Thursday, March 26 UPDATE
On Wednesday, March 25 Idaho Governor Brad Little issued a statewide self-isolation order and signed an extreme emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The self-isolation order is in place for 21 days and may be extended based on guidance from public health officials. The full order and more information are available on the state’s website here: https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/
While this order is in effect, individuals may leave their residence only to perform activities that are essential for health and safety. These activities include obtaining “necessary services or supplies” and engaging in “outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements… by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, bicycling, or running.”
The order also provides exceptions to ensure that all “essential services and businesses remain available” and defines those essential services and businesses. Among those listed are businesses providing for essential transportation needs such as gas stations, auto supply and auto repair facilities. Businesses that “ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences” are also exempted.
While the order does not specifically list bicycle supply or repair facilities as essential businesses, bicycling is an essential mode of transportation for many individuals and is also one of the explicitly-named forms of unrestricted outdoor activity. Most localities that have implemented such orders have classified bike shops as essential, either on their own or after hearing community input.
We will be submitting a letter to the Governor’s office requesting that bicycle supply and repair facilities be specifically added to the list of exempted businesses. If you feel compelled to do the same, please call or email the Governor’s office. Here are some useful resources from Quality Bicycle Products - one of our distribution partners: https://www.qbp.com/bike-shops-are-essential-to-our-communities
In the meantime, Bike Touring News will continue to offer retail and repair services on an appointment-only basis, following the heightened precautions that we implemented on March 22. We will also continue to offer shipment and delivery of goods directly to residences via our web store, by phone or via email ordering.
We kindly ask customers to consider trips to the shop very carefully and make appointments only for activities that must be performed in person, such as dropping off or picking up a bicycle for service or repairs. Customers in need of parts, accessories, or other supplies are encouraged to order via our web store, by phone or email for home delivery.
Thanks for your patience and support in these challenging times. Bike Touring News is dedicated to supporting our cycling community during this pandemic so long as we can do so in a safe and responsible manner. Please let us know how we can keep you pedaling through this crisis!
Sunday, March 22
In these uncertain times, Bike Touring News mission of Empowering the Bicycle Traveler remains steadfast. We are dedicated to supporting our cycling community so we can all keep pedaling through this crisis. However, we must do so in a safe and responsible manner taking all reasonable precautions to prevent spread of this virus. We all must treat this threat with the utmost seriousness if we can hope to avoid the worst outcomes we’re seeing in the hardest-hit areas in the USA and around the world.
We are working hard to implement sensible, sustainable policies based on information from the CDC and best practices for bicycle retailers so our customers and community know what to expect. However, these plans are subject to change at any time based on guidance from our health authorities and new information about the coronavirus pandemic. Please be patient, thoughtful and kind. We’ll get through this if we all do our part!
Here’s What We’re Doing:
1) BTN Retail/Repair Services Available by Appointment Only
Our shop is normally very touch-friendly but we cannot safely provide that level of service at this time. We also cannot maintain the required 6 feet of social distance with more than one customer in our small space.
Therefore, we are kindly asking customers in need of retail/repair services to schedule an appointment by phone (208-806-2111) or email (email@example.com). Please reserve appointments for business that cannot be carried out via other methods, such as dropping off or picking up service work. No browsing will be allowed. Please refrain from touching any product that you are not purchasing. Checkout will be completed via our touch-free credit card payment terminal.
2) Taking Extra Precautions with Service Work
If you are bringing a bicycle in for service, we will ask you to please wash your bike before bringing it to the shop, paying particular attention to commonly touched areas. Our outdoor rack will be available for you to park the bike while we check in your service job. We may need to follow up with a phone call to provide an accurate estimate for more complex jobs. Once service is completed, we will call you to schedule a time for pickup. Upon your arrival, we will park your bike in our outdoor bike rack and sanitize all touch points before returning it to you. Turnaround times may be longer than average - please be patient!
3) Taking Extra Precautions for Test Rides
If you plan on test-riding bicycles for sale, we will ask that you properly wash or sanitize your hands on-site before riding and practice good hygiene before, during and after each ride. Our supplies of hand sanitizer are very limited, so bonus points if you bring your own! We will also disinfect touch points on test-ridden bikes before and after each ride.
4) Encouraging Customers to Order Online or by Phone for Pickup or Delivery
While our physical store may be restricted in the interest of safety, you can shop online any time with zero risk! Local customers may order online for curbside pickup or shipment to your home. Orders over $100 ship free! We will be working hard to keep the web store up to date but have lots of products in stock that aren’t currently listed online. This is especially true for service parts such as chains, brake pads, cables and housing, etc. Call or email if you’re not seeing what you need online and we will get you squared away. Need your order faster or don’t want to pay for shipping? Contact us to ask about local delivery options.
5) Implementing Enhanced Cleaning and Sanitization Practices
In addition to the practices listed above for retail operations, service work and test rides, we are sanitizing all frequently-touched surfaces and washing hands multiple times per day.
6) Offering Local Pickup and Delivery Service
Please contact us regarding pickup and/or delivery of your order, new bicycle or service job. We are able to offer these services within a limited radius on an as-needed basis.
7) Cancelling or Rescheduling all Rides and Events Through the End of April (and maybe longer).
This is definitely the change that hurts the most! There are few things that bring more joy than gathering together with our bike travel community for good rides and nights under the stars. However, those kind of events are the exact opposite of the social distancing we should all be practicing at this time. We’ll be working on some creative ways to share some experiences from a safe distance, so stay tuned!
Here’s What You Can Do:
1) Follow Current Guidance from Health Authorities!
This includes staying home whenever possible, avoiding unnecessary travel, maintaining 6 feet of social distance and practicing good hygiene. Take good care of yourself, your family, friends and neighbors. We all must take this threat seriously and work together if we hope to avoid the worst.
2) Ride Your Bike!
Cycling is an ideal mode of transportation in times like these and bike rides can be a hugely useful tool for exercise and stress relief. However, this is not a time for group rides or taking unnecessary risk! Ride solo or with people you already live with. Ride conservatively and avoid injury. Our medical professionals need to be focused on this epidemic, not treating your broken collarbone.
3) Support the Local Business You Care About and Rely On!
This pandemic is creating an increasingly dire situation for many small business and their employees. If you are in a position to do so, support those businesses you care about and rely on in whatever way you can. If you’re not sure what you can do to support them, just ask! We’ll get though this by working together and focusing on what is truly important!
Thanks so much for your patience and support in these chaotic times! Keep pedaling and let us know how we can support your cycling through this crisis!