ROCHESTER, Minn. - Charly Tri is beyond busy. This is always a busy time of year for the bicycle repair professional. During spring he usually books his appointments three days out. During the Coronavirus, though, Tri has had to book clients two weeks out.
"I've been slammed," Charly said as he worked on a bike in the back of his van. "I'm the to-go version of a bike shop right now."
I caught up with Tri as he was calling on Dan Harke to fix his road bike in Northeast Rochester.
"He comes here," Harke said as he stood on his front porch. "The price is very competitive and my bike's done in like an hour."
Charly is assiduous about going over the bikes with disinfectant wipes. He gets bikes in and out of an owner's garage without having any contact with the client.
This reporter used My Bike Guy a few weeks ago when he needed a spring tune-up and found him unfailingly easy to deal with. He is an essential business. That's something Dan Harke is thankful for. The Mayo Clinic employee needs his bike time during this pandemic.
"It is a true stress reliever," Harke said with a sigh. "With work being crazy and these trying times, it's really nice to get out there, either on the roads or the trail and really just release some stress."
Charly Tri has been running his business in a pandemic perfect fashion since the beginning. He bills clients by email and the invoice can be paid online. It is possible to have a bike repaired without any physical interaction with Tri.
"My service is so convenient," Tri allowed, still working on Harke's bike. "But, at the same time, with the pandemic going on, it's extremely conducive to social distancing and getting people on the road without having them have to go out in public.
For those of us who continue to pedal as we admire each bloom and bird on the trails of Rochester, Charly Tri is essential indeed.
If you want to book an appointment with my bike guy, go to his website.