Based on what I am reading all over Facebook, last nights City Council meeting was a bit of a letdown for Local Cycles, who apparently tried to convince the city on letting them win the bid on bike-sharing in Long Beach. That prize is going to a NYC-based company Social Bicycles (see REPORT: SOCIAL BICYCLES, A NEW BIKE SHARING PROGRAM TO COME TO LONG BEACH). There are reports on how Social Bicycles will work with Local Cycles, but details on that are not set in stone yet, if any.
In the meantime, I just want to send a shout-out to our three local bicycle shops. Spring is just around the corner and NOW is the perfect time to buy a new bike, or tune-up your existing one.
Buddy’s Bikes Etc 907 W. Beech St, Long Beach, NY 11561
Local Cycles (Facebook website) 307 W. Park Ave, Long Beach, NY, United States 11561
Long Beach Bicycle (website) 755 East Park Ave., Long Beach, NY 11561
Support our local businesses. Sure, you can buy a really cheap and crappy bike at Walmart, but it’s going to be heavy, junky and will break down faster than you think. Plus, what about service? I bought my bicycle at Long Beach Bicycle over 5 years ago and the owner still recognizes me when I go there. Enough said.
Already we know that when it comes to jobs created per million dollars, bicycle facilities are one of the most efficient transportation investments. But once the paint dries and the asphalt cools, are there lasting economic effects? Can bicycle infrastructure build bicycle culture that will build a bicycle economy?
The answer seems to be yes — at least in the case of Long Beach, California. More than 20 new bicycle-related or bicycle-inspired businesses have opened at last count.
The article then highlights some of those companies, which include:
It’s interesting how DecoBikes, bike lanes and more bike racks could, in a way, have a positive effect on our three local bike shops by strengthening the bike culture of Long Beach. I said this once already (I don’t know what article I said it in), but Long Beach, NY has to be one of the few towns in the New York metro area where I see such a wide variety of people riding bicycles for both transportation and pleasure.
I realize our Long Beach is much smaller and less populated than in California. It’s just the idea of establishing a strong bike culture, which could rub off on new businesses opening up – or get more people to buy bikes from our three local bike stores. A strong bike culture in Long Beach, NY will add value to [our] community by creating economic activity, creating jobs, and improving quality of life (source – Bike Lanes: The New Job Creators?).
I don’t know if I read it somewhere or if somebody told me, but I had the belief that our three local Long Beach bike shops (Buddy’s Bikes, Long Beach Bicycle, Local Cycles) were all involved with DecoBike for maintenance and repair. Well, I just called them and asked if they did indeed have any involvement whatsoever. Here is what they had to say:
Local Cycles 307 West Park Avenue Long Beach, NY 11561 (516) 390-7085
Nick over at Local Cycles: “I asked, but haven’t heard from them [DecoBike] in a while.” Nick then questioned whether or not it would work in Long Beach by the amount of bicycles that will be used. “Boston is a city of around 500,000 [617,594 according to the 2010 census] and they have 500 bikes in their bike rental system. Long Beach has 50,000 people tops in the summer and they [DecoBikes] are going to have 400 Bikes here? Those numbers just don’t add up.”
—— Long Beach Bicycle 755 East Park Avenue Long Beach, NY 11561 (516) 432-9632
Rick over at Long Beach Bicycle: “Nobody ever contacted us. We don’t know how it will effect us.”
Buddy’s Bikes 907 West Beech Street Long Beach, NY 11561 (516) 431-0804
Buddy over at Buddy’s Bikes: “I was never contacted. I would love to be on the boardwalk. I’ve been renting bikes for 35 years. I charge $15 for three hours. That’s peanuts. I had no idea about this deal. A friend of mine told me about it. I wish they gave me a chance. All three of us [bike shops] could have set up shop on the boardwalk, but they didn’t give us a chance at all.”
So there you go. At this point, nobody knows what kind of impact this five year DecoBike deal will have on our local shops, so make sure we still support them for purchase, repair and parts.