How many hundreds of customers were welcomed by this friendly greeting when they called the Downtube Bicycle Works? And now he’s gone from the Downtube – like losing a member of the family.
After over 30 years in the bicycle industry, both here and in New Hampshire, Eric has decided to pursue a career and an industry change. The Downtube Bicycle Works looks forward to his continued collaboration as his new career allows.
Eric had the enviable ability to make the person with whom he engaged feel as if he were the only one in the shop. Your problem became Eric’s. In many years of observing him as the “go-to guy” at the Downtube, Eric was always ready with a smile, an encouraging word, a helpful hand, and a bit of advice. He never attempted the hard sell but always laid out the possible solutions in a fair and responsive manner. The most bedraggled youngster with a junker mountain bike or the owner of a gazillion dollar Trek Domane were treated in the same graceful manner.
From the Downtube Bicycle Works website: “Eric Whalen, Manager and Partner … been advising Downtube customers since 1990. Previously, Eric worked in several New Hampshire bicycle stores and also had a Snap-On tool franchise. We are very, very lucky he joined our team. He’s extraordinarily patient and understanding, and a problem solver for all things bicycle. He’s so good Trek insisted on borrowing him for support at the 1995 Tour of Taiwan. Eric became a Downtube part owner in 1997.”
Since the devastating fire in 2015, Eric, as well as all the other DT staff, was fully engaged in getting the shop back on its feet. While there was good insurance, help from Trek, 100 percent commitment by the owners, professional contractor rebuilding, and the loyalty of the DT customers, one can imagine the amount of work that had to be done by staff and the unending disruption to the shop. Two years later, the shop – now accompanied by the 3Fish Café – is back in business, and Eric was a major player in this success. His colleagues, Adam and Oliver, now joined by Evelyn, Steve and others will continue to contribute to the success of the business. They can now build on the fully remodeled store, the new café, and more staff and programs.
Thanks for a good ride, Eric!