Quarantine Update

Hello from “behind the scenes!”

Just wanted to check in with everyone and share some thoughts about the moped shop during this period of quarantine that certainly allows for lots of reflection. I made the tough decision to abide by a firm closure during the initial stay-at-home period. That means that all staff have been laid off and I have not been accepting new inventory or service requests. Yes, I am aware that we could have probably continued to operate in some capacity without legal consequence. I realize that other small businesses have been doing this and I do not fault them. Economic fear is a powerful and real motivator. It is not that I do not share these fears — I own a low-margin seasonal business, I live on these fears even when there is not a pandemic! — but I believe that the uncertainty and level of contagiousness of this still-not-understood virus is more frightening and more important at this time. I don’t want to facilitate any non-essential contact and, realistically, the customization, restoration, and performance enhancements of 40 year old mopeds is not essential right now.

The latest state mandate (4/24) says that bicycle repair shops can begin to open to the public. We have decided that we will not…yet. Our small, open floor plan and high level of personal contact workplace doesn’t engender a safe environment for me and my staff, some of whom have and/or live with individuals with conditions that put them at “high risk.” Furthermore, we are not convinced that this decision will not result in a spike in infections, and are deciding to “stay-at-home” so as to not contribute to that possibility.

This is certainly not an easy decision to make and I hope that our customers can understand and respect our caution.

We are working behind the scenes to develop safe protocols for service and retail for when we do reopen. Even at that point, business will not be “as-usual.” I am currently working on improved online presence and official appointment only / curbside service protocol so that we can operate in some capacity until this virus is better under control and we can feel safe.

Trust me, each and every time I turn away business it breaks my heart a little bit. But I have to do what I think is right — and right isn’t always perfect, it’s just the best we can do.

Thanks for understanding and when we do feel safe to reopen, trust me, I will be shouting it from the hilltops!

A few quick notes:

  • If you have a bike already in here for repairs, don’t fret; we will complete your repairs and get the bike in your hands at the first possible opportunity.
  • If you have sent the shop an email, Facebook message, Instagram message, text message, Google+ message, etc – I am not ignoring you. I am systematically responding to all messages (which there are tons of) and I will continue to do so until we have staff in to help.
  • We are not currently monitoring our phone system.
  • Filling out the contact form through our website OR sending a message through our Facebook page are the two best ways to contact me at this time.
    • We are working on developing an online system for repair tickets and custom builds in preparation for a curbside drop off / pick up format which will streamline processes, but for now reaching out through the website or Facebook will put you in the front of the queue.

I appreciate everyone’s enthusiasm and eagerness to patronize our business and everyone’s contribution to the GoFundMe, but most importantly everyone’s understanding and patience as I work to try to reply to each and every correspondence while planning for what the future at Detroit Moped Works will look like.

In good health,

Alex Samul

Owner, Detroit Moped Works

April 27, 2020