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Hello friends of Sweet Pete’s,

Remember the first time you heard about COVID-19?  Those first overseas cases in the autumn of 2019?  That changed everything!  In the bicycle world, it caused many factories to close for months in an attempt to contain Covid outbreak at its source – long before the virus landed at our feet.  We knew then that there was going to be an inventory problem later in 2020.  What we didn’t know then was that demand for bikes was going to go through the roof.  Riding a bike was one of the few things that everyone could still safely do and with that, every bike store in the world sold right down to the walls – something that’s never happened before.  Even now with the factories operating at full capacity (as full as they’re able, at least),they still can’t get us enough product to restock our stores - supply is a fraction of what we committed to at the end of last summer.   Social distancing at factories slows down output.  A shortage of containers has slowed things down even more as exporters search for ways to get product from there to here.  With fewer staff to unload and fewer customs people to process duties, congestion at the ports is a painful reality.  Poor supply, continued high demand and here we sit........So, with all that said, here are some answers to questions that are on everyone’s minds:
Can I come into the store? While normally we’d encourage you to come see us at the shop and check out our selection, the unfortunate reality is that we do not have many bikes in store. As such,  we are currently not open for in-store shopping. We also are, after all, still in the middle of a pandemic. Despite this, we are doing everything we can to help you as much as possible remotely. We have overhauled our business model, invested in our e-commerce, and incorporated free-shipping models, options for bike delivery, and curbside pickup. We are available 7 days a week via both email and phone to help you pick out the best bike, select what accessories you need, and help you with the online ordering process.

Do you have bikes? Although it’s just a fraction of our normal bike inventory, we do have a handful of bikes available. You’ll be able to find those on our website – they are marked ‘In Stock’ (meaning they are actually on hand, in our store). We also have a lot of bikes on the way. We placed orders at the end of the summer last year. Some of those bikes have come in already, some are coming in the spring, some in the summer, many have been delayed until at least fall. We are even seeing some bikes pushed into 2022 and, unbelievably, beyond that!! We’ve been provided ETAs for the bikes we’ve been allotted, but those ETAs aren’t completely reliable – they have changed on us already, and may change again. We are happy to help you place a pre-order for one of those models, just get in touch with us and we can let you know what we have on the way. If we don’t have a model on backorder or sold our allotment already, the likelihood is that we won’t be able to get that model for you this year. It sucks. We think so too.

Can I come in for a test ride? While we recognize the value of test rides and, in fact, encourage them in non-Covid times,  we are not offering test rides at this time. We look forward to offering a full range of test rides when we can, however, limited inventory and social distancing make it too much of a challenge at the moment. For now, you can make your purchase online, and you are more than welcome to take it home and try it out there. If, for whatever reason, your new bike isn’t exactly what you wanted, you’re more than welcome to return it to us within 30 days for a full refund. The only thing we ask is that it’s in a similar condition as to when it left the shop.

The lone exception to this point – we are attempting a pilot plan for test riding e-bikes, but only e-bikes. Please e-mail us for more information.

Can I come down to the shop to talk to someone about bikes? We have very few bikes to show you, so for now, we’re asking that you get in touch with us via email. Not great with computers? Call us. We would love to speak with you on the phone. We understand it’s comforting to see the product that you are discussing, but while our stock remains this low, there are no questions we can answer in store that we could not also answer remotely. Need more convincing? While the stay-at-home order has been lifted, capacity limitations have not. This means line-ups will occur, and preference will always be given to those who have online-orders to pick up or service appointments. If all you have are questions, your fastest guaranteed response will always be through email ---

Is this a good year to buy a bike? Honestly, not really. Your options will be limited, and the process will likely be longer than it normally is. We never thought those words would be uttered from our mouths, but it’s the case right now.

When will I be allowed to come into the shop to look at bikes? Honestly, we don’t know. Having a store open to show customers a bunch of empty hooks and blank spaces doesn’t really make much sense. It isn’t useful or fiscally responsible. Our team is of the opinion that consistently lower Covid case counts would make us all more comfortable. Once that is combined with a store full of inventory and a vaccinated team to show it, we would and will be ready to open. 

You’ll have to take our word for it that the way we’re operating isn’t the way that we want to either. We thank you for your patience and understanding on this.

Alright, what can I do? Get in touch with us. Tell us what you need, and one of our sales staff will reply in as helpful a manner as possible. We’re here to help, and we want to make sure that you find exactly what you’re looking for. Please be patient. We’re operating with as many people as we can both in our stores and off-site but the sheer volume of calls and emails prevent us from being able to always answer quickly. Our goal is to reply to phone and email messages within 24 hours, but sometimes, despite our best efforts, that just isn’t possible. It’s a strain to just keep up but we are doing our absolute bestand understand how frustrating it is when answers to seemingly basic questions take much longer than they should. We built our reputation on service and are busting our backs to maintain our commitment to the highest level we possibly can.

Every member of the Sweet Pete’s team got into the bicycle industry because we love bikes and we love helping people. The current situation isn’t what any of us envisioned and we can’t wait to get back to how it was: talking to people, test rides, broad selection, quick turnaround  and the list goes on. At the moment, our team is in agreement that this is the best way to keep the wheels turning while keeping everyone safe and Covid-free.

This is by no means written in stone. As things change, we will adjust accordingly. Please watch our website for updates or get in touch with us anytime.