Not-Cyclists

There has been a move to build more infrastructure for cyclists here. However, with limited space on the road, this comes at a cost… which has local businesses concerned.

People

But there is the issue. How can you tell how you tell a driving customer from a walking customer from a biking customer? Especially when a cyclist is not a “cyclist”…

People

…just like a driver is not a “driver.”

They are both customers. But drivers tend to pass through towns, and those on bike or on foot will spend time at local businesses. And the goal of business is to get more customers, and bike infrastructure will bring more of these not-cyclists down their particular street- with things to do, money to spend, time to stop.

People

Ultimately it’s not about biking, but creating a neighborhood where people will stop biking… and stay a while.

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43 Comments on "Not-Cyclists"


November 3, 2012

Within the recreational roadie scene, I often see this played out where proprietor A will literally chase off “cyclists” (who happen to “waste” big money on such frivolity)… $3500-$5000 bikes are a good indicator.
Meanwhile, the smarter proprietor B recognizes his true market potential and will capitalize on it by enticing these alienated customers on two wheels. He encourages this by being friendly, e.g., asking the classic “what/why/when/how” questions — taking a real interest in this market segment so as to profit from it. He provides bike parking, carries what we request (for long rides), and in return, we promote and patronize this merchant within our subculture. Because of proprietor A’s marketing myopia, he’s losing out to proprietor B through lost sales, a declining reputation/goodwill, and the fact that cyclists are just plain cool to be around. Cash from a jersey back pocket spends just as well as cash from traditional places.

bostonperson whohasbike
November 4, 2012

and why the hate on hipsters? you see one pulling up on a geekhouse bike you know they have a bunch of disposable income.

Cycler
November 3, 2012

Great post! Can we give a copy of this to every business owner on beacon?
I just wish I could invent some special glasses that would show business owners how their customers all arrived.

Kevin Love
November 3, 2012

Here in Toronto, the government conducted a survey of merchants in a major shopping street. The merchants were asked what they believed was the percentage of their customers who were car drivers. They also conducted a survey of the customers to find out how many actually were car drivers.

Anyone care to guess how that turned out?

31% of the merchants believed that 0-20% of their customers were car drivers.

44% of the merchants believed that 21-50% of their customers were car drivers.

13% of the merchants believed that 51-75% of their customers were car drivers.

13% of the merchants believed that 76-100% of their customers were car drivers.

Everyone is, of course, now asking themselves “What was the actual percentage of car drivers?”

Drum roll, please…

The actual, factual reality was that 21% of their customers were car drivers!

Source:

http://www.cleanairpartnership.org/files/BikeLanes_Parking_Business_BloorWestVillage.pdf

Steve
December 13, 2012

Uhm Kevin, isn’t the revelation there that about 75% of merchants were almost exactly right about how many of their customers were car drivers?

Eric Herot
December 13, 2012

Steve,

Agreed. Would have been more useful to see it in ten percent increments, or at least different increments so that the “right” number didn’t end up on a boundary. And putting 21 and 50 percent in the same group lumps together two pretty big differences in opinion.

November 3, 2012

Great post. Under those circumstances I am cyclist that needs to shop and eat at cafes, restaurants.

Biz owners: It’s that simple. So make sure there are some bike racks and we’ll come back more often. :)

bostonperson whohasbike
November 3, 2012

I rode my bike to the hardware store today. They don’t have bike racks out front. you just reminded me to request one from the city of Boston. Thanks!

dr2chase
November 6, 2012

Hardware store I rode to (in Lexington, Ace Hardware, Lowell and Woburn) said “you’re the first person to use our bike rack. The town made us install one.” So I try to remember to stop there and buy stuff, so they’ll feel better about their mandatory rack. They have a lot of metric stuff in their basement, and a nice selection of mason jars for preserves upstairs.

Ethan Fleming
November 14, 2012

A while ago I parked my bike inside Iparty because there was not bike rack and nothing my Ulock would fit around. They told me that I could not leave the bike in the store and I told them to shut their mouths until they get a bike rack. They then kicked me out. I refuse to do business with them until all locations have a bike rack.

 
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