Why do we exist?

Ok, so the title makes it sound like we’re going to get all existential here about the meaning of life and all. But we’ll save that for the book Morgan is working on. In the meantime, we’ve got a much simpler blog post in store for you….

We’ve got the store open at Cycle 9. Given all the long hours we’ve put in, its a good time to reflect on why we’re doing this. Basically, we were frustrated with the focus of the bicycle industry on racing and recreational products. It’s not that we don’t like recreational riding (we do, especially mountain biking!), its just that the products ideal for everyday commuting are not the same as the ones promoted by the industry for recreational riding. Recreational bikes are often purpose built – road bikes to be very light weight, and mountain bikes to have suspension, knobby tires, etc – none of which is good for commuting every day of the year, rain or shine. Most recreational road cyclists wouldn’t be caught dead with a chain guard or fenders on their bikes – those would just add ounces and slow the bike down by a fraction of a mile per hour. And racks? Forget it. That’s pounds. Why would someone add 1/2 pound to their bike, when they just paid $5k or more to shave a few ounces off their bike (and while they are at it, the hair off their legs, too!)?

Our focus is different. We promote racks to haul gear, fenders to keep the rider dry, and chain guards to keep clothes clean. Sure, they add pounds to the bike. But they also add practicality, so that you can ride to the grocery store – or ride when it is raining, or ride with your fancy work duds.

And we also promote electric assist bicycles for people who think it would encourage them to ride more often. The electric assist is not for everyone. Some people are happy waking up every day with the energy to pedal their bike up the hills, rain or shine, healthy or sick, whatever. But most of us real mortals have days we don’t feel like pedaling. Or we are carrying a big load of groceries on our

, and don’t feel like dragging it up a long hill in the 95 degree weather. Or we don’t want to get to work drenched in sweat. Electric bikes are great for those reasons and more. Our electric bikes encourage us to ride more often, instead of taking the car. And, since riding an electric bike is very energy efficient (they get the equivalent of over 500 miles per gallon), it is inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

As we look forward, we’re considering what other products we might want to introduce here that fit with our core mission. We

on this topic. We’re definitely interested in the recumbent bicycle scene, and also think trikes would be great for load hauling. Then there are the Bakfiets, which is the Dutch way to carry tons of stuff. We’re also enamored of simple, long lasting steel frames made by the likes of Soma and Surly, so we might be setting up a test ride or two in those. And, we love alternative handlebars – go into most bike shops, and you’d think the only types of bars made are either flat (mountain bikes) or drop bars (road bikes). But there is a world of other handlebar configurations out there, many of which are better suited for commuting. My (Morgan’s) personal favorite are the Nitto Albatross bars. But there are many other great ones.

Last but not least, we need to give a huge thanks to the two Gregs, our first official employees. Greg T is a young cycling enthusiast who has poured his energy into getting the shop open. And Greg F has brought a treasure trove of cycling industry knowledge to bear, which has been highly valuable. Most importantly, both clicked with our core mission from the start – both of them love cycling in all forms, but like us, want to see more of the practical everyday cycling gear promoted and sold to the general public. We don’t need to promote cycling for more Lance wannabes – we need to promote more people to get out of their cars and ride their bikes, walk, ride public transit, or whatever it takes to make our cities more peaceful, quiet, and clean, while reducing our dependency on foreign oil.

So, please come visit our shop – or

with your wishes for the type of cycling shop you’d like to see. We want to hear from you!

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