2014-12-21 08:15:12


  四级阅读原文Bike store owners put their spin on new bike

  New Yorkers, albeit many of them grudgingly, aregradually getting used to more pedaling passengers on those blazingblue Citi Bikes.
  But what about local bike shops? Is Citi Bike rolling up riders attheir expense?
  At Gotham Bikes in tribeca, a manager who gave his name as “Ben W.”said the shop has seen an increase in its overall sales due to thebike-share program.
  “It’s getting more people on the road, more people learning aboutthe sport and getting involved,” he said.
  An employee at Danny’s Cycles in Gramercy said Citi Bike is a goodoption for people to ease into biking in a city famed for itsvehicular congestion and aggressive drivers.
  “They can try out a bike without committing to buying one,” JamesRyan said. “It makes a more comfortable biking environment in thecity because there are a lot more bikes, too.”
  Business at Danny’s Cycles has increased as well since the adventof bike-share.
  “A lot of people come in for bike gear, and we’ve sold a lot ofhelmets,” he noted.
  Rentals are not a big part of the business at either Gotham Bikesor Danny’s Cycles. But for Frank’s Bike Shop, a small business thathas been at its current Lower East Side location on Grand St. since1976, the bike-share program has been bad news. Owner Frank Arroyosaid that his rental business has decreased by 90 percent since theCiti Bikes were rolled out last month.
  Arroyo’s main rental customers are European tourists, a demographicthat has since been drawn away by Citi Bikes. Initially, abike-share station was sited a few doors away from Frank’s BikeShop on the corner of Grand and Henry Sts. But a petition onmoveon.org to relocate the bike station gatheredmore than 1,000 signatures. The Citi Bike dock was eventuallyremoved — but only temporarily, according to the Citi Bike Twitteraccount, for utility construction in the street.
  “I was grateful, and it was quite an honor to see how many peopleresponded on my behalf,” Arroyo said of the petition effort. “Itwas really nice to see that people care. But they have flooded theplace with them,” he said of the Department of transportation,which installs the bike racks.
  Removing one station does little since the area is overloaded withCiti Bike stations, said Arroyo.
  “If you put it in front of a hotel, customers are going to walk ofthe hotel and use it,” he said.
  However, Ben said the bike-share is good for bike sales at hisshop.
  “People have used the bike-share and realized how great it is tobike in the city, then decide that they want something nicer forthemselves,” he noted.
  Christian Farrell of Waterfront Bicycle Shop, on West St. justnorth of Christopher St., said initially he was concerned aboutbike-share, though, he admitted, “I was happy to see people onbikes.”
  Consisting of equal parts tourists and locals, his customers get abetter rental deal at his shop because, despite charging only $10for a daily rental, the bike-share program requires cyclists tocheck their bikes in at a bike station every half hour. His store,on the other hand, charges $10 for the first hour, $5 for thesecond, and $2.50 per hour after that.
  “Six hours with Waterfront Bicycle Shop will costa customer $25,” he said. “With Citi Bike, a six-hour rental willcost $126 [if the rider doesn’t re-dock his or her bike at astation every half hour]. Our rentals always include a helmet, abasket and a lock.”
  Several dozen rental bikes were lined up on Weehawken St. lastSunday behind the store. Benny, who was watching over them, saidanother advantage over the Citi Bikes is that Waterfront’s bikesare all in good working order.
  Farrell’s early concerns were echoed by Andrew Crooks, owner of NYCVelo, at 64 Second Ave.
  “It seemed like a great idea, but one that would be difficult toimplement,” Crooks said of Citi Bike. He said he worried aboutinexperienced riders’ lack of awareness of biking rules andbacklash from non-cyclists. However, he said, it’s still too earlyto tell if his business has been impacted.
  The actual Citi Bikes themselves have been criticized as “heavy,”“clunky,” even “ugly.” In comparison, Crooks said NYC Velo hasbikes that are “lighter, faster and tend to bemore comfortable.” Farrell of Waterfront also said his bikes are of“better quality” than the bike-share two-wheelers.
  While it’s possible bike-share will cause a drop in business in thelong run, Crooks allowed that the idea, as a whole, is good for thecity.
  “I believe that the program is a positive step forward for New YorkCity,” he said, “and will prove to benefit New York City cyclingconditions — in terms of greater acceptance, safety andaccessibility.”


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