Some of you may not be aware that Rapid Transit's purpose, first and foremost, is to get people on bikes, especially bikes they love, because we love bikes.
In order to do this successfully year after year, we need to make money and stay profitable. How, in this economy, can we do this? Well, getting bikes under their owners in the shortest amount of time possible while giving amazing quality of service is a good start. We've been working on that for years, with varying levels of success.
This season, we're trying something new. Our shop doesn't really give us enough room to do a ton of repairs at once, and with bikes coming in the door all day long (which is great) it's hard to give a consistent level of service. We are not prepared to do off-site assembly or repairs, as transporting bikes around between locations greatly complicates everything, uses gas (generally) and leads to the much higher likelihood that bikes could be damaged. So, in the space we have, how do we get more repairs done?
Well, traditionally our repair stands are empty when the shop isn't open, so the owners suggested that we use the the stands then. After all, we pay the rent for that time too.
Well, following months of meetings, scheduling nightmares, discussions over coffee, discussions over beers, etc., we're doing it! We now have mechanics who can work in an uninterrupted, quiet (mostly) place. This allows for faster, higher quality repairs and assemblies, which, in turn, enables us to handle walk-in repairs during business hours MUCH more efficiently.
What this means for the customer, is that currently anything that does not require special order parts or the attention of a specific mechanic, is generally done within 24 hours of walking in the door. Typical summer turn-around at a bike shop ranges from one to two weeks for most repairs. Our objective, as the season ramps up and we get busier, is to keep that turn-around time, including special order parts from our main vendors, to less than a week.
So far, the chilly weather has been helping us: we've had time to train people and practice. But what we really need is for you, our customers, to help us test our limits by bringing in as many bikes to be repaired as you can! We can't promise yet that we'll be able to continue our 24 hour turn-around, or even a week, as the season heats up, but we can promise that we will do what we can to get you back out enjoying your bicycle as soon as humanly possible.
In order for us to keep you all riding as much as possible, our open hours are staying the same, yet our repair staff will be working before and after hours. If you see us through the windows during non-business hours, be aware that we have the gates locked and registers closed because we are committed to doing what it takes to complete our current repairs for you as promised. So please, bring in those bikes, and help us help you ride your bike at its finest!