I have decided to cease normal business operations at Hiawatha Cyclery at the end of May, and then tie up loose ends and sell off remaining inventory and other assets during the month of June before the shop disappears for good.
I'm sure that some casual observers will speculate about why this is happening (and I'll be annoyed and/or bemused by the rumors I hear). To tell the truth, I can't identify one singular reason. Lots of life and business events have pushed me in this direction over the past few years, and now it just seems like the right time for me to move onto the next phase of my career, whatever that may be. The neighborhood bike shop business is difficult - don't let anybody tell you different. I've kept HC going almost a decade, even when a sane person would have quit. I'm a bit sad to be giving up my old dream, not to mention a job that I have loved, and I'm extremely proud of the high level of service we provided to our customers over those years. But I'm hopeful and excited for the future and have no regrets.
I want to extend a "thank you" to people who have worked at HC over the years. Kevin helped me get it rolling, and has been a friend and confidant for many years now. Mark started coming in as a customer early on, and convinced me that I should hire him, which is a decision I've never regretted. He is a truly great friend, a master mechanic, and keen observer of the human condition. We also had Bill and Billy and Andy and Weasel pitching in here and there.
I have been fortunate to call many of my customers friends. In fact, my main friend group are people who first were HC customers. Some of them, I will still see regularly, some I will bump into from time to time, but some I may never see again. I will miss all the regulars who came to trust us with their bikes, and rode past other shops to get to HC (and put up with our odd hours) because they felt that we were the only shop who understood their needs. That's the hardest part of this thing: feeling that I'm letting down people who've come to depend on me. But I'm getting over that, too. There are plenty of good shops in town.
We will still be around for a few weeks, so please feel free to stop in and say hello (or goodbye). I will still keep my hiawathacyclery@gmail email if you want to contact me for friendly or business reasons. I may still even keep this blog going.