Aristeo Rodriguez calls himself an analog guy. When I called to ask about an interview, he was too busy for a conversation. “Why don’t you just drop by?” he suggested. “We’re letting customers in one at a time.” When I arrived, I waited in a line stretched along the sidewalk and into the parking lot.
During my half hour wait, I overheard Aristeo with a customer looking to purchase a bike. He spoke with energy and passion about her options and what she could expect. Then, my turn came. The three minutes inside the shop were worth coming in person. Aristeo values face-to-face interaction and gave me his full attention.
Elite Bicycle was among the essential businesses permitted to stay open during the state quarantine. While many businesses are struggling to stay alive, Elite Bicycle is struggling to meet its high demand. Business began booming in mid-March and hasn’t stopped to date.
During his interview, Aristeo repeated the values he and his colleagues hold dear: being a close-knit, nonhierarchical, small business that loves spending time with the community out of doors and on their bikes.
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