indiana

Great Local Business: Virtuous Cycles

virtuous_cyclesI’ve had the occasion to visit my local bike shop on several occasions this year, and have been blown away by the fine people at Virtuous Cycles. Their business model coordinates new and used bike retail business, cycling and cyclist rights advocacy, and does so with a very homey aesthetic that’s friendly for die-hard and amateur cyclists alike. They’re super kid-friendly to boot.

What impresses me, having been a customer service professional for some time, is the superior customer service they’ve offered me as a newbie with lots of questions and no idea what I’m doing. Last time I went in there, I asked about several things regarding safety and bike maintenance and was given hands-on demonstrations of helmets, a tour of the used bike section, and was even loaned a book to help familiarize myself with biking culture. Really, it was above and beyond my expectations.

I’m new to this world, but biking is something that my kids and I do on a daily basis for exercise and leisure. Virtuous Cycles has been an excellent steward to my family and their advice and advocacy make us feel more confident on the road. They’ve earned a loyal customer here.

Think Lafayette, Redux

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The old Think Lafayette design was fine (meh) but wasn’t going to work with our future plans, which included an overhaul of the blog structure and the addition of sales on the site. We gave it a little face lift.

TL is coming up on its first birthday soon. My favorite part of the project has been meeting all the cool creatives in the community that make the Lafayette area a nice place to live. I’ve shaken more hands and handed out more business cards on this project than on any other thing I’ve done prior, including the day job I adore. I know that many of the other TL contributors have also spent literal hours and hours attending events, networking, writing, editing, and promoting this project, all because we love where we live and want to drum up excitement in our friends and neighbors.

Indiana gets a lot of flack for being a flyover state in the Midwest — there’s something about “Indiana” that brings up an image of naivete and unsophistication in outsiders — yet our area of the state consistently makes top ten lists as a “Best Place to Live” for a variety of reasons from all kinds of periodicals. We have great public schools, safe neighborhoods, an abundance of good food, low cost of living, and excellent public resources here. A lot of us forget that and long for greener pastures. Some of us, however, are excited to be here, in this place at this time. It’s fun to share that enthusiasm.