Bike shops are essential

Albuquerque’s Two Wheel Drive is shut down, but a FaceButt post says they’re “investigating the potential of allowing repair pickups and more. Per shut-down protocol, no promises at this point. …”
—Photo lifted from the TWD website

Auto shops are essential, but bike shops are not?

We beg to differ.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s order designating some New Mexico businesses as essential and others, eh, not so much, could use a little gentle tweaking. Thanks to Khal S. and the League of American Bicyclists, we can suggest that bike shops be given the all-clear to operate, even if only in some greatly reduced fashion.

Says Ken McLeod, LAB policy director:

“The League of American Bicyclists has received several requests for advocacy support to make sure that bicycle repair shops are designated as essential businesses in New Mexico and other states. … The League of American Bicyclists believes that bicycle repair employees are within the essential workforce described by federal guidance released by the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. That guidance says that the essential workforce includes ‘Employees who repair and maintain vehicles … that encompass movement of cargo and passengers.’ We think that the correct interpretation is that bicycle repair employees fall within that description. Clarifying that by explicitly including bicycle repair shops as essential businesses would be helpful so that they can continue serving the needs of people who depend upon bicycles for transportation or find bicycles preferable as a low-cost transportation option in this time of crisis.”

LAB has created a campaign page for people to direct messages to the governor on this issue. Ken, Khal and I urge you to circulate the link as you see fit.

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12 Responses to “Bike shops are essential”

  1. SAO' Says:

    You saw this, yeah?
    https://bicyclecoalition.org/breaking-bike-shops-in-philly-are-now-considered-essential-businesses/

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Ayuh. LAB says a dozen states have also made this determination explicit. Ours is not one of them, but maybe it should be; I don’t have any stats on how many car-free types we have here. Plummeting gas prices won’t exactly spur a shift to two-wheel drive.

      I haven’t driven since March 5, and only started cycling outdoors on the 16th. My outings since have been to ferry supplies to Herself the Elder at the Dark Tower. Ankle rehab is a bonus.

  2. Kathleen Holoch Says:

    The California Bike Coalition is circulating a petition directed to the CA Public Health Officer to deem bike shops essential. Seems like this will all take a while to implement though?

  3. khal spencer Says:

    I suspect most of the government folks consider bike shops as retail rather than as essential services to people who depend on bikes. Kinda have to remind them.

    Doesn’t help that the only time you see bikes is on top of cars headed to a park or trailhead.

  4. Chris Ford Says:

    I saw an item on the CBC last evening that bicycle shops in London, England have been declared essential.

  5. Stephen Newhall Says:

    We at rob and charlie’s in Santa Fe are staying open, until they make us close. Not sure about the other Santa Fe shops. We are disinfecting regularly, and trying to practice Social Distancing.

  6. Jeff Cozad Says:

    In Illinois, bike shops were declared essential thanks to Ride Illinois’s work Ride Illinois is the Illinois bicycle advocacy organization.

  7. Stephen Newhall Says:

    An update on closure: A state police officer came by to close us about a half hour ago, and Charlie claimed that we are essential, and that we are legally (for workman’s comp) classified as a hardware store and that transportation services are essential, and the cop said it was debatable, and left. I will keep you all posted.

    • Shawn in the Gorge Says:

      Wow. A policeman actually came by and said something already. Did you give him a doughnut? Disinfected of course. I’m sure that would have convinced that you were indeed, essential. But really, I respect the heck out of police and am saddened that they are burdened with enforcing the stay at home order. To what I have read, the LBS’s in Portland, OR are essential and some of them are open. If they weren’t I wouldn’t want to be the policeman that attempted to close one down…. He’s get pelted with many day old Voodoo Doughnut doughnuts by a roaming hoard of cyclists…..Bad policeman. Bad, bad, bad….

    • khal spencer Says:

      Holy shit. We need to talk to the League again.

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