Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Short Story: This is the End

Struggling to comprehend the inner workings of a rear derailleur, One found himself to be no more than "all thumbs" as they say. It was around this point that he could have admitted to himself that he was incapable of performing the task at hand, yet he stubbornly refused. It was then that he turned to The YouTube where misinformation abounds and everyone is an expert.


Indeed, In a mere 7 minutes the boy would be an expert and would never again need a bike shop.
Considering especially, the superior level of guidance included in such brilliant directions as these.

For the inexperienced, this 7 minutes became more than an hour and still, the bicycle did not shift, and the brakes were weak if they worked at all. One could have continued to search the web but finally he realized that his endeavor was a fruitless one as bolts securely fastened would mean nothing if his bicycle did not function. At this point, the boy began to ponder the meaning of his efforts to begin with.

 "Why again did I begin this journey anyway? ...Was it even worth it?" It seemed as though he had finally reached an impasse that border lined on a genuine epiphany.  

Perhaps it was the overall frustration of his experiences, or perhaps the shop's advice was finally becoming valuable to the boy as now, in just his second season, his transportation purchases had already exceeded $400. This was the very price that One had found to be too much just one short year ago. A price that would have included free adjustments for a year in addition to sound advice and a superior quality product from the onset.

Utterly defeated, he relented. It was back to the bike shop he would go, albeit this time he would go with a much different demeanor.   

Yet this time, it was too late as One arrived where the bike shop once stood, only to find a business closed and a building shuttered.

This is an unfortunate yet common site throughout the land as many retailers simply cannot continually compete with the low prices found online. It was in this "Age of the Internet," that One could find just about anything he wanted from anywhere in the world. Having all of this information in one place means the retailers competing for your business must out-price each other. Thus leading to prices going so low, that in some cases, not a point of margin is made. Having that amount of selection at One's fingertips makes it so easy that he can simply "click" his selection, and wait for it to arrive. Particularly appealing to One who was used to a sort of instant gratification, there was a wide appeal to the One's who came before him as well. Not isolated to these parts only, as across the Nation, it is said that a staggering 70% of bike shops will close within their first three years, as the price-conscious consumer continually turns a blind eye to helpful service and turns instead to a computer screen.

The look on the boy's face was one of genuine shock. Without realizing the irony at hand he asked himself, "How could this have happened?" It was with that his search continued, to no avail, as bicycle shops and the dedicated professionals that staffed them became nothing more than a page in the history books. Spoken in hushed whispers across the industry in which they once thrived, the bike shops were now a thing of the past. Falling in to disrepair, with no one to service them, the more than 150 year history of the modern bicycle had all but vanished. 

It was Once Upon a Time when one could get quality products, with service and advice to match, yet it just may be the very near future in which this cautionary tale becomes less a tale, and becomes the God's Honest Truth. 

The End...
Or the beginning.

It's is your choice.