A shop just over the west hills of Portland is set to close at the end of October.
Sunset Cycles (15320 NW Central Drive) owner and founder Roger Colwell announced his retirement in a customer newsletter on Labor Day. Colwell opened the store in 2003 and expanded into a second store in Beaverton in 2011 (he closed that store a year later).
In a message posted to the shop blog yesterday, Colwell said owning the shop has been one of the most rewarding experiences of his life but now he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family and exploring Oregon’s backroads in his bike. “Ill miss the day-to-day interactions with customers who come in the store,” he wrote. “Seeing the look in the eyes of a new cyclist who rides off with a new bike is genuinely priceless.”
Update 8/12: The bike shop in question has shared a brief statement about their response. See below.
Here’s a brief online exchange from Saturday afternoon that shows what it looks like when people come together to marginalize a sexist comment from a bike shop employee.
There’s only one constant in Portland’s bike shop ecosystem: change.
With about 70 or so bike retail shops in the city boundary, hundreds of employees constantly switching between them, and an ever-changing market of bicycle riders, we need a full-time business editor on staff here at BikePortland just to keep up.
In the meantime, I’ve cobbled together several weeks of notes and emails to bring you the latest local bike shop news…
Bike ‘N Hike closes Portland store
One of Portland’s largest shops, Bike ‘N Hike, is closing. The 7,500 square foot store at SE Grand and Oak is having a big inventory closeout sale through the end of this month, then Portland will be without a Bike ‘N Hike location for the first time in over a decade. Owner Kevin Chudy will still operate his five other locations throughout the state (in Albany, Corvallis, Beaverton, Milwaukie, and Hillsboro). (more…)
dreams of Gladys Bikes in this screenshot
from the “2 Bike Shops in Love” promotional video.
Two north Portland bike shops just three miles away from each other have opted for an embrace rather than competition. Gladys Bikes (3808 N Williams Ave #132) and Kenton Cycle Repair (2020 N McClellan St) have launched “Two Bike Shops in Love”, a novel marketing campaign that actually encourages customers to shop at another store.
During the week-long promotion, which runs January 18th through the 25th, when someone buys a product or service from one shop, they’ll get a coupon for 10% off at the other one.
Why would two bike shops owners — especially ones that are relatively close to each other and cater to similar types of customers — encourage people to shop at a store other than their own?
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)
On August 8th of last year, Marilyn Hayward was riding her bike westbound on North Adair Street in Cornelius (a small town about 20 miles west of downtown Portland). As she approached the intersection of 10th Avenue, she was involved in a collision with Garold Howe, who was driving his car (a Toyota Prius) southbound on 10th. Hayward hit the left front quarter-panel of Howe’s car, then according to the police report, “made one or two flips” before landing back on the road.
The impact broke Hayward’s collarbone and knocked her unconscious. She was rushed to the intensive care unit at Legacy Emanuel Hospital where she spent 30 days before being released. Hayward racked up $160,000 in medical bills. And to “add insult to injury” as she says, Howe’s insurance company sent her a bill for $4,600 to pay for the dent her body made in his car.
Hayward, who turns 65 in January, is the owner of Coventry Cycle Works, a recumbent and specialty bike dealer in southeast Portland. She bought that store in 2009 and then expanded with a second store in Beaverton back in February.
You’d think that a successful business owner who’s well known in the community could rebound from an unfortunate situation like this; but there’s more to this story than you’ve heard. Yes, friends and family raised $40,000 for Hayward in a fundraising campaign right after the collision, but it wasn’t nearly enough. (more…)
Cargo bike-focused shop Splendid Cycles has just announced they will move locations later this month in order to double in size and keep up with growing demand.
Splendid opened in May 2010 after co-owners Joel and Barb Grover (both former employees of Bike Gallery) were bitten by the cargo bike bug. The small (1,100 square foot) shop at SE 14th and Belmont differentiated itself by focusing solely on the bikes that can carry stuff. Since then, Splendid has become the destination for the popular “Bullitt” cargo bike (imported from Danish company Larry vs Harry). Much of their business comes from assembling and shipping complete bikes throughout the country.
Barb tells us they are now the largest Bullitt dealer in the United States (they handle both wholesale and retail sales of the brand) and one of the largest Xtracycle dealers as well. “California, Florida, Connecticut, and even Alaska are a few of the cities where we have customers,“ says Barb. (more…)
Remember Gladys Bikes? The small shop on N Williams Ave opened back in October with an aim to cater specifically to women. When we visited the shop one of the things that stuck out was that owner Leah Benson stocked a relatively huge selection of saddles. Now it turns out she’s even more serious about getting people the right-fitting saddle than we imagined.
Benson has unveiled a nifty program called the “Saddle Library” Here’s how it works (via the Gladys Bikes website):
- Step 1: Come into the shop and talk with our knowledgeable staff about your saddle needs and concerns. We’ll make recommendations about which saddle(s) might be a good match for you.
- Step 2: For $25 you get a Library Card, which gives you access to check out any of the saddles in our loaning library. For each saddle you check out you get one week try it out on your bike.
It was the sort of dramatic headline that launches a thousand tweets: “In almost every European country, bikes are outselling cars.”
It was true, and it caught our attention. But it skipped a pretty important detail: new bikes have been outselling new cars in the United States for most of the last 20 years, and probably longer.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)
A new bike company based in Detroit says they’ve cracked one of the toughest nuts in the bicycle industry: A full-fledged city bike made in the USA that retails for just $550. The “A-Type” from Detroit Bikes is made in the company’s 50,000 square foot factory and it’s about to invade Portland. With a free concert and launch party set for Saturday night, and a local dealer already set up to sell them, I figured it was time to give these bikes a closer look. (more…)