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Bike Shops

Facing financial calamity after fateful collision, Marilyn Hayward forges ahead

Friday, December 13th, 2013
Coventry Cycle Works-3
Coventry Cycle Works owner Marilyn Hayward outside her shop on SE Hawthorne Blvd.
(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…)

As cargo bike business booms, Splendid Cycles will move to larger space

Monday, December 9th, 2013
Splendid Cycles opening party-13
Splendid Cycles needs more room.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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…)

Local bike shop offers library card for saddles

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013
Gladys Bikes bike shop-10
Saddle selection at Gladys Bikes.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

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.
  • (more…)

Why bikes outsell cars in the USA, too (and why it doesn’t matter)

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

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.


Detroit-made, low-priced city bike set for Portland debut

Friday, November 1st, 2013
A Type by Detroit Bikes-1
The “A-Type” from Detroit Bikes is made in Detroit and retails for $550.
(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…)

Two Portland bike shops close their doors for good

Friday, October 18th, 2013
Sign on an empty Cascade Cycling.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

By the end of this month, Portland’s long list of bike shops will be a little shorter. Cascade Cycling in north Portland has already closed its doors and the Bicycle Repair Collective in southeast plans to be closed by the end of this month. Both of these were relatively small, neighborhood shops that focused on commuter and utility bikes.

Cascade Cycling (122 N Killingsworth) was opened by Ben Bartlett in the summer of 2006. Ben, aged 57, lives in the neighborhood and wanted to sell bikes that he (and other folks in the over-50 set) would feel comfortable riding. The shop specialized in custom builds of sturdy commuter bikes from Norco, Pake, Soma, and other brands. (more…)

New shop on Williams Ave, ‘Gladys Bikes’, caters to women

Friday, October 4th, 2013
Gladys Bikes bike shop-11
Leah Benson, owner of Gladys Bikes.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland has a new bike shop. But before you react with, “Really? Another one!?”, keep in mind that unlike any other shop in Portland, Gladys Bikes (Facebook) at 3808 N Williams caters specifically to women.

The shop is the work of 30-year old north Portland resident Leah Benson. I stopped by yesterday to check out the space and learn more about her.

A native of Wisconsin, Benson moved to Portland five years ago. She previously worked for Oregon Tradeswomen, Inc., a non-profit that provides education and advocacy for women going into non-traditional employment (mostly building and construction trades). Benson has also been an active volunteer with the Community Cycling Center.

While she’s ridden her bike her entire life (“I grew up in the middle of nowhere, so I had to ride my bike if I wanted to do anything,” she said) and started biking to work in her early 20s, it wasn’t until she moved to Portland that biking became a larger part of her life. “This is such an easy city to become immersed in bicycles,” she said, “it became not just something I did to get from point A to point B, but so much an integral part of my life.”

Bike shop news roundup

Thursday, August 29th, 2013
ebike store sign
The eBike Store has moved.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I’ve got several bits of local bike shop news in my brain and my inbox, so I figured it’s a perfect time for another roundup…

Congressman Earl Blumenauer turns attention to bike shops today

Portland’s representative on Capitol Hill is in Portland today focusing on bike shops’ impact on the local economy. After a tour sampling a few shops, he plans to convene a ‘Bike Shop Roundtable’ at VeloCult. According to a Blumenauer aide, about 12-15 local bike shop owners will be there. “It’s meant to be a check-in with different bike shops and businesses around the city, a discussion of Portland’s budding cycling economy, and an opportunity for the businesses themselves to discuss issues, federal or otherwise, they might be facing,” said the aide. I plan to be there and will bring back a full story, so stay tuned! (more…)

Bike shop on Williams Ave is latest burglary victim

Friday, July 26th, 2013
metropolis cycle repair2
Metropolis lost several
thousand dollars in the theft.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Metropolis Cycle Repair (2249 N Williams Ave) was broken into last night, becoming just the latest in a long and steady stream of bike shop burglaries.

According to shop owner Nathan Roll, thieves took four bikes and “a few thousand dollars in tools and merchandise.” The Police have been at the store all morning to assess the damage and document the crime.

Roll has emailed all the other shops in town to keep an eye out for the merchandise and he’s hoping the larger community will help out too. He emailed us a list of the products that were stolen: (more…)

Bike Farm growing into new location

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Bike Farm volunteers have blank slate
at their new space.
(Photos: Bike Farm)

Bike Farm, the plucky all-volunteer collective that educates people about how to ride and work on their bikes, is set for a major move.

Their new location, 1810 NE 1st Avenue (map) will make them much more accessible to a larger portion of Portlanders and it will give more space than their current 760 square-foot shop on NE Wygant. The location, just off N Williams and north of Broadway, also places them in a burgeoning hub of bike organizations and businesses that includes the offices of Portland Design Works, the Community Cycling Center, and Planet X/Titus.

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