The Drover brothers like to bike. Thomas the elder prefers road biking, and James the younger is a demon on the mountain bike. In spring of 2020, the pandemic meant change - Thomas came back from University and James high school classes were curtailed. And they saw a whole lot of people were biking.
Thomas says, “Friends were coming to us to get their bikes fixed up and road-ready, and we were seeing posts on facebook looking for bike repair so we said - maybe we should do this. It didn’t take long to see the demand was for service and repair of mid-range bikes and we said yeah, yeah we can do this.”
It was early days of COVID-19, so FlatOut came up with a system for online booking, and contactless pick-up and delivery. They built the website, spread the word and we were in business.”
James is the mechanic and wizard in the back-end with the tools. Thomas manages the business, does the IT, drives for pick up and delivery, takes care of the marketing and community work.
Community is a big part of FlatOut. The biking community is strong and growing, and fat biking means business year round. FlatOut buys parts from local companies and has a great working relationship with local bike sellers. Their goal is to get the bikes on the road, and if it happens that the owner donates rather than repairs, FlatOut fixes and donates to newcomers.
Seeing more people biking is a feel-good benefit for the FlatOut boys. Thomas says, “If I’m out on delivery and see someone riding a bike we fixed, it’s such a good feeling. We were part of making that happen.”