22 jan 2004
momovelo experienced a surfeit of activity this winter and a correspondingly epic backorder list. coupled with an unfortunately communicable illness, the storefront's availability has been limited. the operation is being retooled to better serve folks and to more explicitly focus strictly on serving a local Berkeley audience.
extant mail order transactions
please patronize your local retailer(s) first, and if necessary try these folks. they're all respectable, and infinitely more efficient than this flawed operation.
my apologies to all those folks who've suffered as a result of this transition. over the past three years, momovelo has proven to be an elusive doppelganger of an enterprise -- taking form in five different locations as a bicycle shop, a cafe, a speakeasy, a nightclub, an art gallery, a community centre. the retail mode has consistently proven dysfunctional, so it is with this move that one hopes to find stable compromise.
lacking a fundamental grounding in the profit motive really makes remote sales seem at best superfluous, and worse, a drain on far-flung independent retailers. practical accessories and componentry are readily available in the wholesale supply chain -- and one hopes that with gentle prodding, formerly mundane shops will begin to supplant plastic with steel, FSA with Nitto, Bicycling with Velo Vision...
today momovelo finds itself caught in a modal purgatory: retailer or gallery, local or virtual, lowbrow, highbrow, nobrow? and perhaps more fundamentally, is it possible to amplify an aesthetic without cannibalising the business of companies that have laid the groundwork?
"Soyez realistes, demandez l'impossible!"
that there should be a place of free tea and situationist literature, leather-covered toe clips, wicker baskets, and cherrywood mudguards in downtown Berkeley is self evident. this narrow void is the one to bridge. to the extent that it can let a small stream of hand-finished city bicycles onto the streets without damaging the livelihoods of neighboring bicycle retailers and sympathetic electronic merchants (let alone have a multiplicative effect) with vigor will a revised boutique return.
so non-local folks are encouraged to visit their local retailers and in a pinch, the aforementioned mail order houses.
the shop in its new low volume format will continue operations in feb 2004.
velos - explicit focus on artisinal:
sundries - less bikish emphasis
form factor - morphing back into a gallery with bicycle boutique attached