Portland Century - August 18th

Bike shop news roundup: New shop, new owners, and more break-ins

Posted by on January 2nd, 2019 at 1:23 pm

Tom Martin is the new ower of TomCat Bikes on SE Milwaukie in the Brooklyn neighborhood.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

They say the only constant is change; and that’s certainly true for Portland bike shops.

In 2018 we saw several high-profile closures with 21st Avenue Bicycles, Velo Cult and all three Performance Bicycle locations closing their doors.

But the news wasn’t all bad: A new shop opened on Mt. Hood and Golden Pliers, that opened in June on North Skidmore at Interstate, has quickly become a favorite of many.

We’re sure to see more evolution in the local bike shop scene this year. Before we get too behind on this beat, I wanted to share a few news updates that have been accumulating in my notebook…

Tuite Bicycle Repair changes hands
Tommy Tuite opened Tuite Bicycle Repair in September 2015 and he recently decided to move on. Tommy and his family have moved out of the north Portland neighborhood served by his small — but very awesome! — shop. Tommy earned many loyal customers for his professional and caring work. It’s sad to see him go. The good news is that he’s moved to the east Portland neighborhood of Gateway and tells us there’s a good chance he will fire up another small bike shop closer to his new home once he gets settled and finds the right location. The Gateway area can definitely use another great bike shop. Good luck Tommy!

The North Tabor neighborhood has a new bike shop!
(Photo: Mount Tabor Cyclery on Instagram)

But wait, there’s more good news! Tommy has handed over the keys to the shop to Rachel Cameron, a professional mechanic and experienced racer who plans to keep it going. Stay tuned for more once she gets all moved in

New shop on E Burnside and 55th 
Mount Tabor Cyclery opened late last fall in the corner space of the shopping center on the south side of East Burnside and 55th. Owner Winona Ruth lives in the neighborhood and has worked as a bike mechanic for over 10 years. The shop opens at 7:00 am on weekdays for those of who commute or just like to get things done on the early-side.

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WTF Bikes is now TomCat Bikes
Tom “TomCat” Martin has taken over the shop formerly known as WTF Bikes. WTF opened in 2009 and its owner Tom Daly sold to Martin last fall. Martin is a bike industry and bike shop veteran (formerly of The e-Bike Store), but this is his first time running his own shop. During a visit in November, he told me the plan is to focus on service, entry-level commuter bikes, and rental for big events like Pedalpalooza and the Portland Winter Light Festival. Martin is also a Burning Man veteran, so if you need a “Playa bike,” TomCat is the place to go. Check out TomCatBikes.com.

Multiple break-ins at Gladys Bikes
Gladys owner Leah Benson had a roller-coaster end to 2018. After celebrating five years in business and re-upping her NE Alberta Street lease for another five, she was hit by thieves twice in one week. As she reported on Twitter, someone stole an e-bike off the showroom floor on Christmas Eve. Then they (or someone else?) returned two nights later and broke in through one of the shop’s main front windows. Fortunately they didn’t get any bikes on the second try, but it’s a big hit for a small shop during the slowest time of the season.

Neighborhood shops are a vital part of our local cycling ecosystem. Support yours today!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

17 Comments
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    Rachel Cameron January 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Yuuuuus to more women owned shops. Booo to Glady’s break in.

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      Kimberlee January 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm

      Congratulations, Rachel! Excited for you!

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      Toby Keith January 2, 2019 at 3:56 pm

      Unfortunately recent changes in city council will insure even less response from PPB in regards to break-ins like this. Enjoy!

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        Craig January 3, 2019 at 8:33 pm

        why would you say “enjoy!” How does that snark get us anywhere moving forward toward positive change, which we so desperately need?

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          Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 4, 2019 at 8:40 am

          I agree with Craig. Let’s try and keep the comments here productive and supportive. Snark is not appreciated (unless it’s truly funny and well-timed.)

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            Matthew January 5, 2019 at 7:22 am

            Here’s the thing though Jonathan; snark is a natural reaction to the excesses of far to many of your commenters here. Snark is appropriate when, for instance, someone insists that “intersectionality” is a valid approach to community policing, especially when, if you protest that it’s not, you are then called a racist, white supremacist, etc.

            Some of these folks here aim to shut down conversation, not expand it. Snark is a perfectly reasonable response to this, and signals to others who have experienced this sort of absurd behavior that you are sick and tired of it.

            https://www.citylab.com/equity/2018/07/is-bike-infrastructure-enough/565271/

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          Johnny Bye Carter January 4, 2019 at 3:44 pm

          Sarcasm helps us cope, which we also need when aimed at those who are not protecting us as much as they should.

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            Toby Keith January 4, 2019 at 5:42 pm

            Johnny, thanks. Yes that was my point sorry message forums don’t always translate well.

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    jeff January 2, 2019 at 4:26 pm

    if anyone is looking for a new stolen bike, theres a HUGE chop shop on SE Caruthers, right along…wait for it….the bike path/MUT along the orange line. 2-4 guys working pretty hard to dismantle your bikes and stash them under a huge silver tarp…

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      MantraPDX January 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm

      That one has been bugging me too. Considered turning in some video I have of them pushing some high dollar bikes around. Does anyone with experience know if the PD will even care if I do send it in?

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      • Rivelo
        Rivelo January 3, 2019 at 11:38 am

        We can see the above-mentioned SE Caruthers chop shop from our front door. When I arrived at work this morning, the silver tarp was down. Now, several trucks are on the scene, presumably hauling everything away.

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          MantraPDX January 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

          Yes!!

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      Johnny Bye Carter January 4, 2019 at 3:36 pm

      Also a chop shop on the I-205 path on the north side of Powell. Tons of bike parts, some of them looked nice.

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    Gregg January 2, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    I’ve known Tom (Or TomCat Bikes) from bike projects in the very early 2000s. Great guy. Great business to support!

    And I’m hurt that Glady’s bikes got burglarized. One of the best bike shops ANYWHERE!

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    TomCat Bikes January 4, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Thanks Jonathan! It’s been a long windy singletrack to get here: shop rat youth, bike industry mover and shaker adulting, then ‘retirement’ and student to this chapter. I could not have done it without family, friends, and communities along the way. Thank you all.

    Also, boo on the recent break-ins.

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    Johnny Bye Carter January 4, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    I’ve heard that Meticon Bikes on SE Foster Rd is also returning with a new name and management.

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      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) January 4, 2019 at 3:57 pm

      Yes! I’ve heard that too but haven’t been able to connect or confirm the new owner yet. And I forgot to mention in this post that Metropolis Bikes on N Williams Ave (at Page) is also under new ownership. Bradley Parker has taken over and has changed the shop quite a bit in the past few months since purchasing it from former owner Nathan Roll. Stay tuned for more about that shop and others once I get the chance to visit them.

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