"What am I Supposed to do, Tell Everyone My Husband Fixes Bikes?"
There has never been a better time than now to be in the biking industry.
Many years ago (and to some currently) there was a stigma in the general public that the biking industry or bike mechanics are jobs that are the stepping stone to your “real career”.
But what if I told you being in the biking industry has just as many if not more incentives as being in any other technical or business career with wages STARTING at just under $40,000 + a year plus benefits and bonuses across the country.
Years ago I, myself ( the wife of a retail store owner), didn't believe it. Numbers don't lie when it comes to what the demand for bikes has become.
Biking has never been been in greater demand than now. When everyone was shut in in 2020 bikes began flying off shelves for general public to be able to clear their head and wrap their brain around what was actually happening. Biking is one of the easiest and least strenuous form of exercises (if you want it to be) and was a natural source of energy burn off or to exercise the “Covid -19 lbs” that so many put on while sheltering in place and working from home. If you had the opportunity to see our owner (Jonathan Minks) being interviewed on Fox Business this past year you know the bikes are literally getting taken quicker than they can get set on the sales floor.
However we then ran into some supply issues and still are. With many factories across the world behind on fulfilling orders for bike brands or cargo ships sitting in the ocean due to Covid ridden shipping workers and not being able to port, it can be tough for a small retail shop to get products in unless they plan a year in advance or more. Note that most bikes are made outside of the USA because you currently cannot affordably make bikes in the United States due to cost of labor and supplies.
The Conscientious Consumer & Global Impact of Bike Riding
Reuse and environmental issues have never been more a topic of conversation than they are now. Half the world is burning up with the global temp rising. The US in a deep drought, flooding in other parts of the world. Wild fires on the west cost and Canadian Border all related to climate change. Even today there is a "air quality warning" because of smoke ridden skies due to fires.
What is one of the easiest ways people can reduce CO2 in the environment? Riding a bike instead of driving a car. I remember years ago when I was in elementary school there was a week long curriculum about saving water and how it impacts the earth. A handout we meticulously went through that showed us how much water we saved by taking a shower instead of a bath or shutting the water off while brushing my teeth. That stuck with me my whole life.
Consumers are choosing products they use in the everyday more carefully and making sure it’s better for the environment. Being part of the bike industry means you are educating consumers and progressing change environmentally.
In a study done this year by the University of Oxford they released data that stated
"We found that those who switch just one trip per day from car driving to cycling reduce their carbon footprint by about 0.5 tonnes over a year, representing a substantial share of average per capita CO2 emissions.
"If just 10% of the population were to change travel behavior, the emissions savings would be around 4% of lifecycle CO2 emissions from all car travel."
Why the bike industry needs trainable people that want to make a great wage.
It’s no secret that Jonny Rock Bikes began in the realm of used and refurbished bikes and parts. Thank goodness because there is a shortage of just about everything! But the other lesson in this way of doing business is being able to focus on more than one customer demographic is important in retail survival. It is flexibility like this that allowed us to grow Jonny Rock Bikes to a second store and we plan to build more and teach more entrepreneurial people like us to do something similar. But we need the workforce to do it and the stigma of working in the bike business to move to the way side. One of my husband's favorite lines I ever spouted is "What am I supposed to do tell everyone my husband fixes bikes?!" His reply was "Umm yeah" ( eyes bulging out of his head). I have my foot in my mouth now because our two retail store sustain our family making over a half million in sales and projects getting to a million in the coming year. I said that over 10 years ago because of a stigma I had about cyclists and those that worked in the cycling industry. Once digging deeper adn being involved in trade shows, hiring, buying, etc. I found just like any industry there is a plethora of jobs in it.
So now more people have a bike. The thing is once you have a bike you have to take care of it and often it becomes addicting.
*You need tune ups
*You start to ride and you want a nice rack for the back. You want to be able to ride with your small child so you need a trailer.
*You want to start riding in the winter so you get some insulated clothing, goggles, gloves, and hat so you can.
The list goes on for all of the different types of services and items needed for a new or avid rider.
This means a great people in stores to give fantastic experiences and educate consumers. I.E. Mechanics and Sales, Tech People, Welders, Designers, OR people that want to learn a new industry that is, actually, really fascinating.
The point being don’t overlook the bike industry in your job search. There is a ton of opportunity right now to earn a great wage and have a fantastic work life balance. The small business owners that have the bike shops have families too. They understand the blue collar American worker and there is tons of potential to have top earning wages. Your position in many shops can lead to owning a retail location of your own or manufacturing your own bike / sports related products. In fact Jonny Rock Bikes offers it’s employees sales training and even offers professional development assistance / technical schooling for candidates after a certain time period with us. Amongst many other fantastic benefits.
Check out our listings and job posts at a bike shop in your local area to see how you can make a positive career change in a relaxed work environment.