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November 25, 2009

A quick reminder that we will be closed tomorrow through Saturday for the Thanksgiving holiday. Everyone here at MCC wishes everyone a Happy Thanksgiving.

The past two weeks scheduling has really picked up which is really good for this time of year. If this is any indication of what the new year has in store for us we are going to be busier than ever. We are still around one week out on scheduling so the wait isn't too long right now so don't wait too long if you are wanting to have your seat done because we will book up rather quickly through December and get really busy in January.

I want to thank everyone who has used our services this year. This was by far the best year yet and as the word spreads we keep getting busier. It really amazes me how people find out about us. One of the coolest I heard was three weeks ago. A guy and his wife stopped by the shop. I noticed they had Wisconsin tags. He asked the normal seat questions and after we were finished talking about his seats I asked him how he heard about us. He said he was bass fishing in Washington State and came upon another guy fishing. Somehow motorcycles came up and how bad seats are. The guy told him about us and how happy he was with his seat. So as soon as he got home he looked us up on the internet. He had a trip planned to Charlotte so he stopped by the shop to talk to us in person...pretty cool.

I am going to wrap it up for this week, again we wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

November 15, 2009

This has been an extremely busy week. Scheduling has picked up tremendously for this time of year and our walk/ride in business has really been up for this time of year. I guess people are planning ahead this year or it could be the slow period is already over which would be a couple weeks earlier than previous years which is good.

The only part that has started picking up is the new/custom cover work. We get asked all the time if we offer covers and yes we do. For the new guys checking us out we have a custom cover page There are several examples of custom covers we have done for past customers shown there.

The weather has been pretty crappy here in the south east the past few days but this past weekend was great. Mid to upper 70's and to me that is the perfect riding temperature. We rode out to the CBA Swap meet to see what was going on over there and check out the bikes entered into the bike show.

This week we have a pretty full schedule of seats to work on and have a couple ride in customers coming to see to us. If you want to schedule all you have to do is call us 866-550-SEAT(7328) we handle all the scheduling on a first come first serve type basis and we have already started scheduling seats for January and February of 2010 so there are some guys planning ahead which is good because after Thanksgiving the calls start pouring in and we have filled a entire week in one day before so planning ahead pays off if you have a dead line and don't want to wait till the last minute.

Our Holiday schedule will be as follows. We will be closed November 26-29 for Thanksgiving and we will be closed December 24-27 for Christmas. We will also be closed Jan 1-4 for the new year.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

November 5, 2009

We are pretty much settled into the shop now and after a few withdraws from being at the old shop it is starting to feel like home now. This marks our 3rd week here and I really think this is going to be much better for us business wise and be more efficient. What I really like is the extra room but I feel sure we will fill it up soon.

We would get some walk in traffic at the old shop but that has really picked up in the new location and while the address says East Main Street, it is actually 321 business and we do get a lot more traffic passing every day so that is a plus and is helping drive that aspect also.

Just like the past 5 years November is being our slowest month as far as scheduling goes. We are staying right at a week out on scheduling so we are keeping plenty of work rolling in we just aren't getting a back log which is nice to not have to kill yourself and it makes me wonder where are the people who at the end of February and March who want their seats done and back before Daytona are? Now is the time to get your seat done in a hurry but just like the previous years the procrastinators will wait to the last minute and we will be working 12-16 hours a day trying to accommodate their needs then...it's all part of the job I guess.

I have started working on the events for next year. I know we will be at the Hog Happening in Lincolnton NC again next year and feel confident we will make the trip for both the Spring and Fall Thunder Beach rallies. I have already started communicating with the same place we set up last year in Sturgis with hopes we can work out a deal where we will be in the same location for the next 5 years there. Of all the rallies I have been to, Sturgis is by far the best rally. There is so much going on, so many great roads to ride and things to see there. Daytona is a toss-up right now. The hotel rates are crazy high and to set up there is just outrageous. I feel sure we would do well but I honestly don't want to work 12-14 hours a day to just pay for the spot, if we can't make a profit then there isn't a reason to go in my opinion and if the weather is bad and turn out is low then you are talking about losing thousands of dollars and that just don't make sense to me. But with that being said I did find out about a place to stay that has brought my interest level back up about the rally and I am trying to find a location to setup but I am not that optimistic about it but I think I said the same thing about Sturgis last year and about a month before the rally I worked up a deal so I won't give up till the fat lady sings. We will probably hit some of the local events next year also. We had several people contact us about setting up at several weekend events but the timing wasn't there for us to make them but this year should be different. The mobile shop is all good to go now, where last year when we got back from Sturgis we were making some major changes to get ready for Thunder Beach, this year all we need is a date and we can be there unless already committed to another event.

That's going to wrap things up for this week so till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

October 22, 2009

We have made it into the new shop and are up and running. We remained operational at the old shop till Tuesday morning then the phone company moved the numbers over late in the morning and we started loading up the hauler. By the end of the day we had everything we needed in place and we spent all day Wednesday getting the shop ready to work out of. We had to move the air compressor and run all the air lines and I hooked up the last air line around 6:30 Wed night. I figured I would be pretty excited about working out of the new shop on Thursday and would wake up early but I guess I was so tired that I actually overslept but still made it in before 5.

Our first day fully operational went really smooth and we touched all bases doing almost every modification we offer including a new cover and a ride in. We don't have the new ride in section of the shop completed just yet but we can still do them like we did at the old shop which is what we did. I took some pictures of most of the shop and will have Ron post them so you guys can check it out.

Scheduling this week has been pretty lite and I think a lot of that has to do with some phone issues we were experiencing. All the phones are up and running now and we have our answering machine back on, it wouldn't work with the new phone system so it had to be installed in front of it so if we missed your call I apologize for that.

There is a thousand things still to get finished though. Our store front isn't ready yet because we can't get the display cases out of my buddy Larry's basement, still waiting on the elevator repair guy to get out there to fix that. So with no display cases we haven't finished the tile in the front, I learned my lesson the hard way at the old shop. You do not finish he floor till everything else is finished because moving stuff across it a hundred times will mess it up fast and I would like to keep it looking good for as long as I can. We need to build a room around the air compressor because it is inside the shop now and that thing is a little loud. I am finding to be almost like a motorcycle, as soon as you think you are done you find something else to change or needs changing so I am afraid this deal may turn into a ongoing thing like my bike has.

The good news though is we are getting a lot of traffic in already with the new location and its kind of funny when someone ask me why did you pick Maiden? I tell them we have been here for almost 6 years just outside of town. We aren't downtown though but I like to call it the new Uptown section of Maiden.

If you are in the area or just want to come check things out please feel free to stop by. We will be here working either on seats or on the shop.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

October 21, 2009

Congratulations to Mikie Gibson for Winning the Rat’s Hole bike show and coming in 3rd at the Boardwalk show at Biketoberfest in Daytona.

Also congratulations goes out to Stan the man up at Freedom Rider Cycles in Hickory for winning the Boardwalk show in the Sportster class.

Thanks to you both for choosing Mean City Cycles.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

October 15, 2009

This week's update is going to be short but sweet. We are getting really close to having the new shop ready to move into and we should be getting our Certificate of Occupancy today which is two days later than I was hoping to get it. The Inspector and Fire Marshall came out Tuesday and at first I thought we were good but they went back through a second time and wanted a few things changed which I took care of first thing yesterday and when I called them to get them back in the inspector said it would be 1 PM today before they could get back out so that threw a wrench into the moving plans.

Another set back at the new shop also took place this past Monday. The rear drive was paved which is the access to the ride in area and the front parking lot was looking somewhat rough so it was repaved also. We got a little rain on Monday and the parking lot is sloped towards the building with the low point being at the front doors and we had water running under the doors which flooded, well tried to flood the showroom which we ended up fighting the problem for several hours and finally came up with a solution to stop the water from coming in. The pavers are coming back to fix this the next time we have a sunny day. Actually we hit another speed bump Monday also. I bought a couple display cases from a buddy of mine who runs a music store in Hickory. He is downtown and in one of the older buildings. The display cases are in the basement of the store. All the doors are small and there is a exit from the basement to the alley behind the store which is the way we would have to get them out. Well, the openings are too small and we couldn't get them out so the display cases are still in his basement. He said he got them down there using the elevator but it is out of service and he can't get the repair guy out after several calls. Looks like when we get moved in the show room won't have much in it right off the bat but that part don't really have much to do with day to day operations but having it is going to be a big plus.

That's going to wrap up this week's update. Hopefully the next one will come from the new shop.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

October 7, 2009

This week has been one wild and crazy week. We have started getting the new shop ready for us to move into and while I knew it would be a lot of work I really didn't realize how much work it was going to be. I have been getting to the shop earlier than usual so I make sure everything here is taken care of then heading over to the new shop to ensure the work there is getting done and in the mean time trying to find some stuff for our store front. If all goes accordingly we should be in the new shop at the end of next week with our first day of business in it Oct 19th but with that being said I know there are a few wrenches going to be thrown in the way and will slow things down. I roughly figured how much it was going to cost to get into the shop and to no surprise everything seems to running three times as much as I had anticipated.

Since we returned from Thunder Beach the phones have been ringing off the hook with people scheduling. I certainly am not complaining at all so don't take it that way. The reason we are working on the move now is because usually October and November are our slowest two months out of the year and it made sense to do the move in that time frame so we would be ready for the increased orders in December but like I said I am not complaining and am really happy to see this month being as busy as it is.

One thing about the new shop I am really excited about is the store front we will have. It will give our ride in customers a good opportunity to try some of our different modifications and see some of our custom cover work in person. I have been asked if we were going to start selling parts and accessories and the answer is no. We only work on motorcycle seats and that's it. I don't want us to get distracted from what we do best. There is one other thing I am pretty excited about also and that will be our ride in service bay. Ride ins will pull their bike into the shop and will park their bike in a bike stand. This will allow the customer sit on his/her bike and sit in their actual riding position with feet on the pegs or floorboards like they are riding down the road. This will help us to see their riding position better and let the customer get a better feel of the seat as we modify it for them.

Once we get in the shop and have the bugs worked out of it I will start scheduling next years rallies. I do know we will be at the spring and Fall Thunder Beach rallies, Hog Happening in Lincolnton NC and Sturgis again. I am hoping to be able to get to Daytona for Bike week next year but from what I have seen so far that isn't looking good right now due to the high cost of setting up there. We would be there for almost two weeks and if you price a hotel room for two weeks you will understand but I am going to do my best and if we can get there and not have to work our butts off just to break even then we should make it.

That's going to wrap up this weeks what's new. In next week's I will try to have a few pictures of the new shop so you can see whats going on with it.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

September 28, 2009

We're back! Thunder Beach was a great rally and while the numbers are down from the spring rally there was still a large turnout for this event. The weather was almost perfect, plenty of sunshine but damn it was HOT!

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to see to us and have their seats worked on. We had a great turn out and actually started running out of supplies late Saturday and it was a good thing that was our last day of operations.

One thing I really like about this event is it is billed as the most biker friendly event in the world and I have to agree with them. They really make you feel welcomed in Panama City Beach while you are there. Everyone is just as freindly as they can be. This was my second trip down to PCB for one of their rallies and it just a nice place all the way around. White sand beaches, clear gulf waters and plenty of sunshine.

Brent and I both tried to stay on top of the emails coming while at Thunder Beach. I got a little behind but I am caught back up now. If you sent a email and didn't get a reply most likely your spam filter caught it or your email bounced, I had a few bounce on me so make sure you enter your email address correctly.

Thunder Beach was our last rally for this year. We may hit a few local small events but that will do it for the 2009 tour. I am currently working on getting events lined up for next year. Probably sometime in December we will update the events page with our 2010 tour dates and locations. There is a lot of work that goes into setting up and working these events are not cheap by any means. Our three largest cost to set up at a rally is the spot for your hauler which is usually our largest expense, the event organizers almost make it unprofitable for us to go and we take a big chance because if it rains everyday of the event then we are going to be in big trouble. Next would be lodging, the hotels as you know jack up their rates when they know we are coming to town or at least most do and then the third biggest cost is fuel. Just for the Sturgis rally our fuel cost was over $3000...OUCH! That really puts a lot of overhead on a trip but getting our name out there and letting people see us and see our work first hand usually seals the deal for them and they are a MCC customer.

Thats going to wrap up this weeks update. Thanks again to everyone who stopped by to see us at Thunder Beach, we had a great time meeting everyone and we look forward to seeing you guys again at the spring rally in 2010.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

September 18, 2009

Where does time go? There never seems to be enough time in a day for me to get all that needs to be done finished but I have a lot of people tell me they experience the same thing so I guess it's not just me.

The past two weeks have been wide open here at the shop. The scheduling has surged the past couple weeks also which is always a good thing to have coming in. If you are wanting to schedule we do all these by telephone and not through website so you will need to call us 866-550-SEAT(7328).

We head out Tuesday afternoon for Panama Beach Fl and the annual Thunder Beach Fall rally. We have been getting a lot of calls already from people going down wanting their seats done so it looks like we are going to be pretty busy. We don't schedule for the rallies, we operate on a first come first serve type basis and normally it takes between 1 to 1 1/2 hours per seat. We open up for business Thursday morning at 9 AM and should close around 8 PM or at least till the last seat is done for that day. The shop is going to be closed Wed-Sat of next week but we will be back in the shop Monday to return calls and get back to scheduling for ship in seats.

We have our new awning installed and this will be a big plus for us. It will allow us to utilize the entire length of the trailers side and give us more space. We felt a little cramped in Sturgis and this should fix that problem. The awning on the trailer we almost have the same amount of room as our first shop square foot wise.

Speaking of shops, after we get back from Thunder Beach I will re-direct my attention from the trailer to the new shop and trying to get it set up and ready to operate out of. I am really excited about us going to have a store front and all the extra room which I feel sure won't be enough after a month or two in it. I remember the first day I was in the current shop and it looked so big I thought there is no way I will outgrow this and after two additions here we need more room again.

That's going to do it for this week's update. If you are going to be in Panama City next week stop by and see us. We will be set up at Club La Vela.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

September 3, 2009

Big news for this week's update. I have been looking around for a larger building to move into and this past week I found two that really caught my eye, actually one of them I was looking into last year and it never panned out. Both are in really good locations with easy access from I-40, I-85 and Hwy 321. After visiting both locations and talking with the owners it looks like we will be moving in the next few months. The building will require a few changes on the inside so we can operate efficiently. One thing I am really excited about is we will have a store front at the new location where you can sit on the different seats with different modifications done to them which will be a big plus and we'll have a few seats set up with custom covers. Did I mention the building is 3 times bigger than what we have now? But I never thought we would out grow what we have now and 3 additions later we are going even bigger.

This past week must I would call aftermarket seat week because we worked on 2-3 aftermarket seats a day and it seemed like every call we got was about modding an aftermarket seat.

We will be closed Saturday Sept 5-7 for Labor Day. As usual I will be checking emails over the long weekend so if you have any questions just shoot me a email or you can call and leave a message on the machine and we'll call you on Tuesday.

That's going to wrap up this week. We hope you all have a safe holiday. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

August 26, 2009

Last week was a very busy week and this week has been the same. Sorry for no update last week, it was hard to find time to sit down and think about what is going on and put it into words.

From what we learned in Sturgis the trailer is getting a major overhaul getting it ready for Thunder Beach which has caused us to cancel the two events we had scheduled to do. This improvements will help us do our job better on location and give us a better set up to work out of. There is a lot of work to do before we head south and not much time to get it done but we will have it ready so if you are going to Panama City Beach be sure to stop by and see us, we will be set up at Club La Vela.

The scheduling last week picked up some from the previous weeks and this week seems like it going to be a heavier week scheduling also.

Last week we started getting the new 2010 Harley seats in for modifications, it amazes me how bad some of these seats are. But its not just the Harley seats all of the manufacturers continue to make seats that suck and that is why we are here.

One last thing that I thought was pretty cool. We try to keep track of how people learn about us and well over 90% is via word of mouth, the best advertising you can get. Brent asked a guy how he heard about us and he said he was riding through Wyoming and had stopped for a break. There were a few other bikers there heading home from Sturgis and he was talking to one of the guys and they got on motorcycle seats. He was telling the guy how bad his stock seat was and the guy told him, when you get home Google Mean City Cycles. He said they will fix you right up and for a lot less than a aftermarket seat. He did it and called us to set up a appointment....So whoever recommended the guy to Google us, Thank you and to all the other riders who do the same THANK YOU ALL!!!

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

August 12, 2009

I'm back. Sturgis ROCKS! If you have never been it is certainly a must do. The riding out there is amazing and the atmosphere is totally different from any rally I have ever been too. We didn't get to ride much but we did get to ride one day and enjoyed every minute of it but after that it was all work from there on till we packed up and made the 26 hour drive home.

I want to thank everyone who stopped by to see us and everyone who had their seats done by us. The first day we were open was somewhat slow but the next day we were wide open and it stayed like that the rest of the time. We met people from all over the world while we were there and saw some of the baddest bikes and met the nicest people. I know we are going back next year and hopefully be setup in the same location, we'll just have to wait and see.

A big thanks goes out to Kevin, Jeremy and Melissa from Impact Gel. They gave us great support bringing us supplies and keeping us up and running during our stay.

The thanks don't stop there though; there were a lot of people behind the scenes who made the Sturgis trip happen. My buddy Robbie went with me and helped get everything setup and keep everything running while we were there and having a buddy to sit around with and drink a few cold beers after a hard days work. Brent and Steve back at the shop to keep that end of the business running, without these guys the shop would have been shut down for two weeks and that certainly would not have been a good thing to have happen. My buddy Matt for helping getting the trailer wired up so we could run off two separate electrical circuits and making one hell of a glue stand set up. There are a lot more people to thank and I am sorry I didn't mention everyone but I would be here all night but you guys know who you are and your hard work and efforts are appreciated.

While I am on the thank you train I have to give a shout out to my buddy Ron at Carolina Cyber Solutions for all his hard work he puts in on the website. Almost everybody I talk to always compliments us on our website and Ron is the man behind the scences who keeps the site up and running and looking as good as it does.

Some things I learned in Sturgis is you need a hot babe in the booth and that is in the works a long with several other things to improve our setup and operation while working the future events. The next big event is Thunder Beach in Panama City Florida Sept 24-27 and we are going to be setup at Club La Vela so if your going be sure to stop by and see us.

That’s going to wrap up this weeks what’s new update. Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

August 5, 2009

Sturgis is wide open now and we hav e been putting in some real long days and have had great response from everybody who has had us work on their seats. The word of mouth advertising works here also. Guys will get their seat done then then next day their buddies are here lined up to get theirs done.

The HDForums has been well represented. We have been averaging 6 a day from people who have read about us on there.

We have 5 days left of the rally and honestly I am about beat. We are up at 6 and are open by 8 and usually finish the last seat around 9:30. No complaints though, it has been well worth the trip out here. Being in Sturgis is a very cool deal and I feel sure we will continue to make the trip out.

I want to thank Brent and Steve back at the shop for all their hard work. They are continueing daily operations there and are scheduling a lot of seats.

This will be my last report from Sturgis. The next few days we will be very busy and we have 1650 miles to drive home so til next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

July 31, 2009

Well after some serious driving we have arrived in Sturgis. We are setup and opened for business today and we actually got started before we were supposed to open because our first customer was here at 7:30.

Robbie and I will be here til August 9th while Brent and Steve hold the fort down back at the shop. There is already a lot of bikes here and they just keep pouring in. If your here and want to get your seat done come on over. We are set up right beside Sturgis Harley Davidson.

We had a real strong scheduling week this week and there isn't any signs of it slowing and we are still just under two weeks whichis really for this time of year.

That's going to wrap up this weeks update so tik next time, be safe and enjoy the ride.

July 26, 2009

This past week was a fast one with everything we had going on. Along with our usual work at the shop we were getting the trailer loaded up and ready for Sturgis. We had a real strong scheduling week again which is always good and what is really good is we have been able to keep our wait time down and are scheduling just under 2 weeks right now.

Robbie and I headed out early Saturday morning for Sturgis and arrived in Rapid City Sunday. Talk about a long ride, holy crap!. It took us 28 hours on the road and the last 4 hours in South Dakota was flat, straight and pretty boring honestly. It was pretty cool though driving through the Badlands and grass plains.

Brent and Steve is holding the fort down at the shop and if you have any questions I would recommend contacting them versus me. I will be working some long hours here in Sturgis 9AM to 10PM daily starting on the 31st and won't have much time to check my emails and but I will answer them as I have time to.

Thats going to do it for this week. I am pretty tired from the trip and we have busy day tomorrow getting everything set up and ready to start operations here.

Till next time be safe and enjoy the ride.

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