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Market Saturation

January 9, 2012

This pending feeling of doom that’s been building due to my innate procrastination became too much. Today, I went back to work after a much extended holiday break. The past couple of days I’ve been having flashbacks of Martin Sheen in the opening scene of Apocalypse Now (with the Doors playing and the fan spinning). “Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger” (incidentally, Charlie is a post-doc in the adjoining lab). Is it possible to get PTSD from watching old movies? Anyway, despite the time-off not much has changed on my ride in. The bike lanes on Kansas were still corroded away, the trail still had its mud puddle dips, and other bike commuters were as elusive as Yeti sightings.

There is a new bike shop coming to H St NE, the Daily Rider. They are going for the “stylish, anti-spandex angle” and will carry Pashleys and Bobbins (a lower-end Dutch cruisers from England). On the one hand, I’m happy DC will get another bike shop. The rapidly developing area of H Street seems like a perfect spot too (minus those damn streetcar tracks). However, I’m worried about the potential market saturation that may result. I find it hard to grasp that the LBS is basking in huge profit margins. Nothing wrong with capitalism, but I just want a guarantee that my preferred bike shops will stick around. Would DC residents get upset if the city started giving subsidies to local bike shops?

Speaking of market saturation, there sure are a lot of DC bike blogs. Again, there’s nothing wrong with this. Each has it’s own style and and message. They’re sort of like bike shops. Some shops are stocked with expensive streamlined machines, others try to attract the stylish, anti-spandex type. If my blog was a bike shop, I’m pretty sure it would have nothing of value and be staffed by rude, mentally deficient mechanics. That about sums it up. With the number of local blogs, I think a giant DC bike blog co-op should be formed. We could force smaller blogs to join or be crushed under the weight of the iron DC Bike Blog fist. I’m not actually sure of the advantage to this since most bloggers seem to enjoy their independence. Perhaps, I’m just watching too much of The Wire – Proposition Joe’s co-op seems to be working out well enough (don’t tell me if it doesn’t, I’m still watching).

Fun ahead for my evening commute:

DC Alert: National Weather Service reports light flurries and sleet until evening hours.

Luckily, I have my third red blinky ready to go! Yes, sadly, this is what gets me excited nowadays.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 12, 2012 11:48 pm

    Dear Lord, I’ve only heard of one of these 5 DC bike blogs and I know quite a few ones not on that list. And I thought I was being all original when I started mine. (I guess I have the sustainable food angle too, but there’s a billion of those.) Although a group blog or at least an RSS feed that conglomerated posts is a pretty good idea. Anything that could put everything in one place like a one-stop shop could be useful to people interested in these issues.

    • January 13, 2012 11:27 am

      Haha, yeh so much for originality. I think the co-themes are the way to go to distinguish yourself. You seem to have a good one in that sustainable food and biking can both tie in with the green movement. I’m still trying to figure out how insects and biking can fit seamlessly together. 🙂

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