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Bike Shop Day will go on, saved by Cosmic Bikes co-owner

Published November 25, 2020

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — Bike Shop Day 2020 will take place after all.

Justyna Frank of Cosmic Bikes in Chicago took the organizational reins from event creator Joe Nocella of 718 Cyclery and will mark the event Dec. 5.

"We obviously can't encourage actual social gatherings during this time, but I thought it would be a real shame to let BSD fall off the map," said Frank, who began organizing the event this week. "It takes a while to build momentum, and even more to rebuild it once it's lost. If enough people get involved, a virtual celebration will at least help keep the continuity, and with enough push, possibly even create greater awareness. And maybe next year, we can again add the actual social component."

In the past, retailer events held on Bike Shop Day included a repair workshop; a holiday open house with an all-day "wafflefest;" group ride with a winter riding gear clinic, and a fat bike demo.

This year, Frank urges owners to visit the Cosmic Bikes website to put their shop on the map with a statement on how they changed the world around them. She's also asking consumers to get involved by telling Cosmic why they love their LBS by either writing a shop review or sharing how cycling changed their life this year.

"I met Joe a few years back and began following his social media," Frank said. "When he came up with the idea of Bike Shop Day, I thought it was a brilliant way to reach out to customers and supporters during what is usually a slow season for shops. It falls a week after Small Business Saturday, which has never been anything great for us, and I've even thought of replacing Small Business Saturday at our shop with customer appreciation day, because it's usually hardcore regulars that stop in then. Bike Shop Day did that, only better."

After creating the event four years ago and holding it the first Saturday of December as a way for retailers throughout the world to demonstrate how their shops bring cycling joy to communities, Nocella said he didn't have resources to organize it this year. Since last year's event, which involved 119 bike shops from 35 states and seven countries, he downsized his business in Brooklyn, New York, to specialize in custom builds.

Frank added that small businesses — particularly IBDs — should become the hub of a community.

"Because by promoting what is essentially such a good, healthy, decent and honest activity, we can help bring out the best in people. And BSD celebrates that."

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