the trifecta needed for further success?
|Store owner Julian Angus jr|
Enthusiasm can be infectious. When you are talking to a true cyclist, passion bleeds through every word. At the end of the conversation, you want to ride. That is how I felt after talking with Tempo store owner Julian Angus jr. "I'm a trail rider, love the trails but Florida has good streets so you'll find me more on the road bike." It took only seconds to discover that we had something in common. Julian and myself are of the generation seeking that ultimate experience on two wheels, we dream of racing the Leadville Trail 100 in Colorado but it is the dreaming part that is important.
As a shop owner part of Julian's job is to help make dreams come true. It could be that first bike on which a kid learns his balance or the high end time trial machine meant to tackle the most exhausting of endeavors. It could be dual cruisers for the couple who have been riding together for decades or a rental for the elderly traveler who winters each year in balmy Sarasota. His shop is ready to fulfill those needs.
From passion to practicality, Tempo is covering their bases. This is why they moved to a new locale. Julian explains the decision, "It's a slightly smaller space but the rent is lower and the location is better." In this case smaller might be better as it has allowed them to open up new opportunities. "We had to downsize in order to grow." After spending four years on a busy section of Clark Road, they are now situated across from Publix on Palmer Plaza Blvd within easy pedaling of Palmer Ranch and the Legacy Trail. They still have a Clark Road address but the actual store is off the main drag (See Google Map Here).
A tactical starting point means that Julian and his crew can better serve their customers. This will include a fully stocked store - bikes, gear, accessories, tools and nutritional supplements. They will also have a private, professional bike fitting room. Group rides can set off right from the front door, rentals can stroll through a neighborhood with ample bike lanes and it is only a short ride to the starting line of the Tempo & Timmy's Time Trial.
Have they achieved the trifecta? Quality service, location and personability? I can attest to the second two but their loyal customers vouch for all three. If you would like to see for yourself they are open six days a week plus there is a special night coming to celebrate the new store. I'll let Julian explain...
"The last Time Trial of the season is at 5:30pm on September 11th and we are taking this opportunity to open the doors so everyone can see the shop. We'll be open before and after the ride with parking available in front of the store."
Since this is a special occasion they might add a theme to the Time Trial, perhaps costumes or prizes for racing on unusual bikes. To be a part of the event follow Tempo on Facebook and visit their website for more details.