I got warm, then struggled into the cold weather gear again. After I was dressed for it, I took the mountain bike and the trailer outside. When I did the tune up on the bike, I set the chain on the largest front sprocket. I also removed the shifter so that wouldn’t accidentally move it to any of the smaller front rings. My plan was to always use the motor rather than the smaller front sprockets. That in effect turned my bike into a seven speed. I could use the pedals to help it on a hill, or to provide all the propulsion possible on the flat roadway. I could also use the motor just to help, when I wanted a rest from pedaling. The trailer was a handy thing to have in either case.
I took the newly turned bike out for a ride. I tried to stretch the battery life by mostly pedaling. I made my six mile goal with plenty of battery life left. I didn’t really want to stretch it farther. It was enough to get an urban rider most anywhere he needed to go. Of course I would recommend a larger battery or a lithium battery pack.
I took the mountain bike inside the house. Once inside I attached it to the charger, then went out to attach my battery pack to the three wheeler. I rode it to Little Caesar’s pizza take out. I bought a large plain cheese pizza for dinner. There was enough room on the rear of the three wheels so that I didn’t need the trailer.
When I got home, I had to remove the battery pack before I covered the scooter with the portable garage. It sounds like a lot more work than it actually was. It was more work than just closing a car door, but I didn’t mind it.
Inside the house I tore the pizza since they were almost pre-cut but not quite. I even saved all the crust I didn’t want for Jed. He was in heaven for the minute it took him to devour the half dozen pieces.
“You, old man, are going to get fat,” I said out loud. He offered no indication that he heard me.
I called Jewel after dinner. I went to voice mail, so I left her a message to call me. I sat down with a blank sign file. I still hadn’t made a good plan for it. I finally gave up trying to find the right symbol. I took a picture of Jed before the light failed me. Actually I took about ten. I chose the one in which he looked the toughest.
Jed’s picture went in the middle. Tougher than a Pitbull, read the line at the top of the sign. Sweeter than a Pitty read the line at the bottom. On each side was a smaller message. One contained my phone number and a short message. The side other contained the web page address. That’s when I realized I needed help with the web site layout.
It was after five but I had the number for Rhonda’s mother and I was pretty sure she would answer the phone.
“Mica’s Digital Designs,” the female voice said.
“Hello this is Larry James, I got your card from Rhonda. I need some help. I’m not sure I can afford you, but I thought I give you a call,” I said.
“Well Larry what did you have in mind?” she asked.
“Well I need a sign but for that I need an information place on line,” I said.
“Well that is the minimum you can get away with. Rhonda said you are a start up building electric bikes,” she guessed.
“Something like that for sure. I plan to put a sign on the bikes and have it direct customers to the website for the hard sell,” I said.
“That is the best way, but it will also get people who don’t see the bikes in person to call,” she suggested.
“That is secondary for now. I am feeling my way along. Like you said I am just a start up,” I explained.
“If you contract with me I can design your bike sign, and your initial web page for five hundred dollars,” she suggested.
“Wow that’s a lot for me to start with. I’m not sure ye that this venture is viable. I think I need to just go with some other kind of advertising at first. I’m sorry I wasted your time,” I said.
“Well if you decide you need the help, call me anytime,” she said.
“Thanks, I may have to do that,” I said.
I went back to working on the sign myself. When it was finished, it wasn’t very professional. Even so it was a start on marketing the bikes.
I emailed the file to the printer along with an electronic payment for twenty two dollars. For that I got two vinyl signs and one hundred business cards. The cards pretty much had the same message. The printer even Promised to have Jed’s picture on my business cards. There was no web address on the first signs and cards, but I planned to take a look at a ‘DIY’ website company later.
I had a plan and I was satisfied with the short term outlook. I had to wait a couple of days for it to happen, but that didn’t bother me. I had plenty of things to do while I waited. I began by ordering a 36v 13ah lithium battery pack. It should give me plenty of range and it cost under three hundred dollars. I planned to have it on hand to be on sale as an upgrade for the trailer. I planned to use my SLA pack for the customer test rides and standard pack. The lithium might be on the shelf for a while, since I couldn’t see anyone buying it at four times the price of a SLA pack.
I got a call later that day from Jewel. She told me she was feeling much better. She had even been to school and was planning to go to work the next day.
I explained that I was glad to hear it. I didn’t fill her in on my day, since I felt like it would sound like I was trying to upstage her.
.... There is more of this story ...