An unpleasant Piermont bike shop experience

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Anonymous's picture

"Wednesday I went into Bicycle Connections in Piermont, asked Steve, the portly owner (step-father of Glenn) the price of a Clift Bar ($1.69), laid a $5 bill on the counter and waited for him to give me change. And waited. And waited. He had gone to the end of the counter where he was reading something or other.

C. 3-4 mins. later I mildly asked him, ""Can you take my money?""

Steve: ""I thought you were resting.""

Yeah, right, standing at the counter, with my money on the counter. As he returns to me, I ask:

Me: ""Is there a discount for NYCC members?""

Steve: ""Ten percent. Let me see your membership card.""

Uhh, as you know, we don't really have a membership card and it wouldn't occur to me to take it with me when I ride even if we did have one unless I intended to make a big purchase; and it sure as hell doesn't occur to me to clip the address label off my printed Bulletin to prove membership and ride with it. (...And what of those who don't get a printed Bulletin?)

Needless to say, I left the shop without buying the Clift bar. I called him later to discuss this. Here is what he said:

He said he was called by someone in the club and told he had to see a membership card. Also, people who are in the shop who aren't club members hear someone get a discount who is a member of a club, then they say they are a member and get ""$300 off.""

There are a few things troubling about this: No other customers were in the store--at least certainly not within seeing or hearing distance--when I stated I was a member of the club. I was wearing a NYCC jersey. My name is on the jersey (as its designer).

Question: Can you imagine someone going to the trouble to B.S. him to save 17¢?


Anonymous's picture
Twisted Sigster (not verified)


Anonymous's picture
Rick Braun (not verified)

"I can take no position on the merits of the dispute, but a matter of principle even over 17 cents can still be important to a person (this was in reply to the deleted message, now ""nmnmnm,"" above).

Anonymous's picture
Uri (not verified)

I can't stand this man and for the life of me, I had no idea why he is there. Now I know, being the stepfather. I have always found him to be extremely unfamilar with bicycles and related articles. I cringe when I hear him talk to customers. I'm sure he has a big stake in the shop.

Anonymous's picture
Get A. Life (not verified)

I think--actually, I know--I am more offended by someone getting overwrought over a small proprietor(as opposed to box store) not honoring a 17 cents discount on a Cliff bar. Is there no sense of allowing a valued LBS (based on recent prior recommendations) even this much profit--particularly when you don't have the membership card--are NYCC members that special and entitled? And to rant about it. Should we all picket and boycott until the store closes?

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
A demonstration of your inability to read and understand.

Am I really that bad a writer, Mr. Anonymous, that you failed to see the real point of my letter?

1. That we don't have or carry membership cards.
2. That wearing a NYCC jersey likely indicates membership in the NYCC.
3. That wearing a NYCC jersey with your name on it, even more likely indicates your membership in the club.
4. That it strains credibility to think one would bestir himself to put on a NYCC jersey and lie about his membership in the club simply to save 17¢.

You will recall I had my money out, waiting to pay before asking whether there was a discount for NYCC members so it's not likely the 17¢ was determinative. As for my choosing to leave without making the purchase, given the help I've provided that shop and the, in your name, pettiness of the amount, clearly money wasn't the issue. Although I ha ven't yet gotten the phone bill for my call to Steve from NYC to discuss this with him, I assume it will cost more than 17¢. Can you see no other possible reason than money at play here?

Am I really that poor a writer than none of that came through in my original post...or is it maybe you've got a personal agenda going here? Aided and abetted by your anonymity, I vote on the latter.

Anonymous's picture
Piermontschmiermont (not verified)
It really hurts to defend Steve, but...

"I think the issue here is the treatment of Mr. Rosenthal before the 17 cent flap. I think that Mr. Rosenthal is miffed that Steve did not acknowledge the ""help I have given that shop"", or at least shoot the sh*t with him a bit over the counter: ""Hi Richard. How was River Road today? Thinking of upgrading to the new all carbon Cannondale?"" etc. So Steve is in a crappy mood, gives Mr. Rosenthal sh*t about a 17 cent discount to bust his balls, and Mr. Rosenthal takes the bait. Just two geezers in a pissing match."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
You are, of course, wrong.

My dealings with the shop, at the time I helped it, were twelve years ago, when the shop opened; and that had been through Glen, not his step-father. I never thought to engage Steve who, insofar as I read him, really didn't know the bike industry.

To ride with me—in fact, to know me—is to know I don't enjoy small talk, don't banter, don't like stopping for lunch because, among other reasons, it entails precisely that, and don't socialize much for the same reason.

But, please, by all means, keep your anonymous nips at me coming.


I belatedly add this lest it seem my screed is unremittingly against the shop: I find it exceptionally well stocked (for the high-end) and exceedingly clean and neat. In particular, I note with great appreciation how very, very clean is the shop's lavatory and how willing the shop is to permit its use by customer and non-customer alike.

Anonymous's picture
PAying at piermont (not verified)
Trying to pay

I will usually buy a water or a gatorade from them when I ride up there and use the bathroom. Sometimes it is a real hassle to find someone that wants to take my money for the drink.

I have been in there when Steve was yelling at Glen over money problems with shipping orders. I am guessing that Steve is trying to tighten the reins on the financial situation of the shop. Not sure why he wouldn't stop his conversation to let me pay for my drink though.

Anonymous's picture
savings, savings, savings ... (not verified)

For Heaven's sake. Discount on a Cliff bar? Are you kidding me. Discount on a bike or something then maybe but on a snack? Good job its set at 10% since 11, 12 to god-forbid 13% would mean you'd have to take a calculator with you. I am unsuprised by the LBS man reproach, are you that miserly? Next thing you'll be walking in there with 2-for-1 vouchers and so forth.

Anonymous's picture
donald (not verified)

Richard: Get a LIFE! If you need to complain, maybe you can find something real.

Anonymous's picture
Chris O (not verified)
BYO Clif Bar

I hate bike shops, sort of. I know this is a generalization but it seems like 3 out of 4 visits is an unpleasant experience. Customer Service is a 4-letter word in most establishments.

That said, I have always had good (or at least not bad) experiences at Bicycle Workshop in Tenafly.

Maybe this rudeness is partly a New York thing.

Anonymous's picture
NNNNNNNNNN (not verified)

"Perhaps things might have worked better for you if it were an ordinary 'Clif' Bar. A ""Clift"" Bar could be of inestimable value."

Anonymous's picture
Jay Goldwein (not verified)
Glenn and Steve

My understanding from a good source is that Steve backed the store financially. Glenn generally treats customers well, Steve can be a real ass. Steve also has no problem treating the mechanics badly in front of customers, a classy touch.

Steve generally is very nice to me because I have spent a small fortune in the store over the past 2 years. He doesn't even flinch when I'm hanging out behind the counter chatting with Frank or Bill while they are fixing/adjusting things on my bike. That said, I never seek him out. I find Glenn, Frank, or Bill when I need something.

My problem with Piermont has not been how I have been treated, but as some may remember from other threads, the lack of quality workmanship at times. I recently had a nice chunk of clear coat taken from my fork during the installation of a set of zero gravity brakes and they have never been able to figure out (and not for lack of trying) the noise and shifting problems I have had with my Campy Record purchased new there on a new bike. I will be heading over to Imbert at his new digs in the next few weeks to check out my bike.


Anonymous's picture
Jay (not verified)
The previous message was posted by another Jay, not me

As a Piermont resident, a 6,000 mile a year NYCC member cyclist and someone who is technically disadvantaged--I don't even try to to any repairs on my bike, I have probably been in the shop more than any other NYCC member and I have had nothing but good experiences there.

Jay J

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)
Piermont Bike Shop is OK In My Book

I agree with Jay and Joan. I have always had excellent experiences at the Piermont bike shop. They have always been friendly and helpful to me and their mechanics have done work for me on the spot at very little charge. They are very helpful to the biking community in many ways; for example, they permit and even encourage bikers to use their bathroom, including large SIG rides. In my opinion, they are part of the reason that Piermont is such a pleasant biking destination. Steve and Glen have always been very pleasant to me. I think it's a great shop, I can't say enough good things about that shop. They let me leave my bike there for a few hours once while I went to a circus that was appearing locally.

Anonymous's picture
Joan (not verified)
Piermont Bike's Support for NYCC activities

I don't always agree with my husband but in this case I do.

For NYCC's Escape New York century they were very cooperative, helped us use Piermont for a rest stop, loaned us furniture, etc.

They made generous contributions and supported a NYCC meeting. Incidentally they also strongly supported, both in time and contributions the development and operation of the fledging Rockland Bike Club.

Anonymous's picture
who cares? (not verified)
bike shop

Boo hoo. Cry about it like a little girl. No wonder the dude copped an attitude with you. I suspect you ride a girl's bike. You give the club a bad name.

Anonymous's picture
a girl (not verified)
you got a problem with girls?

I suspect your own masculinity must feel pretty threatened--there are people you can talk to about that.

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
Sir, struggle to read; struggle to think. It'll be good for you.

If the club goes to the trouble to secure a discount from a bike shop for its members, the bike shop requires us to show a membership card, and we don't have a membership card, do you not think at least that is worth observing?

Absent a membership card, do you not think your wearing your club jersey just might possibly be suggestive of your membership in the club?

Have you any principles? Have you any ability to reason? Have you the ability to write your name? None of those is evident in your note.

Anonymous's picture
Anthony Poole (not verified)
We do have a membership card


We do have a membership card, and it's printed on every edition of the bulletin. It really does have the words ""Membership Card valid through 2005"" printed on them.

If people can make the effort to cut them out and carry them with them, they shouldn't enounter the difficulties you experienced, unless they are up against a shop keepter who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to take the money. People can cut them out and laminate them, like some do with their Metro-North train passes. For those that only receive the electronic version, they can print the appropriate page of the bulletin and do the same."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
A big idea for the club: a membership card w/ real benefits.

"Yes, you are right, Anthony. In fact, I, myself, acknowledged this in my original post in this thread wherein I wrote, "" sure as hell doesn't occur to me to clip the address label off my printed Bulletin to prove membership and ride with it."" ...So, yes, it was and is my fault that I didn't (and won't) carry this with me. Hell, I don't carry acceptable I.D. (driver's license) or even a credit card with me when I ride, so it's not likely I would carry this cut-out, even were I to have it laminated.

Even so, I am still of a mind that it would be as likely that someone could and would duplicate such a membership card as it would be for him to go to the trouble and expense to buy and wear a club jersey and claim he was a club member when he was not in order to save 17¢.

But speaking of a membership card, here may be an opening for me to put this to some portion of club members, the one idea of merit, if it is, I have for the club. It is one I've made to succeeding presidents. ...THAT WE UNDERTAKE TO BE RECOGNIZED AS AN AFFINITY GROUP.

There are c. 1400 NYCC members, enough to gain such recognition by car rental companies and every other company (Staples, Office Depot, Hertz, Avis, etc., some hotel chains, and maybe, in a stretch, even health insurers). Now THAT would make having and carrying a real membership card worthwhile. And it would expand greatly the way(s) in which the club serves the members and the mebmers are well served by being in the club."

Anonymous's picture
Sonny (not verified)
Avoid the Personal Attacks

Loath to suggest impeding the free flow of ideas on the NYCC Board but submission of anonymous posts, particularly posts that attack another member personally are inappropriate in my opinion (sure I will be attacked for such a suggestion, anonymously of course).

Richard, and other members of the Club, make efforts to secure discounts for their members, invited a local bike shop that provides a discount to speak at this months club meeting (which the bike shop undoubtedly did for the good public relations) and makes other efforts to promote shops that support the club. If he and the other club members have made this effort, than why should he not request and expect to receive the discount. While it was a minor amount, what happens when a member purchases something significant and does not get the discount?

To relay this experience on a personal level, Toga has one of the best clothing selections in the City. However, every time I have been in there to buy something, they have been an absolutely pain to get the discount. As a result, I have walked away from a purchase at the counter and do not buy clothing there. Sids always honors the discount, so that's where I buy. Bike shops should remember that the traffic and good will generated by offering a discount in the newsletter is quickly destroyed by refusing to honor the discount and have members complain on this forum.

Anonymous's picture
Paul (not verified)

Isn't there a membership card in the bulletin?

Anonymous's picture
Barbara (not verified)
membership card

"Yes there is a membership card on the 2nd to last page of the bulletin.
Its just under the line that says ""Remember to clip the membership card below...""
If you don't receive the bulletin by mail you can print the PDF version."

Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
An idea for a membership card that serves a secondary purpose

"Automobile licenses have stickers that indicate annual renewal of the license or registration. They are often reflective and are gummy enough to be secure.

Perhaps it would serve us to have a ""membership card"" that was simply a small and reflective, adhesive sticker with NYCC, the year of the membership, and a phone number of the club and the club's URL.

The secondary way in which this serves us is if your bike is recovered, there is a place to report it. The club site could list members' missing bikes.

(Those who have two or more bikes could get additional stickers for a nominal cost.)

It wouldn't be conspicuous on the seat tube for those of us who don't want to uglify our bikes. Or stick it on the rear of the seat stay where its reflectivity would be caught in headlights and where members could recognize fellow members on the road as being in the club.

In either event, it would seem more utilitarian than tearing out the address label from your mailed Bulletin or printing something from your online Bulletin."

Anonymous's picture
absent minded (not verified)
take my discount . . . please!

More power to all of you who ask for the discount. You guys have to make up for people like me!

A few weeks ago I walked into that shop for just a Clif Bar . . . and 400 dollars later walked out with new shoes and pedals. And . . . you guessed it, I forgot to ask for the discount!!

[...for the record, I don't carry a card either, but you better believe I will have one with me going fwd . . . in addition to a little string around my index finger!]

Anonymous's picture
Just following orders (not verified)
membership card

FYI, we have been instructed by NYCC to cut out that little rectangle/membership card printed in the bulletin. Do you ever shop in Toga? They have demanded to see this before issuing a discount. I bought a bike there last year and had to beg them to believe me since I did not have the aforementioned rectangle.
Regarding the Piermont shop, I have always found them to be pleasant and accommodating...

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)
membership card

I have run into a slight problem with the card the way it is now.

The card, I have and use is the one I receive via e-mail (PDF file) in the bulletin. One or twoplaces do not
like the fact that a) it is a paper and could be xeroxed
and b) it does not have my name.

I suggest that everyone receive a personalized PDF or jpg card that can be cut out and folded, which is personalized with our name on it. Another idea is to
Mail one laminated at renewal from the office.

I have a connection in that business line.


Anonymous's picture
former Board Member (not verified)

"Rob wrote:
""Mail one laminated at renewal from the office.""

What ""office"" is that you are referring to? The club has no offices.

As to your suggestion of mailing a laminated card to everyone, if it costs as little as $1.00 for the card, lamination, envelope and stamp, do you really think that's a good use of $2,000 of the club's money every year?


Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Let's answer the points made shall we?

In todays world an office would be considered any place that has a phone (cell counts), a chair (milk crate counts), a computer ( a borrowed one counts) and a person using it that is alive or fakes it well.

As far as mailing it, it would cost under 37cents including envelopes, if we send it first class NOT FOR PROFIT.

YES, I DO BELEIVE IT IS A BENEFIT TO MEMBERS and can list Bike shops on the back and pay for it.

Hey I can even let the club use my laminator.



Anonymous's picture
former Board Member (not verified)
Yes, let's

"First, the club is NOT eligible for discount mail. Go to the USPS website before you yell:

Oh, and I assume _you're_ volunteering to do this, right? Or are you ""volunteering"" someone else for the job? I've volunteered for the club. What have you done, other than make suggestions as to how to spend other people's time and money?

If we need a $2,000 solution to a 17 cent problem, yeah, I'm the problem.

And stop yelling, please.


Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Dearest FBM ( Name withheld)

WIll I volunteer. Yes.
Can I donate use of my machine yes.
Can I get you laminate pouches for free yes.

Is the club a not for profit?
If yes it qualifies for mailing discounts at the post office., If not it could qualify for First class

You can make a Postcard two sided with a die cut,
that would do the job.

Am I still yelling?

I just was giving CONSTRUCTIVE answers to a problem.
Besides, didn't this all begin with someone who didn't get their 17cent discount on a Candy Bar (oops energy bar).

Robert Marcus

Anonymous's picture
Who (not verified)
When is a rant...

"Aw, it was just a rant. Everyone's entitled to a rant on the message board now and then, especially when so capably done as by that soon-to-be-renowned rant artiste, R. Rosenthal, AKA ""Seventeen Cents.""

The bulletin membership card is small and light enough to carry on a ride. If you want to sign and laminate it yourself, do so. Has anyone ever been refused a discount after producing it at a shop? Maybe one sometimes has to be more assertive than is desirable, but, remember, this IS New York, it's always about the seventeen cents.



Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)

Here, here.. In fact I receive discounts from places not listed. All you have to do is smile and ask. A smart
merchant usually will give something as a courtesy.


Anonymous's picture
Richard Rosenthal (not verified)
A review

So long as understandably anonymous people persist in responding to what I write without seemingly having read it in the first place, then I persist in reiterating what they seem to have overlooked. Let's review:

• My money was already out and I was waiting for it to be taken before the matter of a club discount was even raised, so the 17¢ was not the issue. What was was Steve's disbelieving someone who was wearing a club jersey with his name on it was a club member.

• My call to him later in the day to (very civilly) discuss this with him cost more than 17¢.

• It seems to have been falsely stated by Steve that someone from the club called him and insisted our membership card be shown.

• His statement that someone who was not a club member might overhear me and claim he, too, was a member and seek a discount was a fig leaf; there were no other customers in hearing distance, if even in the shop at all.

I don't mind disparagement or ridicule, anonymous or otherwise, I really don't. And I'm sure my passions and principles leave me open to any number of them—especially by those of you lacking in them. But it'll speak so much better for you who write them if you disparage me with reason, fact, and good sense.

Anonymous's picture
Rob (not verified)


I agree 100% with you and your principles.

As happens so many times, just because you are correct does not mean that you are right.

Keep fighting for what you beleive in.

It's not the money, it's the principal.

In any case, at least you now know people really do read


Anonymous's picture
Banana Guy (not verified)

With all due respect (not much, I am afraid) this thread is an embarrassment to cyclists everywhere.

Cut the BS and ride.

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo Garcia (not verified)
Accentuate the Positive

On my free-lance ride to Nyack yesterday, I went to Piermont Bike Connection. Taped to one of their front windows was a NYCC thread, printed from the message board about this shop, late last year. It spoke nothing but praise.

Besides letting cyclists use their restroom (who else in Piermont would?), open on holidays, they are willing to mail your $100 or more purchase free so you don't have to carry with you climbing Rt. 9W or Churchill Rd.

Disclosure: I bought a pair of socks and browsed at copy of Asphalt magazine.


Anonymous's picture
I can teach you how to click elsewhere (not verified)
deserving of respect?

"But you find this so compelling that you keep reading it, no? Maybe you should ""Cut the BS and ride"" instead.

I don't want to read the same thing over and over again about the Critical Mass so I don't, and I don't tell others not to post about it.

Oh, and it's the bananas in the pocket that are embarrassing."

cycling trips