I'm in the midst of gathering the various things necessary to build my first motored bicycle. The motor is about a week and a half out from arriving (it's gonna be a very LONG week and a half), and I scored a Specialized Expedition off of Craigslist last weekend for a fair price. I've still got about a hundred bucks in bicycle parts to buy to get this sewn up, outside of a trip to NAPA to put the lighting together. This forum has been a gem as far as answering my questions before I even have to post a thread, and for that I thank you all.
The heart of small towns are the small businesses within, so I'm a big proponent of giving them my business whenever I can, as long as the price is at least competitive. Usually they are, so that's fine. Service is usually where these small shops shine, and in the end if I have to pay a bit more for good service and knowledgeable help I'm all for it.
Today I went into the regional bicycle shop (for those who live in the southern Washington/northern Oregon coast, you know who I am talking about). I've run into the manager of the place a few times out and about, and we know each other by first name. That doesn't mean that I'd invite him over for a beer, though. Guess I'm selective like that.
While in this establishment I was apparently the only customer there. I walked in, and when he saw me he greeted me appropriately. After some small talk he asked what brought me in, and I told him what I had just bought on Craigslist and that I was going to convert it into a motorized bicycle. The change in demeanor was radical. He said that he had sold the motors for awhile, but then got out of it. When I followed up that statement to ask why, he had already marched off to do something else on the computer, not answering me. As I walked from seats to helmets to fenders and back (another 5-10 minutes in the store) he said nothing to me.
This was not the first time he had done this to me. I actually brought up motorized bicycles over a year ago when I ran into him and his lady friend in a local tavern. As soon as I mentioned them, he literally gave me a look and turned in his barstool to look the other direction. End of conversation.
Gotta admit that the whole experience took a bit of the wind out of my sails. Is this a common experience with pedal pushers? Personally I can't imagine treating a customer in such a way, but maybe sales is so good there with traditional customers that he can afford to do this.
Thanks to the regional grocery/variety chain and the Internet I will do just fine not frequenting his establishment. Doesn't keep it from being disappointing as a member of the community.