Posted by Adams Carroll (News Intern) on November 18th, 2009 at 8:05 am
Story and photos by BikePortland news intern Adams Carroll
Rick Shaputis, owner of SE Portland’s newest bike shop, Backpedal Cycleworks, knew it was crazy to open a bike store in the middle of a recession. He knew it was even crazier to open up his shop in winter, the traditional slow season for new bike sales. Still, when he found out about a vacancy in the SE Harold storefront which he now occupies, he couldn’t resist.
Shaputis founded Backpedal Cycleworks in his home several years ago, spending most of his time on repairs and vintage bike sales. Now, with his new location in the heart of the Mt. Scott neighborhood, he hopes to shift his focus to commuter bikes and strengthen his ties to the community.
In an interview on Monday, Shaputis said he’s expecting a shipment of 2010 transportation bikes from Canadian manufacturers Norco and Brodie to arrive soon. In the meantime, the three-week old shop is stocked with a line of practical ’09 hybrids and all of the accessories and services you would expect from a local bike shop.
Shaputis said he wants to connect with commuters from outer southeast, and that he sees his shop as a great resource for anybody who splits their commute between a bike and TriMet’s new MAX green line. He also plans to encourage bicycle commuting in his neighborhood with a series of maintenance and safety courses at the neighboring Mt. Scott Community Center in the spring.
Shaputis is a graduate of United Bicycle Institute with 8 years of experience repairing bikes. A Portland native, he said he has watched the city change over the years and thinks the market is ripe for a store catering to the needs of people who use their bikes for transportation. Shaputis hopes to soon have loaner bikes available for anybody who brings their ride in for repairs but needs a bike to get around. In addition to commuter bikes, Backpedal Cycleworks will stock entry-level road and cyclocross bikes.
In the coming weeks, work crews will install two staple racks for parking in front of the store, but Shaputis said he’d love to see a bicycle corral too. With other popular local establishments nearby like the Arleta Library Bakery Cafe, the Mt. Scott Community Center, and Space Monkey Coffee, a bike corral sounds like a good bet. Rumors of a new brew pub moving in around the corner further illustrate how this neighborhood is growing up, and it’s good to know that a new local bike shop will be a cornerstone of that growth.
Check out Backpedal Cycleworks’ website or give Rick a visit at 7126 SE Harold Street.