It's been a quiet season so far.
Last year we had gasoline prices ratcheting upward, coupled with media coverage of global warming. The economy had been shaky and was about to crumble, so people were worried about money even if they weren't yet sure why. All that added up to a minor increase in bike sales and a major increase in repair and reconditioning. The repair shop hadn't been that busy since the late 1990s.
With fuel prices relatively low and stable, the economy in the toilet and global warming apparently an ignored fact of life, bicycles don't have the fashionable appeal they briefly enjoyed last year. Customers are buying in small numbers. No category dominates. Of course most people want the types we have in smaller quantities.
The bike manufacturers have cut back on their stock, so some styles are already unavailable for special order.
The big wave of repair work has not arrived yet. One summer camp has brought a small fleet of bikes to us for annual service, but other camps have yet to be heard from. All this can change in a day. On some days, customers arrive every ten minutes to add a bike or two to the repair queue. That's when triage becomes important.
Today is rainy. The repair docket was nearly empty when I left work yesterday. So far, a repair or two has arrived each time we've cleared the board this season. We just haven't had a swarm yet. The trees are flowering. Some leaves have come out. The black flies are here. The shop owners whinge about finances. The mechanics burn their brain cells trying to make modern, sophisticated bike componentry actually work.
It's just another day.