Opinion by B Vivit

In my experience, allowing customers to do some of their own work, and possibly even empowering them to do so, can actually increase the profitability of the service shop.

While I have no illusions about a free-for-all service area, here are a few models in which customers are allowed to do some or all of their own bike work. And I’ve seen them work well, for the customer and for the shop. We can discuss a full-access model and a partial-access model.

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" In the many years I've spent in the bicycle industry, this was the best two weeks. This group showed me more than bicycle mechanics - leadership, acceptance, grit and confidence. The experience is beyond words. Thank you. " Jennifer Drinkwalter " Confidence inspiring & immersive. It's like studying abroad but everything is bikes, and it exceeds all your expectations. " Ana Josepha " Life changing, unforgettable, inspiring & humbling! " Carolyn Thompson " An opportunity to discover your life direction with your relationships with others , your career and your future self. " Carolyn Weber



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Information assembled by B Vivit and Lynn Farber

Thinking of the cycling industry jobs in general, one may assume that we are speaking specifically to becoming a bicycle mechanic or framebuilder. While we support these roles in the industry through our curriculum here at UBI, there are many ways to contribute to the cycling industry at large. Companies still need people to put bikes in boxes, they still need people to market their products, they still need people who understand the pricing structure of the industry to pick products to put on the frames. There are journalists, electricians, event organizers, transportation specialists, packaging designers, website builders, logo makers, T-shirt and hat designers, jig machinists, tool designers, bloggers, etc.With the learning you gain from UBI, you'll still be poised to accept a surprising number of these positions, in addition to finding a bike shop near you. Once you've got your resume refined (we will revisit in another post), check out a few of these job listing boards to find the right job for you. 

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Opinion by Richard Belson

The other day, I was poking around one of the more popular Facebook groups where bicycle mechanics get together to swap ideas, opinions and ask advice, and someone posted this questions: “What do you do to keep customers out of your shop area?”

The post quickly grew into a thread of suggestions ranging from subtle, to passive aggressive, to absolutely abrupt techniques on how folks keep customers out of a workspace. Additionally, a huge amount of input came from mechanics and shop owners who asked why the original poster was even wanting to keep customers out of the service area in the first place.

This got me thinking: If I were to be placed in charge of a shop today, I’d be hard-pressed to find a reason to allow customers into a service area.

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Map of the Evans Creek Road Ride

By Matt Eames

Ashland has a well-deserved reputation as a great spot to mountain bike. The trails in the Ashland Watershed and on USFS land can be accessed right from town. Ashland and the entire Rogue Valley tends to fly under the radar when the discussion turns to skinny tire riding. I really enjoy long bike rides. On or off road; flat, rolling or climbing heavy- I like them all. One of my favorite routes covers most corners of the beautiful Rogue Valley. If took me a few riding seasons and some insight from co-workers to piece this route together. Starting in Ashland the route will take you through orchards and vineyards as well as some of the cool historic towns in Southern Oregon. There are plenty of spots to stop to enjoy a mid-ride coffee, top off your bottles, or meander through the streets to check out some local shops. You might get a few funny looks if you're rocking the lycra, but the views and fresh air are often worth it!
If you come to one of our classes, you can pick the instructors' brains for where you might be able to ride for shorter, longer, dirt, or a higher elevation route. 

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