I long for the day when I can craft a news piece, review or editorial commentary that doesn’t have anything to do with COVID-19. Alas, these are the days we’re living in. Every aspect of the motorcycle industry has been hit by the pandemic. Production stopped, sales ground to a halt, and shops were forced to close their doors. As government relief increases and restrictions start to lift, let’s consider those in our community that may need a helping hand to stay afloat during these challenging times.
Some businesses have been less fortunate than others. I specifically chose to live in my particular neighbourhood because the vast majority of businesses in the area are independently or family-run. Unfortunately, these types of establishments have also been the hardest hit by this pandemic. Most of the restaurants, bars and live music venues have shut down. Unfortunately for good in some cases. Some have opted to offer food takeout or delivery options which I’ve been trying to take advantage of as much as is fiscally possible. I recently learned that companies like Uber Eats and Skip the Dishes command as much as 20-25 per cent of an order from restaurants, so I have started picking up the phone and ordering takeout directly instead. It may be less convenient to go pick it up myself, but it ends up being cheaper and it allows restaurants to benefit from the full transaction price rather than breaking even, or worse yet, losing money.
Working from home for the last two months has meant that I’m consuming a LOT of coffee. I’ve been thankful that I stocked up on beans from Back Road Motor Coffee Co. and recommend you do the same. The pandemic has however given me the time and opportunity to get my 1984 Yamaha Maxim running again. Finishing the project required tracking down a bunch of parts that I sourced from shops like Moto Revere, Town Moto and Snow City Cycle Marine who offered curbside pick-up. Many places are even offering discounted or free delivery, so it never hurts to ask. Restrictions are loosening on sales and service too if you happen to require repairs or be in the market for an upgrade. After all, riding season is very much upon us.
Jeff Campagna is the organizer of Hamilton, ON’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride and the owner of Steeltown Garage Co. A vibrant coffee shop that sells motorcycle gear, clothing and accessories, they’ve shifted focus to their online e-commerce presence. Previously hosting ride-ins and bike nights to bring customers into the shop, they are relying on people to purchase coffee, clothing and swag from their online store. And I hope people join me in doing just that.
I’m certainly not asking anyone to break the bank or spend money they don’t have, but if you were planning on buying some new motorcycle parts, riding gear, or specialty coffee anyhow, now may be a good time to stock up and help out our friends that run these businesses in your part of the country. If we do, there are greater chances that they will still be around for us to enjoy when all of this madness is behind us. The riding community will be stronger for it.
And don’t forget to wave, we’re all in this together