JON STABILE — THE BOULDER BIKESMITH
2432 Arapahoe Ave., 303-443-1132
“Necessity may well be called the mother of invention but calamity is the test of integrity.”
– 18th-century English writer and printer Samuel Richardson
Mostly hidden in the far southwest corner of the shopping center on the southwest corner of 28th and Arapahoe works a man who loves bicycles. His name is Jon Stabile and he is known as the “Boulder Bikesmith.” Jon officially became the Boulder Bikesmith when he purchased his business, which had been operating under the same name, from his former employer.
However, Stabile has earned the moniker by displaying his skill and commitment to building and repairing bicycles over the course of the past decade. Indeed, Jon was scheduled to receive the “Best Bike Mechanic” award when Boulder Weekly publisher Stewart Sallo brought his beloved mountain bike to the Bikesmith for some early season maintenance. It was at this point that calamity struck and the “Best Bike Mechanic” award — which Stabile will still receive — gave way to a more important award.
On the appointed date, Stabile faithfully and expertly performed the work that he and Sallo had agreed on — new drive train, new brake pads, and general tune-up — and wheeled the perfectly running bike to the front of the store for Sallo to pick up the following morning. But Stabile was awakened in the middle of the night by Boulder’s finest and informed that a rock had been thrown through the front glass of his shop. Upon arriving at the Bikesmith it appeared that nothing had been taken, but Stabile subsequently realized that Sallo’s bike was missing.
The following morning an unpleasant phone call was placed and an argument ensued that would last for two weeks, until the day when Sallo and Stabile worked together in the impeccably equipped workshop at the back of the shop building a totally sweet, brand new mountain bike. But it was not the kind of argument that one would expect in this epidemically no-fault world we find ourselves in. Rather, Stabile argued that he should take full responsibility for Sallo’s loss, while Sallo argued that it wasn’t Stabile’s fault that the theft occurred. “If I fail to take responsibility for this, then I am not the man I say I am,” Stabile asserted.
In the end, a compromise was reached that both men felt good about, a new mountain bike was ordered and built, Sallo hit the trail at Hall Ranch a few days later, and a friendship was strengthened. But something more important occurred here that should not be missed. When adversity inevitably presents itself, integrity is just as inevitably tested. The integrity Jon Stabile demonstrated in this story serves as an example of how the world can work for all of us if we simply take responsibility and do the right thing. And, of course, the opposite is also true, as we have all experienced far too many times.
So, alongside the “Best Bike Mechanic” award, Boulder Weekly is pleased to give Jon Stabile of the Boulder Bikesmith the First Annual Best of Boulder Business Integrity Award for showing the Boulder community that success in business and integrity can be good partners. Congratulations, Jon!