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Two rejections and one question


Jan 30, 2008
Today I joined Mike, Dave and Simon on a ride from Hon Atsugi station. I got my first surprise of the day when I noticed that all the coin lockers were unavailable - not to be used till 11 July. This was a bit of an issue because I had quite a lot of stuff to stow. When I asked the station attendant why, he explained that the police had required it. So I went to the nearest koban to enquire. The friendly neighbourhood pleeceman said the lockers were broken (koshou shiteiru). I replied that the guy at the station had indicated that it was the police who had required the lockers not to be used. I was then informed that this was an anti-terrorist measure. In Atsugi.

So anyway, all TCCers should note that there will be no coin lockers available till 11 July. (Who knows after that?) I noticed this was also the case at Shinjuku, so it probably applies everywhere. Sorry if this is old news - have been away for a couple of weeks.

Rejection number 2 came when I visited my local bike shop to drop my jalopy in for maintenance. I was told that they only do this for bikes that were purchased from their store. (This, despite the fact that I had got my bike serviced there quite recently.)

Question: Is this normal in Tokyo, or is this weird or perhaps have I misunderstood them? It occurred to me later that they may have thought I was looking for a freebie. I wasn't, but I did notice that when I got my bike serviced in that shop previously it was much cheaper than I expected (about one third of the cost that it would be in Australia).

End of rant.

baustin, sorry to know you frustration.:(

As per the coin locker, this goes to G8 Summit at Hokkaido in July. All coin lockers will be closed until the summit is over. I see many guards in my area where US air force base is. This can be a possible target of any terrorists.:mad::mad:


Repair matter. This depends on each shop. Some do , some do not. My experience says most of them do. Some Japanese may try to stay away from gaijin to avoid any trouble caused by miscommunication......:mad::mad::mad: particularly old people, Ojisan.

Minoru Arai
Thanks ...

Arai san. Will have to find a more helpful place. Seems crazy to me that they wouldn't take the bike. A chance to build a relationship with a future customer, I reckon! B
There's one place near me that I've always hesitated to take in bikes for maintenance. While a very good shop, the vibe I get from it is that until I actually by a bike from the guy, I'm not part of the "club." Maybe my imagination, but still... Perhaps if you're a very small shop with limited staff/workplace area, maintenance work might be seen as a drain on resources that you'd prefer to dedicate to selling big-ticket items?

Until recently, I've done most of my own maintenace, but for some things (bottom brackets, wheels, headsets) I'd rather just pay someone else. Time and tools are money, after all. There's a SEO place down in Chiba city that I'm trying to cultivate as my "local." The first time they did maintenance for me (a few weeks ago), I ordered a new crank and other parts at the same time and had them install it, just to give them a sale on top of the labor. And when I buy a new frame, I going to try my best to go through them, as long as they sell the right brand...
Is it a "timing" thing, perhaps?

Just some musings in favor of the "almighty" LBS owner...
First of all let me say, despite "first impressions" lasting the longest, it usually takes about 3 visits to any shop for the guy there to:
a). Remember your face.
b). Gain your respect as a serious cyclist (remember, most of these older guys who own the shops now used to be semi-pro's, and they still want to retain some pride by making sure their customers measure up to the standards of what they used to be).
c). These guys still need to make a living, and the bottom-line is... what they'll be counting at the end of the day.

As a small "plug" for my LBS, "My Road" on Kuramaebashi-dori, in between Akihabara & Okachimachi - is also the main shop for Ash, Yoko Ibe (queenbee), Yasuhiro and a few others...
I still remember the look of disappointment on the owner (Kimura-san)'s face the first time I walked through the door. It took quite a few initial purchases and a few visits for him to take me seriously as a future customer.

I've seen him, at different times during the day, give preference to female customers (a hormonal thing?) over regular customers; and seen him turn away the odd mama-chari-rider who wanted a puncture fixed 5-minutes before closing time. He's had good weeks, when he'll give everyone a 20% discount (usually after he's sold a "Time" frame, custom-fitted with "Zipp 404" wheels and full "Campagnolo Record" components - a $10,000 bike); but then he's had bad weeks when none of his regular customers come in, and he can be in a foul mood!

However, as a trusted customer to him now, I can usually get simple repairs done for free, and if I find myself short of cash, he will give me "credit" at the shop until my next pay-day (sometimes into hundreds of dollars)!

So, you will probably never be able to tell how any shop will be for you on your first visit - maybe your second visit either - but by your third visit, I'd say you'll know if you want that guy touching your bike or not!

So Ben, don't dis that shop just yet! Give the guy one more chance, and if he's still a pr#ck, then look for somewhere else, eh!
Hail LBS owners! T
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