As many of you could guess, being a small business owner is tough. You fill inventory, you pay rent, you try as hard as you can to get people in your store. Watts Dixon, of Revolution Cycle, is doing a pretty good job at it. He’s created an identity for his bicycle shop cum bar that’s unlike any other place in the Triad. His presence is punk grown up; Dixon has a mischief-making persona that delights in the unexpected; he’s a tattooed dad that combines bikes and beers to a happy crowd of customers that have become a little bit like family. “You’ll find people in suits and in biking gear,” described Dixon. “People know each other- it’s family style.” Revolution Cycle has become a “happy place” for the adventure crowd, who gather every Friday after work for “Fuck Ron O’Clock”, a happy hour dedicated to a now-infamous Californian reviewer.
“It started as ‘Fuck This Shit O’Clock’,” Dixon told me one afternoon. The crowds were pretty standard; Dixon’s wife, son and dog were there, as were several customers looking at bike parts and sipping IPAs. “You could say we present ourselves in an off-kilter way.” Dixon is referring mostly to the store’s online presence. The shop’s Facebook page is littered with memes like the one that advertises a promotion by proclaiming, “Shit we have seriously had for three fucking years sale: We’re not saying you need it. We’re saying we need you to need it.” Some people would find this kind of candid diction hilarious. Others, like Ron, don’t quite see it that way.
Last fall, Dixon received a message on the store’s machine that had been left at about 3 a.m. “I was just on your website,” said the disembodied voice of disdain. “I can’t believe you would sink that low.” “He sounded fussy,” recalled Dixon. “So I called him back. He was unhappy with my potty mouth.” It turned out that the caller, Ron, had actually never been to the store itself, but was researching it online from his computer in California and was horrified by Dixon’s admittedly ribald web presence.
In response, Dixon promptly changed the name of the event to needle his agitator. In typical Revolution fashion, the calendar event description now reads: “Congratulations. You made it through the week. Maybe it kicked you in the groin. Maybe it high-fived you on the buttocks. Either way… now is the time to celebrate survival and thrival. Join us and a motley assortment of struggling humanity at ‘The Handlebar’ (yes…that’s what we call our bar) as we toast the movement of celestial bodies and the spinning of wheels. What are we imbibing? Depends on what you need. Seven different beers on draft will mean choice is finally yours and yours alone. Who’s Ron? Oh, Ron’s just some guy who took great umbrage with the old name of this event, which was FUCK THIS SHIT OCLOCK. Enough so that he called us all the way from California to swear he’d never set foot in the shop. We appreciate that, Ron. Please don’t. Because we will cut you. The rest of you? Awww…. we can’t wait to see you.”