Mellow Johnny’s Bike Shop announced in a social media post last week that they would “no longer purchase, re-sell, and service police-issue bikes and accessories…”.
The Austin bike shop, founded by Lance Armstrong, entered a $314,000 three-year contract with the Austin Police Department in 2019 in which they agreed to supply and repair bikes for the Austin Police Department.
This announcement cuts that contract short by two years.
“Businesses can no longer be non-participants in the communities they serve,” the business wrote in their Facebook announcement.
“We chose what we think will do the most to suture these divides and pace our community on the right side of history.”
The post went on to clarify, “We are not anti-police. We do believe our local police force will protect us from the very threats we are receiving right now.”
Mellow Johnny’s was not the first in the bike world to make a statement about recent nationwide events in race relations and policing.
Back in June, Fuji stopped selling bikes to police departments in North America, citing the use of “violent tactics”:
“In the last week, we have seen our bicycles used in violent tactics that we did not intend or design them to be used for,” they explained.
Trek issued a similar statement after videos of police officers using their bikes to control crowds began to be posted to social media, lamenting that the “past two weeks has turned the view of police on bikes from a community asset to a liability.”
In Mellow Johnny’s announcement, they accepted that this decision could result in lost sales, but they referred back to their 2018 decision to cut ties with Vista Outdoors for its associations with the National Rifle Association:
“We lost sales due to this choice….We will live with the choices our customers make if they want to buy bikes and bike products somewhere else.”