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A bike shop that makes house calls

Posted by on July 20th, 2009 at 4:38 pm

NoPo Mobile Bike Shop at Miss. St. Fair-3

Dennis Kelly, proprietor of the
North Portland Mobile Bike Shop.
(Photos © J. Maus)

There seems to be no shortage of bike shops in Portland. But, if you stare at a map of the metro area long enough, you’ll notice that there are still pockets of the city without a shop nearby. There are also some folks who need repairs and maintenance, but who don’t have the time to roll into a shop.

That’s where 58-year old Dennis Kelly and his North Portland Mobile Bike Shop comes in.

Kelly is yet another bike-centric entrepreneur who moved to Portland specifically to work in the bike business. Kelly tells us he got his start riding and working on bikes back in the “great bike boom” of the early 1970s, but it wasn’t until about three years that he decided he wanted work on bikes for a living.

Kelly (who lived in Port Townsend, Washington prior to moving to Portland) enrolled in a professional mechanic and shop operations course at United Bicycle Institute in Ashland (UBI, who will soon have a campus in North Portland) and started working on “as many bikes as possible.”

Kelly said he and his wife fell in love with Portland after several visits to see his daughter who goes to school here. “We had come to love the town and were blown away by the bike scene,” remembered Kelly, “It seemed like a perfect fit for us.”

NoPo Mobile Bike Shop at Miss. St. Fair-4

Dennis’ set up at the
Mississippi Ave. Street Fair.

Kelly moved to Portland about a year and a half ago and has been building up his repair business ever since. He’s a regular at community events, recently completing full day shifts in his booth at the Mississippi Ave. Street Fair and Sunday Parkways.

The idea for a mobile bike shop struck Kelly as, “something a little different for people who were too busy or are somewhat intimidated by bike shops.”

So far, his customers have mostly been families and people new to cycling, which Kelly says he finds “really satisfying,” and he’s working on a lot of older bikes, which he says he “loves to resurrect.”

Kelly tries to do as many jobs as possible by pulling his cargo trailer full of tools. His focus area is North and Northeast Portland, but he’ll go nearly anywhere in region by request.

Look for Kelly at community events in your neighborhood or visit NoPoMobileBikeShop.com for more information.

[Note: Also check out the other Portland-based mobile bike shop, Cycology Mobile Bike Repair.]

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4 Comments
  • Avatar
    Rick Pickett July 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I’ve been doing free bicycle repairs at local farmer’s markets to help people feel more confident riding their bicycles, to share maintenance tips and just to ensure that the bikes rolling around our town are in a safe state.

    My first setup can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/xtracycle/sets/72157616412720402/

    Go Kelly!

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    Roger July 21, 2009 at 11:03 am

    what about cycology? Another great service.

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    JP July 22, 2009 at 11:12 am

    Dennis is a great guy very knowledgeable. He diagnosed a brake problem I had that two other bike mechanics couldn’t figure out. Highly recommend his service!

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    Evan Ross July 22, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    great to see a story about Dennis. As a local bike event attendee I have had many great conversations with Kelly and fully support his project – and you should too. Another candidate for the Bicycle Business League?

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