In this special video, we are discussing the background of why our founder Arleigh Greenwald is opening a bike shop!
As many have undoubtedly heard, I’ve been hard at work putting things in motion to open up a bike shop of my own. In this candid announcement, I share my exciting news but also the past challenges I have faced as a bike shop manager and why these challenges are propelling a renewed approach with our Denver-based bike shop.
Only 3.5 years ago, I was busy running 2 successful bike shops in Denver and was preparing to have my first child. From the outside, everything seemed great. We had the right reason to be in the business with a staff of dedicated workers looking to make a change in the industry, but the prototypical bike shop business model of working 60–70 hours weekly, having underpaid employees (with no benefits) and ineffective reps were simply not sustainable. Eventually, it caused me to realize I didn’t want to raise my daughter in that environment or for this to be her introduction into the world of cycling. The result was penning a candid article called The Bike Industry is Sick & Hiring More Women Won’t Fix It, which eventually went viral. The article was aimed at pointing out the shortcomings and barriers in the industry with the intention of finding practical ways of finding a resolution.
Since then I have been focusing on consulting other shops, getting involved in nonprofit work and launching the Shift Up podcast; anything possible to have more conversations towards making this world a better place with bikes. I always had the dream to build a better bike shop, and that time has come. My why is simple, making a better world for my kids. With that motivation, I am opening Bike Shop Girl Family Cyclery later this fall. My mission is to build a sustainable bike shop in the Denver area that connects families and communities by bike, which happens to be the shop’s motto. My goal in all of this is to actually begin to build the better bike industry that I have talked about in so many Bike Shop Girl episodes while testing the theories and methods that will promote the philosophy of putting people over profit.