Americans have invented some spectacular things over the years – the Ferris wheel, the traffic light, the washing machine… They’re things that have changed the world for the better, or at the very least made it easier for us to live our lives.
We believe Black Friday, the day of carnage that marks the beginning of the Christmas shopping season, is not one of those things. To date there have been 7 Black Friday deaths and 98 injuries in the US and the UK. People have been shot because of a parking space. Others have been stabbed, pepper sprayed, and trampled over. Police officers have been hospitalised.
Big retailers use Black Friday to blast out one-day offers that create a free for all feeding frenzy, impossible for smaller retailers to match. You may think that’s just tough luck. But we think you’d be disappointed if all your local shops closed for good, and everyone had to shop at huge corporations with names like McComputers’R’Us.
When the Bicycle Co-op first began in 1977, we wanted to run the kind of shops that we’d like to shop in. We manage to do that by stocking the best and most interesting gear we can find, and by employing skilled, qualified staff. As a business, we try and offer value every day of the year. Best of all, we all work together for the benefit of ourselves and our customers, and not so that The Man Upstairs can buy new decking for his yacht. (He doesn’t own a yacht, by the way. The closest Jeremy will ever come to owning a yacht is if he steals one from a Saudi prince.)
That’s why we’ve made the decision to heartily ignore Black Friday. Instead, we’re proposing Give Something Back Friday – except Friday isn’t very convenient for most people, so we’re going to do it on Saturday.
On Give Something Back Saturday/Sunday we’re holding workshop demos on roadside bicycle maintenance topics such as puncture repair, chain repair and gear indexing. We recognise that simple bike problems can put people off riding their bikes, and we want to help you get out on your bike as much as possible by showing you how to fix it yourself. It’s just our way of saying “thanks for not pepper spraying us.”
If you’re already confident in your bike fixing abilities, we recommend you get on your bike and go for a nice ride, alone or with friends, on a familiar route or somewhere new. And when you’re done, come round and say hi! We think it beats being trampled over by a guy who wants to get a killer deal on a new microwave.
Let’s make Friday great again.
Love from the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative
Black Friday Carnage:
Join us for Give Something Back Saturday/Sunday
We won’t be doing Black Friday this year, and you can read about why above.
Instead, we want to give something back in the form of free basic maintenance demos in our shops this weekend 26th/27th November:
Basic Roadside Maintenance Demo
Gear indexing (tweaking so the gears shift properly)
Will be taking place in the following shops:
Edinburgh Bruntsfield: 2pm Saturday 25th November
Newcastle: 4pm Saturday 25th November
Leeds: 4pm Saturday 25th November
For so many people, having a puncture or gears that have become clunky means that they’re unable to cycle, and they don’t have the knowledge or the confidence to fix it themselves. We want to help everyone get out on their bikes as much as possible, so we’re going to show you how easy it is to do it all yourself. Knowing how to fix a chain or a puncture also means you won’t have to walk the rest of the way home or shell out for a taxi when you’re caught off-guard when out and about.