HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Hometown + COVID-19 Update

Please Support Our GoFundMe

With limited resources, and frustrating layers of bureaucracy, we need your help, Hometownies. Please consider supporting and sharing our GoFundMe

Hometown Bicycles GoFundMe button - Customer, Company, Community, Industry

Stay active. Stay strong. Stay pedaling, Hometownies.

With continuing love and gratitude,

Shaun, Dawn & Your Hometown Crew


Happy Birthday bicycle with balloons

Celebrating Our Aluminum Anniversary

Somehow it seems fitting that aluminum is the metal of choice for a 10-year anniversary, since it’s one of the most popular materials for manufacturing bicycles. 

Although we can’t celebrate like we had planned, we ask that on April 15th, you raise your glass in a “shelter-in-place” toast to YOUR bicycle shop.

#stayHTBstrong

While you celebrate with us from afar, here are 10 Fun Facts about Hometown Bicycles:

1.90+  In the 10 years we’ve been in business, we have hired over 90 people. In many cases, this was their first job, and we’re really proud to see how our young crew have matured and evolved over time. And we’re equally proud to know that they still feel like part of the Hometown family.

2.8 Years  Our longest-standing crew member is Chris Buddingh, who started with us in 2012. Chris has been with us through a world of changes. We’re so grateful that he decided to share his retirement years with us – thank you, Chris!

3.2 Shops  Did you know that, at one point, Hometown Bicycles had a second location? It was a cool, little cabin in Whitmore Lake – the ultimate, small town bike shop.

4.Tax Day  Our decision to open on Tax Day 2010 was intentional! During construction, one of our earliest supporters jokingly mentioned that “all businesses are… are tax collectors for the government.” After a good laugh, we decided “hey – April 15th it is!” Thank you, Wheelin’ Willie.

5.23,002  This is the number of repairs Hometown Bicycles has completed to date. We’re insanely proud of this accomplishment because we have been service focused since Day 1 – a concept that is revolutionizing the bike business.

6.Steve Reed  Customer #1, and the only customer who has his photo on our number plate wall. Steve was the first customer to come in and give us the opportunity to fix his bike, and the coolest part – it was a recumbent. We envisioned our first repair being an ultra-sleek, highly technical machine. Instead, it was a recumbent cruiser… and that was perfect.

7.20-Hour Days  Initially, through the build process, and being super excited, Dawn and I worked 20-hour days – painting, fixing, getting everything set up and ready to go. After opening on April 15th, we thought our 20-hour days were over. 10 years and 2 kids later, 20-hour days are still the norm!

8.3,212  This the number of bicycles we’ve sold since opening. Although bicycle retail isn’t our primary focus, we always believe in giving good advice and matching the customer’s needs to the right product. We’re happy that we have been able to help so many people find their new bike.

9.10595  This is the address of our current “bicycle adventure center”. In 2014, we had the opportunity to move to a new space, and help the shop grow. The new facility gave us the chance to hold better classes, better rides, better community events, concerts… and even create a business incubator! We’re really proud of this accomplishment.

10.100+  … is how long we’re planning on sticking around! We know that 2020 has been a tough year for everyone. It’s a weird way to celebrate – together, separately. However, let’s get over this hump, and we’ll look forward to another 100+ years of birthday celebrations.


Free Emergency Bike Repair UPDATE

Shaun Bhajan of Hometown Bicycles in COVID-19 face mask

Our free emergency bike repairs have definitely been a value add to our community. There have been a tidal wave of repairs coming in that we’ve been able to address immediately to keep people riding.

With Governor Whitmer’s most recent Order update, and with stricter rules in place, we are going to have to slightly modify how we are able to help.

1. Please REMAIN IN YOUR CAR. We will take your bike off and put your bike back on your car. We don’t want anyone congregating at our front door – any lingerers will be asked to leave!

2. Absolutely NO ONE IS ALLOWED IN THE STORE. We’ve had a few people sneak in. We get it – you love us. We love you, too, but please – even if our front door is unlocked, we’re trying our best to comply with the Governor’s mandate, and follow the CDC guidelines. Hang tight in your cars – we promise we’ll come out and help you.

3. Service is limited to EMERGENCY REPAIRS ONLY. We’ve had a few tune-up requests, and as much as we’d love to help, we are not able to perform “regular spring tune-ups” until after the mandate is lifted. Our goal is to simply make sure your bike is safe, and you are safe.

4. We’re limiting repairs to ONE BIKE PER CUSTOMER. We’ve had multiple people come down with a truckload of bikes. We love your enthusiasm, but our goal right now is to help as many customers as possible. Please help us do that by respecting this rule. (Note: If you have multiple emergency repairs, we will try our best to help you, but will only work on one at a time. In other words, 2 bikes = 2 visits.)

WHAT WE DEFINE AS EMERGENCY REPAIRS

  • Flat tires
  • Broken cables
  • Broken spokes
  • Brakes not functioning
  • Gears not functioning

There is NO CHARGE for labor – this is a volunteer effort. You will be charged for parts, if needed. We’d rather see you cycling safe than attempt a repair yourself that could have catastrophic results.

EMERGENCY REPAIR SERVICE:  MONDAY, WEDNESDAY & FRIDAY 10AM-2PM

We are still offering online ordering – please see details below.

We’ve got your back, Hometownies


Hometown-to-You Ordering is Still LIVE!

Want more options? store sign

We are SO excited to announce that, in partnership with awesome super-vendor QBP, you can now order bicycle parts and accessories from Hometown that will get shipped to your house in as quick as 2 days.

It’s really simple:

STEP 1:  Call the shop between 10am-3pm every day – (810) 225-2441.

STEP 2:  Dial 1 to connect with Andy, our sales lead. He’ll be able to answer questions and take your order.

STEP 3:  Let him know what you want, and it will be shipped directly to you.

Easy peasy!

Hometown Bicycles Company Update

Hometown Bicycles GoFundMe button - Customer, Company, Community, Industry

Dear Hometown Family,

We are overwhelmed. Humbled.

Your response to our recent shutdown, and subsequent GoFundMe campaign launch, is completely blowing us away.

We’ve also been awash in calls, texts, emails, and Facebook messages – customers offering love, wisdom, resources, and manpower to see that we get through this together. We can’t thank you enough for your help in ensuring Hometown’s survival.

Among the communications have been some great questions that we would love to answer for all of our amazing supporters:


Q: Are you aware of the small business grant and loan programs being offered?

A: We are, and are already applying!

But, understand that there is a virtual flood of businesses doing the same, and many require far more capital than ourselves. And when it comes to economic value to our State and Country, we understand that our bicycle shop can’t hold a candle to a critical parts manufacturer for the auto industry.

We can’t afford the risk of putting all our eggs in one basket… especially when every impacted business owner in America is using the very same basket.

Hometown has always been about community, people, relationships. It isn’t business lenders and government entities that adorn our VIP wall. YOU are the ones who helped us grow into the shop we are today. This business model has carried us successfully through the good AND the bad. It’s more important now than ever that we stay true to who we are.

At the end of the day, we have far greater faith in our customers. The government sees us as an EIN and a tax payment, but Hometownies see the value that we add to their life and our community.


Q: Why did you reduce your goal amount from $350,000 to $228,000?

A: These last few days have been an absolute whirlwind – planning, researching, analyzing, making the necessary arrangements to shut down our company until an end date that’s a moving target. It’s been stressful, and decisions had to be made quickly.

But things are looking up! Now that we’ve had those extra few days to dive further into necessary next steps, legislation changes are opening up more grant and loan options for micro businesses like ours. We’ve communicated with vendors, and arranged extended terms to buy ourselves critical time. And we’ve microscopically analyzed our business to see how we can operate on a much leaner level – to really stretch every penny.

With all of these new considerations, we feel confident in reducing our ask. For those of you who have already contributed, know that your dollars are now making that much more of an impact toward Hometown’s chance for success – thank you!


Q: Can I support you through purchasing Gift Certificates or pre-purchasing products?

A: We did consider this option. However, we came to the realization that, because the funds we are seeking are going toward operating expenses, not inventory, thousands of dollars in Gift Certificates and pre-purchased product could actually put our business in danger upon reopening. After the dust settles, there may not be enough surplus left to fulfill the obligation of these certificates and pre-purchases. This would be a true disservice to our customers.

So, while we love your generosity and ingenuity, might we instead suggest the option below…?  


Q: Can I still purchase bicycle product from you during this shutdown?

A: You bet! We’ve connected with our primary parts and accessories supplier, and are currently working on a retail-to-home option. Please stay tuned for the details! 


Q: So, what do I do if I need an emergency repair during this shutdown?

A: Reach out to us on Facebook. We might have the resources you need, or be able to make recommendations that can keep you safe, and keep you riding. 

Also, we’ve created a Tube Table outside our shop’s front door – free inner tubes and a bike pump for emergency use. Share the love!


Q:  How can I help??

A:  If you believe in Hometown, what we do, and why we do it… go ride your bike, stay safe, stay healthy, stay connected, and… 

Please give what you can and share our GoFundMe with your family, friends, neighbors, and community!

Team Hometown Bicycles shop ride

Stay active. Stay strong. Stay pedaling, Hometownies.

With continuing love and gratitude,

Shaun, Dawn & Your Hometown Crew

COVID-19 SHUTDOWN: Hometown Breaking News

Dear Hometown Family,

You know our stance on the essential nature of bicycle service during this challenging time. Many of you saw us leading the charge on a recent Hometown interview with Channel 7 news, where Shaun was quoted as saying:

Screenshot of Channel 7 news - Quote from Shaun Bhajan of Hometown Bicycles on COVID-19 essential bike repairs

Above: Screenshot from Channel 7 news story – CLICK HERE to watch

In an Executive Order that encourages citizens “To engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling…,” the status of bicycle repair as an essential business was left unclear. We believe – along with the League of Michigan Bicyclists (LMB), industry partners, and other State governments – that bicycle repair is necessary.

We are so proud of our Crew that, wherever able, individually elected to help man the shop, and support our community’s bicycle recreation and transportation needs.

But we have just now received word on the latest round of Michigan’s “essential business” clarifications, and Bicycle Repair DID NOT make the list.

From our wonderful contacts at LMB:

“… while we have asked for a change in state policy to designate bicycle repair as a critical infrastructure service, that is NOT the current policy. Bicycle repair is NOT currently listed as an “essential service”… Violating the Order may be extremely detrimental to the future of your business. It may also put our efforts in jeopardy.”

With the looming threat of fines and revoked business licenses, regretfully,

WE MUST IMMEDIATELY CLOSE OUR DOORS.

For all of you with service bikes at the shop, we will be contacting you within the next few days.

If you have any questions, please feel free to message us on Facebook, which we will continue to monitor through the shutdown.

As much as we wish to continue supporting your bicycle repair needs during this crisis, we respect and support the decisions being made for the best interest of all. 

 This is where we need your help. 

We are a seasonal business, now being thrown into a “second winter” that we simply cannot afford. Knowing that the coming 6 months will be the biggest hill Hometown ever climbed…

  • If we’ve been there for you when you needed us…
  • If you share our beliefs…
  • If you advocate for cycling and small business…
  • If you love bicycles and cycling…

Please, consider supporting Hometown Bicycles below:  

Hometown Bicycles GoFundMe Donate Now button

Stay active. Stay strong. Stay pedaling, Hometownies.

With warmest love and gratitude,

Shaun, Dawn & Your Hometown Crew

Hometown Bicycles WILL STAY OPEN for SERVICE needs!

COVID-19 Update

WE ARE OPEN FOR BIKE SERVICE 10AM – 3PM EVERY DAY

Dear Hometown Family,

There is no doubt that this unprecedented time is causing endless uncertainty and anxiety for everyone. We at Hometown Bicycles put your health and well being, and that of our crew’s, at the top of our priority list.

Following the Executive Order 2020-21 (COVID-19) issued TODAY at 11:00 a.m. by Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer, we wanted to assure you that, pending any Executive Order updates, Hometown Bicycles WILL REMAIN OPEN for SERVICE NEEDS throughout this period of sheltering in place.

In section 7a(1), the Governor discusses the “critical importance of engaging in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreation consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.” We are here to support your physical and emotional need for exercise during this time.

Here are some important updates and changes for you to be aware of beginning March 24, 2020:

  • Our Service Department’s hours of operation will be 10am-3pm, 7 days/week, until the stay-at-home order is lifted.
  • Our Retail Store will be closed.
  • Emergency parts and accessories are available through our Service Department; pull into our lot during our hours of operation and call the shop from your vehicle to tell us what your needs are.
  • Product orders can be placed by calling the shop.
  • Please utilize our parking lot drop off and pick-up for all service bikes; we can handle payments at your vehicle.
  • For specific requests and concerns, give us a call at 810-225-2441.

From all of us to all of you, get out there and ride. Enjoy the emergence of spring — the fresh air, budding leaves and flowers, sunshine, and everything wonderful nature has to offer. We love you and our cycling community, and hope you and your family are staying healthy and positive. Stay strong. Stay sound. Stay active.

Shaun, Dawn & Your Hometown Bicycles Crew

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