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Customers, Friends

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It's easy to become friendly with folks who come into the shop. We're friendly, you're friendly, this is a friendly city, and we all want to get along and have fun together! But, it takes time to become real friends; you know, to get beyond any of the power dynamics that can come into play in any type of service setting, to create shared memories and experiences, and to know and appreciate each other as whole people with big, complicated lives that extend beyond bikes.

I feel incredibly fortunate to have built a lot of great friendships with customers over the past handful of years -- many of whom are some of the closest confidants in my life these days. (You know who you are.) And while there's no perfect calculus behind the messy process of building relationships (if there was, life would sure be a whole lot easier), here is my attempt at synthesizing how that sometimes smooth and sometimes laughably awkward transition from customer to friend happens:

Step 1: They come into the shop for some bike-related need.

Step 2: They come back in for some other bike-y need. You tell a (likely unfunny) joke. They politely laugh. 

Step 3: You recognize each other in the grocery store aisle, but both pretend not to see the other and instead intently study the label of the bag of Juanitas you're grabbing, because, what would you say? You don't actually know each other. 

Step 4: They come into the shop again. In addition to the usual business, you engage in some friendly banter and you laugh at each other's (un)funny jokes.

Step 5: You recognize each other in the grocery store and acknowledge each other's existence with an enthusiastic wave as you continue pushing your carts past one another. 

Step 6: They come into the shop on their commute home from work, or on their way back from a ride...just to say hi and chat. 

Step 7: You claim each other as 'friends' on various social media sites and 'like' each other's photos.

Step 8: They come in again and suggest that maybe you should hang out outside of work. You talk about this potentially happening for the next few weeks or months. 

Step 9: You finally find a time to hang out. You go on a bike ride together and spill your guts to one another. (There's something about a good, long ride that really opens you up and allows you to go deep. Know what I mean?) Or maybe you grab a drink. Or maybe you go out for pizza with your partners in tow. 

Step 10: They continue to come in the shop and continue to be a customer, but also something far beyond that. You see them at the shop, and equally outside of it. When people ask you how you met, you both reply "bike stuff".

Come to think of it, this isn't too dissimilar from making friends as an adult in general. 

-Leah

p.s. Yeah, I run into a lot (a lot, a lot) of customers at the grocery store. 

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The Slow Season

 
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Before opening the shop I drew out a detailed business plan, and through that I theoretically understood that it would take time before the business would be profitable, that things would start off slowly and it would take a while to build up a customer base.

But, let's be real: All the while I actually believed that I was somehow different. I would be that one in a million overnight success.

I harbored this unspoken delusion up until the day that I opened the shop...in the middle of October...the rainiest October we had seen in years...aka, not a popular or profitable time for bike shops...especially brand new bike shops that no one had ever heard of.  And so I would sit for hours in an empty shop, waiting for customers to arrive, every day feeling like I’d planned myself an extravagant birthday party that no one bother to showed up to. 

To deal with the special kind of shame that comes along with running a struggling business, I would put on a charade and tell people that this was all a part of the plan; that I wanted to open up during the slow season so that I could get my processes and procedures in order before entering the busier summer months. (I'm a pretty awful liar, but people at least pretended to believe me -- thanks for that.) In actuality, it was a result of poor planning and stubbornness. All businesses make mistakes in the beginning, and this was definitely one of mine. 

In addition to dealing with my own emotions during my first slow season, it was also tough because I had employees. All of my business classes and books had taught me that if my workers were't actively doing something productive (i.e. money-making) at all times then the business would most certainly fail and our lives would be ruined and Santa would no longer bring gifts to even the good kids (or something like that), and so I would create all sorts of random projects for them to do and assign them with a false sense of urgency. Even if we weren't actually busy, we at least needed to pretend at though we were. You know, no leaning, all cleaning. 

Again, we all make mistakes. 

....

Fast forward four years later, and I'm still making all sort of mistakes all the time. But, I'm also happy to report that I'm more used to the slow season and much more comfortable within it. People don't ride as much when it's raining, we don't sell as many bikes and we don't perform as much service. And that's okay. It's a part of the cycle (pun intended) of running a bike shop in this sometimes sunny and sometimes rain and gray town. I plan for it, I save for it. The business is prepared.

And so instead of needlessly worrying about the seasonal drop in business, I embrace it.  It's a great time for us to work hard on things that we can't get to during the grind of the super busy days -- brainstorming new ideas for classes and events, writing manuals,  hanging fixtures,  reorganizing and sprucing up the space -- and it's also a time for us to embrace the fact that each of us here is worth more than how much work we can get done over the course of an 8 hour day.

Sometimes the most important work we can do is to just chill out, slow down and have fun with one another. So, in addition to the various projects we all take on over the winter, we also take time to listen to our coworkers and learn about them as people, to talk more with customers and and build relationships with them, to take a lunch that's a little bit longer, to write silly blog posts, to break into a song when a jam comes on the radio.

Then, come Spring, we're ready.  We're not only recharged from having some extra time off to play, we also know each other better and are better aware of how to support one another, and ready to hit go and go into high gear.

So, here's to the slow season! May it be short, may it be useful, and may it be fun!

- Leah

(Side note: Typing all this out makes me realize how astoundingly lucky that all three of the people who were there to help me open the shop are still with me today. THANK YOU FOR PUTTING UP WITH ME.)

 

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Bad Ideas

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Around this same time every year, I try to set aside space for myself to step away from the shop to reflect on the past year of business and make plans for the next. I hole in up coffee shops, cabins, and at my kitchen table and surround myself with highlighters, spreadsheets, financial statements, scratch paper, books and an endless array of cups of coffee and tea. 

During these retreats, my first order of business is always looking at the dollars and cents of it all, combing through our financial statements to see where we did well, to look for places we struggled, and then to come up with strategies for how we could be more profitable. This is, after all, a business. And while responsible financial management and realistic budgeting may not be the flashiest topics to talk about, they are what keep our doors open, keep us serving our customers, and keep our staff well-paid. 

Let's be real, though: This isn't the part of retreats that I get excited about.

Though healthy financials are necessary and nice, I started this business with a mission in mind before profit, with goal of disrupting the norm by examining what was already out there, appreciating and learning from the good, reflecting on the not-so-great and ultimately attempting to do things differently in an effort to better serve women through this one local bike shop, as well as trying to play a small part in pushing the conversation about gender inclusivity in the bike industry as a whole. And so it's the second part of my retreats that really gets my engines flaring, 'cause this is the part when I get to look back on the past year and try to decipher how well we've done at working towards our broader mission as a shop. 

And as I looked back upon everything we did this year, I had the realization that what I was studying was the story of a whole bunch of ideas. It turns out that trying to re-imagine a business model and do things differently means coming up with a whole slew of new ideas - SO MANY IDEAS - in search of a good one.

To me, a good idea is one that:

(a) Addresses a need, whether or not people knew the need existed before,

(b) Is fun, both for our customers and for those of us who work here,

(c) Is inclusive of our community of women, trans, femme, gender non-conforming and allied folks,

(d) Makes our community feel more excited about riding bikes in some way, and

(e) Introduces more folks to who we are and what we're about here

With that definition in mind, I'm proud to say that we've had a lot of great ideas over the years -- from the Saddle Library, to the 'Cross Curious Club, and even cycling caps slathered in donuts in space. But, I also can't deny that for every good idea we've had there have been at least three times as many that have fallen flat. (Remember when we decided to have fresh baked goods at the shop every day? I hope not; that was a really bad idea.)  

Which brings me to this past year.

2017 has been filled with some really great new ideas -- the BikeAble bike touring series we collaborated on with Makeshifter, a new structure for our basic maintenance classes, some new bike brands in the shop --, but, well...this was also a year of more than a few flops, things that we thought would lead somewhere, that never really panned out.  And I'm okay with that. 

Though it's rarely fun in the moment, the sense of dejection that can come along with a bad idea is ultimately worth it: It means that we're still trying to to things differently, sometimes failing miserably, sometimes hitting one out of the park, but always trying. 

And so, coming out of this year's retreat, instead of dwelling on the ideas that didn't work out and committing to playing things safe(r), the overarching goal I have for the shop in the coming year is to embrace bad ideas and keep 'em coming. Because it's in that parade of mediocre, so-so and not-quite-right ideas that magic also appears. 

Here's to more bad ideas!

-Leah

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Ride with us to SPIN

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Join us for a bike ride to SPIN, Evalyn Parry's music-spoken word-theatre piece about 150 years of links between feminism and bicycling -- including the history of Gladys, the bike we are named after!

WHEN: Saturday, Nov 11. Meet at the shop at 6pm, and roll out by 6:30pm. 

WHERE: We'll take a slightly meandering route down to the show's location, Triangle Productions at 1785 NE Sandy Blvd.

BUY YOUR TICKETS HERE!

See you then!

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Summer's End Sale

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SAT, SEPT 9 + SUN, SEPT 10

Join us for two days of closeout pricing, sweet deals and bubbly beverages:

CLOSEOUT BIKE PRICING!
10-30% off of 2017 model year bikes from Bianchi and Liv (details on models/prices here: gladysbikes.com/stock-bicycles)

OOPS, WE OVERSTOCKED DEALS!
25% off Brooks Saddles (same day purchases only)
Garage sale pricing on misc parts & accessories

RAFFLE!
Stop by for a chance at winning a free overhaul this winter

OTHER FUN STUFF!
Fizzy water
Snacks
Tomfoolery

See you soon!

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1000 Butts

A Tale of One Thousand and One Butts

I have a confession to make: I'm not quite sure where the idea for a Saddle Library came from.

The process of starting this shop involved countless 1:1 conversations and group meetings with a lots of different folks in an effort to figure out what was missing in bike shops, what people wished they could find help with that just wasn't there. I learned a lot from these conversations (lessons that continue to guide how this shop operates every day) and from them, one especially strong theme emerged: People hated their bike seats.

Almost every person seemed to have a horror story. Some folks assumed that it was just supposed to hurt like hell to ride a bike, others talked about buying expensive saddles that ended up feeling like torture devices, that they then couldn't return. Others of trying to talk to a salesperson about where they were feeling pain, but feeling uncomfortable being honest.

And, somewhere in the midst of these conversations the Saddle Library started to emerge. It wasn't the result of one lightbulb moment, but rather the culmination of listening and sharing with all sorts of people. The Saddle Library is an idea that was built by the folks who still continue to shape what this shop is: YOU, our friends, customers and community.

No matter who or where it came from, though, it clearly resonated with a lot of different people. And last week we hit quite the milestone: Our 1000th saddle library customer. So now seems like a good time to reflect on what we've learned in the past 3 years of running the Saddle Library. Without further ado...

Lessons Learned from 1000 Butts:

1. Every butt is a special snowflake. 

We can measure your sit bones; we can do pressure mapping of where your body contacts the saddle; we can analyze your position on a bike. BUT, we can never be inside your body, feeling what you're feeling, and if we've learned anything from the working with so many people and their saddles, it's that every body responds to things differently. Even two people with similar body types riding on the exact same bike, with the exact same fit set up, wearing the exact same thing, often want things that are vastly different from one another.

Sure, there are some saddles that are purchased more often than others, but we still haven't seen any major trends emerge that points to any one-size-fits all solutions.

2. Some saddles are lip rippers. Others hurt "down there".

When we ask people about their saddle discomfort, some folks want to dive in an tell us exactly now the saddle is pinching their labia, or tell us that their balls are aching, or that their clitoris is feeling overly stimulated, and so on... And then others feel more comfortable talking in the abstract, preferring to reference their 'soft tissue' or (my personal favorite) their 'down there'.

While we certainly don't shy away from using anatomically correct language, we've learned that it's all about meeting people where they're at and talking in whatever ways make people feel most comfortable.

3. Saddle fit and comfort is not a permanent state.

While I'd love to say that once you find a saddle that works for you, then that's it, that's simply not true. Our bodies are in a constant state of change; aging, pregnancy, weight gain/loss, menopause (side note: I know SO MUCH MORE about what to look forward to with menopause from talking about saddles than I ever learned in any school!) -- injuries, and so on. As our bodies take different shapes, our preferences for saddles do to.

So, while we're psyched that we found you that great saddle last year, we won't be surprised when we see you back her in five years in search of comfort anew.

4. We sure do repeat ourselves a lot. 

Here's a sampling of some of the many things that the people who work at Gladys have said 1000+ times:

- On a scale of 1:10 everyone has a different level of sensitivity, so we can't know how you're feeling or experiencing something. That's unique to you.

- Bodies are weird!

- You're normal.

- Sometimes my labia get pinched too!

- Sit bones are only a small part of the story; the size, shape and sensitivity of our soft tissue has incredible variety.

- You deserve to feel comfortable.

- The goal is to be able to forget that you're sitting on a small, awkwardly shaped, often hard object that's shoved into the most sensitive place on your body and instead just focus on pedaling the bike. Sounds easy enough, right?

5. People are honest and good.

To answer an oft-asked question: It's rare that anyone ever steals a saddle. In the three years we've been at this, two have been stolen off of people's bikes and only one has not been returned by customers. True, sometime people are quite tardy in getting returned, but they (pretty much) always seem to come back. Thanks to all of you for proving to be just at trustworthy as we'd hoped!

With all that said, I just want to leave you with a thanks today. Thank you for helping us to create the Saddle Library. Thank you for helping us continue to improve it. And thank you for trusting us to help you (and your butts) get more comfortable on your bikes.

Here's to 1000 more butts!

Sincerely,
Leah

 

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Saddle Speed Dating

Saddle Speed Dating

This event is like getting to go on a bunch of first (saddle) dates in 1 night. Get one-on-one time with many saddles in one night so you can QUICKLY see which one you have an interest in investing in for the long haul.

When: Tuesday, May 23, 7:00- 9:00pm

Where: Gladys Bikes

Who: Anyone who is interested in getting a saddle/seat that feels better on their bike. We have almost as many 'male' saddles as we do 'female', all bodies are equally welcome.

How does it work?

1. Arrive promptly at 7pm for a brief introduction to your many potential saddle love matches.

2. Talk 1:1 with our experts about what you're looking for in a saddle and we'll help you pick out up to 5 saddles to try for 10 minutes each.

3. Because no saddle --no matter how pretty, expensive or aerodynamic-- will feel perfect if it's not set up properly, after you find your saddle love match you'll get a FREE quick fit with Gladys. During the quick fit we'll dial in your seat height and position to make sure it's set up to support your body as best as it possibly can.

Space is limited to 6 participants so that you get our full attention and the quality time you need with your saddles. To reserve your spot email hello@gladysbikes.com. 

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BIKE IT!

BIKE IT!

For the sake OF FUN AND BIKES

MARCH 2017

Four weeks!

Four challenges!

One pizza themed prize! 

The End-of-Winter weather can drain the excitement from all of us, but you know what? Games and pizza are always are the perfect antidote. So we’re channeling our favorite pizza-themed program from childhood (*wink*) and teaming up our bikes and our smartphones to get us pumped about the (hopefully) end of winter!

HOW TO PLAY:

STEP 1: Participate by posting a photo of yourself at the weekly locations on Instagram or FACEBOOK and tag #gladysbikesit

For example, if the weekly challenge was to ride with a friend along the Willamette River, here's what you could post:

Amanda and I crossing the Willamette River! #gladysbikesit

Amanda and I crossing the Willamette River! #gladysbikesit

STEP 2: Complete all four challenges and there’s a secret special pizza-themed prize for you! 

THE CHALLENGES:

We will post photo examples of the challenges on social media every Wednesday in March!

Week 1 : 3/1 - 3//7- Post a photo of yourself riding bikes with a friend!

Week 2: 3/8 - 3/14 - Post a photo of yourself in your rain gear (whether or not it's raining!)

Week 3: 3/15 - 3/21 - Post a photo of yourself on your commute (to school, to work, to...)

Week 4: 3/22 - 3/31 - CHALLENGE ROUND: Post a photo of you and your bike atop Rocky Butte, Mount Tabor or Powell Butte.

 

RIDE BIKES! HAVE FUN! 

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December Mixtape

DECEMBER 2016 MIXTAPE

A RETROSPECTIVE OF OUR MOST "LIKED" PHOTOS FROM INSTAGRAM ARTFULLY PAIRED WITH THE MOST LISTENED TO JAMS OF 2016 (!!) FROM THE STAFF OF YOUR FAVORITE SHOP. 

Thank you to everyone who donated, offered support and made it out yesterday for Strike Out By Bike! Together we assembled a mountain of supplies, homegoods and toys for Bradley Angle (an organization that serves people affected by domestic violence) and then loaded up our panniers, backpacks and trailers to deliver all of the goodies there by bike. More of this in 2017? I hope so. 

Thank you to everyone who donated, offered support and made it out yesterday for Strike Out By Bike! Together we assembled a mountain of supplies, homegoods and toys for Bradley Angle (an organization that serves people affected by domestic violence) and then loaded up our panniers, backpacks and trailers to deliver all of the goodies there by bike. More of this in 2017? I hope so. 

Gladys Bikes Staff Photo/Album Cover. 🌌 Come get weird with us.

Gladys Bikes Staff Photo/Album Cover. 🌌 Come get weird with us.

No big deal. It's just a candyland cyclocross course with gingerbread versions of the @gladyatorspdx. Also known as: THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER. #cookiecross

No big deal. It's just a candyland cyclocross course with gingerbread versions of the @gladyatorspdx. Also known as: THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER. #cookiecross

One last shot of this gal frolicking in the snow before she gets boxed up and heads out to her forever home in a warm, sunny southern state. ❄ #gladyscustombuild

One last shot of this gal frolicking in the snow before she gets boxed up and heads out to her forever home in a warm, sunny southern state. ❄ #gladyscustombuild

Hi friends, I'm here! If the weather gods smile upon us and it starts to dump snow for real, the shop may close early. But until then we'll be open for business with the heat cranked up, jackets and gloves stocked up and the jams playing.

Hi friends, I'm here! If the weather gods smile upon us and it starts to dump snow for real, the shop may close early. But until then we'll be open for business with the heat cranked up, jackets and gloves stocked up and the jams playing.

As the snow turns to freezing rain and the streets turn to ice, we're closing up shop early today. Stay safe and cozy out there! (Back to normal hours tomorrow.)

As the snow turns to freezing rain and the streets turn to ice, we're closing up shop early today. Stay safe and cozy out there! (Back to normal hours tomorrow.)

Happy, merry everyone!🌲

Happy, merry everyone!🌲

Three years ago, when we were first setting up the shop, I dropped this mirror on the concrete floor, immediately cracking one of its corners. Being budget-minded and exhausted at the thought of going to Ikea *again*, in lieu of buying a new mirror I decided to cover up the imperfection with the thing that everyone needs to remember every time they see their reflection. There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.

Three years ago, when we were first setting up the shop, I dropped this mirror on the concrete floor, immediately cracking one of its corners. Being budget-minded and exhausted at the thought of going to Ikea *again*, in lieu of buying a new mirror I decided to cover up the imperfection with the thing that everyone needs to remember every time they see their reflection. There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.

This dreamboat is setting sail today. 

This dreamboat is setting sail today. 

Today's guest mechanic says: "How can I be of service to you?" #givethepeoplewhattheywant   #puppypandering      

Today's guest mechanic says: "How can I be of service to you?" #givethepeoplewhattheywant  

#puppypandering      

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November Mixtape

NOVEMBER 2016 MIXTAPE

A RETROSPECTIVE OF OUR MOST "LIKED" PHOTOS FROM INSTAGRAM ARTFULLY PAIRED WITH THE MOST LISTENED TO JAMS FROM THE STAFF OF YOUR FAVORITE SHOP. 

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You're welcome here. ❤ Thank you to the mother/daughter team who dropped this poster by the shop today and to @okoportland for printing them. You better bet it will be hanging proudly and prominently in our window from now on.

Patrick Bebey: The Coffee Cola Song

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*Sneak peek of our next custom build* If ever you thought there was a better color combo than teal and red, speak now so that I can tell you you're wrong. #gladyscustombuild

Heart: Barracuda

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WHAT A BOSS. Happy new bike day to Angela and her speedy, gorgeous (c'mon friends, this bike is ridiculously hot, right?), fits-just-so, does-it-all @somafab Double Cross Disc!#newbikeday #bosslife #gladyscustombuild

Paula Abdul: Straight Up

 

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Progress report on one of the most beautiful semi-custom builds we've ever had the pleasure of working on. 😍

Hamilton Original Broadway Cast: Helpless

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Let's all take a moment to revel in the glory of our new sticker design. 😍 #bedesignwork 

Stevie Wonder: Uptight

Need a little sweetness in your world? These are here for the taking! 🍩💖🍩 (The stickers, that is. The real donuts are for us.)

Prince: Starfish and Coffee

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None of you told us you wanted 90s style gold lamé, teal or hot pink caps. But we have a feeling you will. 😍

En Vogue: My Loving (You're Never Gonna Get It)

Coffee and bikes go together like _______ .

 

Taylor Swift: Blank Space

We take our name from the bicycle owned by Frances Willard, a woman who was a pioneer of women's cycling and, more importantly, one of the most vocal, effective and prominent suffragists of her day. And so we take a cue from her today when we celebrate our right to get out there, speak our minds and have our say. Happy Election Day! 🚲✔💯 #itsalmostover #election2016

 

4 Non Blondes: What's Up

 

New bike days are always fun, but they're especially great when it means introducing someone to the very first bike that's ever fit them. It can be hard to find bikes when you're a smaller person, but they're out there, we promise. Shout out to@intergalacticsurlybikes for making the Straggler in so many sizes (all the way down to 38cm!) so that so many bodies can ride them! (p.s. Happy new bike day Rachael!)

Justice: Fire

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Introducing the Mixtape

OCTOBER 2016 : The Mixtape

a retrospective of our most "liked" photos from Instagram artfully paired with the most listened to jams from the staff of your favorite shop. 

The Surly Stragglers have landed! (And we've been making some executive decisions about bar tape color.🔮)#surlybikes #surlystraggler

YELLE: QUE VEUX TU (MADEON REMIX)

A little bicycle-shaped ray of sunshine. ☉

JANELLE MONAE: Q.U.E.E.N. ft. ERYKAH BADU

A ray of sunshine on a gray day / The 'new bike day' photo backdrop of our dreams / The freshly painted mural across the street at @clarysageherbarium😍

CHAKA KHAN: I KNOW YOU, I LIVE YOU

This 650b, dynamo lit, rain-ready @allcitycycles Spacehorse Disc was built to conquer any daily commute, weekend excursion, or overnight adventure and she's itching to roll. Good thing it's almost new bike day for @alleyhector!

FRANKIE KNUCKLES MIXES JACKSON 5: FOREVER CAME TODAY 

Happy new bike day to Terra and her autumnal beauty of a@sweetpeabikes Farmers Market! Somehow (and we're not sure how) her amazingly thoughtful husband managed to secretly and meticulously plan this bike with us, perfectly channeling her preferences along the way, and then keep it all a secret for almost an entire year. All that planning was totally worth it -- it was love at first ride for Terra and the bike and we can't wait to see them riding all over Portland together for years to come!

STARSHIP: NOTHING'S GONNA STOP US NOW

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If I had my way, I'd ride peach bikes every day...🍑 Happy new bike day to Judy and her freaking adorable peachy-keen Papillionaire! 

TINA TURNER: THE BEST

duh-nuh...du-nuh...du-nuh, du-nuh, du-nuh, du-nuh.... THEY'RE BACK! Double Darn sewed us up a second batch of shark attack caps and they're ready for your noggins. (Note: Thanks to all of our pals across the country for your interest, but this batch is available for local purchases only.) photo: @doubledarn

CHICAGO: YOU'RE THE INSPIRATION

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Happy new bike day to me (Leah)! 💥🚲💨 OK, ok...new bike day was actually about a month ago, but I finally got out yesterday and coated these tires with the mud they deserve and, dang, this@livcyclingusa Embolden 1 rips! It's pretty perfect full-suspension bike for those of us who are getting into the dirt end of things. (Note: While we don't regularly stock mountain bikes, we're happy to special order them and just as happy to trade ride recommendations with you!)

SOLANGE: DON'T WISH ME WELL

#tbt Anyone remember the Dress Like Your Bike event we did with the fine folks of @quick_study? 📷:@shotbyshola

MATES OF STATE: HA HA

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Winter Service Specials!

WINTER SPECIALS

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF OUR SPECIAL RATES NOVEMBER 1 - JANUARY 31: CHEAPER PRICES AND FASTER TURNAROUNDS, OH MY!

Winter Overhaul Special: $125

  • Hubs/ Headset overhaul

  • Clean/ replace drivetrain (parts additional)
  • Clean/ replace brakes (parts additional)
  • Install new brake and shifting cables (parts included)
  • Install any new parts/ accessories you'd like
  • Clean up the entire bike so that it sparkles and rides like new --- or better!
  • Pro Tip: Also a great time to get your bike a fresh coat of paint/powder if it's looking chipped or rusty.

Winter Full Tune Up Special: $65

  • Inspect & adjust braking and shifting
  • Inspect and adjust bearing systems (hubs, headset, bottom bracket)
  • True wheels
  • Light cleaning of frame, drive train and wheel rims
  • Tighten up all bolts
  • Lube chain and cables
  • Air up your tires and get you on the road

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Papillionaire Closeout Sale

THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO BUY A PAPILLIONAIRE BICYCLE FROM GLADYS. 

We're shifting up our lineup of bikes, making space for shiny new ones and will no longer be carrying Papillionaire Bicycles*. And so, we're putting our limited remaining stock of them on steep discount: All remaining Papillionaire 3 speed bicycles are marked down to $450 from $600!

We only have a few bikes left -- all Sommers -so be sure to stop by  soon if you'd like them to be yours.

-Team Gladys

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*The fine print:

Don't worry, we'll still have plenty of lovely, upright city bikes of this style available from Bianchi, Liv and Soma.

Already own a Papillionaire Bicycle? Great! We will continue to be just as excited to service them for you. We're here for you and your bikes! 

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Christmas in July

Guess what? Many Liv 2017 models landed early (Side note: We've gotten to take a peak at them and are happy to report that they're absolutely awesome bikes. Get ready.) and so to make room for them we're starting to clear out some of the remaining 2016 stock by declaring it CHRISTMAS IN JULY and offering some super, incredibly sweet deals. See below for the juicy details and stop by the shop soon to see the bikes in real life!

(Note: Quantities limited to models listed, and to what we have in stock. Thanks! )

AVAIL 1 DISC- Regularly $1500, now $1150.

If you are looking for a road bike, this is pretty much the mother of all deals. Carbon fork, aluminum frame, Shimano 105 group, mechanical disc brakes... This bike is seriously awesome. 

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AVAIL 3- Regularly $920, now $875. 

The *perfect* entry level road bike with a carbon fork, aluxx frame, Shimano Sora group and rim brakes. Run, don't walk.

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THRIVE- Regularly $950, now $900.

Flat bar, disc-equipped road bike. Fast and comfortable. Get some. 

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*NEW HOURS*

Starting week of Monday, May 16 we will have new hours at the shop:

Wednesday, Thursday + Friday: 10:30am - 7pm

Saturday + Sunday: 10:30am - 5pm

Monday + Tuesday: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY

I imagine you might have some questions about this:

What changed?

We are now open by appointment only (for bike fittings and custom build consultations) on both Mondays and Tuesdays, but have extended our hours every other day of the week, so that we'll be open later on weekdays and longer on weekends.  

Why on earth would we do such a thing?

(1) More is not better. Cutting down to five days/week means that it will pretty much be the same staff here every time you walk through the door. This will keep us good at communicating with each other and also means we get to spend more time together, which is awesome because we like each other. Moreover, since we'll be open almost as many hours, we'll still be able to the same amount of repairs and give you just as many hours to buy bikes, check out saddles and hang out with us. It's a win/win.

(2) Everyone deserves time off. Changing the schedule ensures that every person that works here gets two days off...in a row. On a personal level, this will allow us more time to recharge, hang out with friends and family and, most importantly, ride our bikes!

What if I'm supposed to return my saddles on Tuesdays?

You're welcome to keep them an extra day and bring them in on Wednesday instead. Bonus day!

When do these new hours start?

New hours go into effect next week, meaning: We'll be closed on Monday, May 16 and Tuesday, May 17, open 10:30-7pm on Wed, Thurs and Fri and then 10:30-5pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

I understand that this will probably not make everyone happy, but it ultimately is a good choice for the business in the interest of providing you with the best service possible.  Please be in touch via email (hello@gladysbikes.com) with any feedback, just try your hardest to be nice about it. 

-Leah

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Hello, Sunshine Sale!

Friday, April 8 - Sunday April 10 

* 10-25% off select Bianchi, Liv and Papillionaire Bicycles

* 25% off all rain and winter weather gear

*50% off 2015 clothing

We're making room for some great new products this summer, and passing along deals to all of you! Three days only - don't miss out.

 

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Introducing the Road Curious Club

**UPDATE: The Road Curious Club has filled up for 2016. Sign up below to be added onto a wait list for this year, and stay tuned for more information about future dates.***

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Want to Try road riding, but feel unsure about where or how to start? 

Good news: We're excited to roll out a new program at the shop this Spring, modeled after our popular 'Cross Curious Club, and creatively named the Road Curious Club: A training, support and social group for people who want to try road riding and racing, regardless of their level of knowledge, experience or speed.

The DetailS

Who can join? Anyone who wants to. There are No fitness tests, no age limits, no fashion contests...all are welcome!

Does it cost anything?  Yes. Club membership is $50

What does it include?

  • Classes Led by experienced riders and racers who are passionate about getting more folks out on the road 

  • 10% off parts, accessories and labor at Gladys Bikes during the duration of the Club

  • Affordable road bike rental opportunities at Gladys Bikes

What's the schedule? 

Class #1: April 10 - Intro to Road Riding

Class #2: April 17 - Group Riding Basics

Class #3: April 24 - Hills, Hills, Hills

Class #4: May 8 - Bike Handling and Balance

Class #5: May 16 -  Road Racing 101

Optional Race: Monday, May 23 for Monday Night at PIR Beginner race

What if I'm not sure my bike is the right kind of bike for this? Stop by or give us a ring if you're wondering whether or not your bike is road appropriate. If We decide together that it's not, we're offering $100 off all road bikes we sell for club members and also offering up a fleet of Liv Avail road bikes for rentals. 

What if I'm not in good enough shape? Turns out that riding bikes is a great way to get in better shape! There are no fitness tests for joining this club.

What if I don't have the right clothing/shoes/helmet/gear? Don't worry about that. We're glad to help you figure out what you do/don't need to get into road riding.

How do I sign up? The road Curious CLUB is FUll for 2016. Sign up below to add yourself onto the waiting list.

 

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We're Hiring

We're excited to bring on another member to our small, but growing team this Spring.


Bicycle Mechanic + Retail Salesperson

This position will be responsible for working directly with customers -- some days entirely in a mechanic capacity, others in sales. We’re in search of a great candidate who has technical proficiency in bicycle assessment and repair procedures, a fine-tuned attention to detail, and (most importantly) the ability to act as a welcoming, friendly and approachable ambassador of Gladys Bikes.  

Key Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Engage customers in a retail setting
  • Learn about saddle fit and selection in order to provide customers with exceptional advice through the Saddle Library
  • Assess and repair a wide range of bicycles 
  • Assemble stock bicycles from the box 
  • Assist lead mechanic in full- custom Sweetpea Bicycle builds
  • Stay up-to-date on emerging trends and new products in the industry
  • Make everyone who walks through the doors feel welcome and respected

Qualifications

  • 2 years of experience as a mechanic in a professional bike shop
  • Knowledge of and a willingness to learn more about both emerging and older bicycle technologies
  • Experience with and/or a strong interest in learning more about bike fit and the fitting process
  • Consistent attention to detail and a methodical approach to service 
  • Willingness to accept guidance and feedback related to job duties 
  • Effective and open communication skills— we believe this goes a long way in creating a good work environment for all 
  • Commitment to creating a welcoming and engaging space for people of all gender identities, races, shapes, sizes, ages and riding styles

Initial Employment Term: Late February-September, with the option for year-round employment

Hours/Week: 25 (with option for more) 

BENEFITS

  • Fun, flexible and innovative work environment in which all workers’ voices are equally heard and appreciated
  • Employee purchasing rates on all products
  • Profit sharing (eligible after one full year of successful employment) 
  • Paid time off, holiday pay and sick leave pay (for full and part-time workers) 

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter to hello@gladysbikes.com, or drop it by the shop in person. Thanks for your interest!

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Holiday Gift Guide

The perfect gift for the bike lover in your life, at any price.

$25 or Less

1. Park Tool Pizza Cutter ($16) - In the Venn diagram of "pizza lovers" and "bike lovers" there's a whole lot of overlap. This one's a guaranteed winner. 

2. Gladys Swag ($12-18) - T-Shirts, water bottles, musettes, oh my! All available in the shop or online at gladysbikes.bigcartel.com

3. Bar Tape ($20) - New handlebar tape makes any bike (and it's rider!) feel just a little bit more special. Our favorite is the Cinelli Gel Cork - it's perfect amount of pillowy cushion. 

4. Bird Cage or Owl Cage from PDW ($20) - Yes, people will make "put a bird on it" jokes when they see it, but it will still be totally worth it. 

 

$50 or Less

1.  Double Darn Cycling Cap ($36-42)- Hand sewn in Portland, OR. Available in special Gladys designs, or in wool (with or without ear flaps) to keep to your special someone warm all winter long.  

2. Saddle Library Card Plus ($50) - Help your special someone find the saddle of their dreams with a Saddle Library Card ($25) AND give them a little something extra to go towards the price of whatever seat their butt decides it loves the most. 

3. Buckshot Wireless Speaker ($50) - Love music and bikes? Sweet. This bluetooth compatible speaker comes with a easy to use handlebar mount so you'll never have to endure quiet, music-less bike rides again!  

4. Anhaica Tool Roll ($45) -  Hand-sewn, hand-waxed canvas tool rolls that are as easy on the eyes as they are to install onto your saddle. Bonus: Comes pre-stuffed with a patch kit and tire levers!

 

$100 or Less

1. Home Maintenance Kit ($100)- A multi-tool, lube, chain cleaner, tire levers, patch kit and pump -- pretty much everything you need to keep your bike clean and well-maintained. 

2. Basic Bicycle Fit ($100) - There's no better gift to give a cyclist than a bike fit with Natalie. No matter what your riding style -- commuter, roadie, tourist, racer... -- a pro bike fit will always make you feel more comfortable and happy while riding your bike.

3. Light & Motion Commuter Light Combo ($99) - These extra bright rechargeable bike lights are a sure fire hit for anyone who rides in the dim, dusk or dark.

4. North Street Scout Duffle 11 ($79) - These perfectly sized bags mount onto just about any handlebar so you never have to worry about easy access to your snacks ever again. 

 

$250 or Less

1. Cleverhood Rain Cape ($250) - Rain pants no more! These USA Made, waterproof, full coverage and super reflective rain capes render them complete unnecessary. 

2. Torch Helmet ($145) - These awesome new helmets come full with fully integrated, USB rechargeable front and rear lights. Yep, they're pretty much the best thing ever for bike commuters.

3. Complete Bicycle Overhauls ($200) - Give the gift of bike that will suddenly ride like it's new again. Full details here

4. Gift Certificate ($____) - Let them pick out what they really want this year. All gift certificates of $200 or more come with a free Gladys t-shirt. Sweet! Available in store or online

 

$500+

A gift certificate for a new bike? A total bike makeover, complete with a new paint job? A deposit for the custom Sweetpea they've long dreamed of? 

The sky's the limit. Feel free to ask us for ideas -- we've got load of them for you!

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Sweetpea Swag(ger)

Sweetpea T Shirts and Kits 

Sometimes you have to put your favorite Gladys  t shirt or jersey in the wash. It happens to the best of us. But how (oh how!) can you feel just as sharp and well put together on laundry days?

Buy yourself a Sweeptea t shirt. Or get yourself a whole Sweetpea kit, complete with jersey, shorts, and arm warmers, of course!

$20 for the t-shirt of your dreams. 

$20 for the t-shirt of your dreams. 

$120 for this swoon-worthy kit. 

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