Everyone loves the feel of the wind in their face on a bike ride, but first you need a bike… enter the bike shop.
The bike shop is someplace I’ve enjoyed since I was a small boy. Many memories come to mind with the earliest being going to my local bike shop Dinuba Schwinn in the early 70’s to look at Stingrays with banana seats with my Dad before my birthday when I was almost 7. My first FresYes bike shop memory was a day trip to town with my father once again to look at bikes and this time it was a scouting trip looking for all the best parts to build a custom PK Ripper BMX bike and on that day we visited Stevens Bike Shop on the corner of Shields and Palm.
That was the first time I can remember the Old Stevens as its known today. Even at that time it was an old brick building, small and cramped with bikes and parts jammed into all corners of the store but in all of the mess there was a gold mine of freedom in the form of the bicycle.
Fast forward from 1979 to 2014 and Stevens Bike Shop is alive and well in both FresYes and Clovis and after 60 years in business they are going strong. What is new though is the NEW Stevens Bike Shop out on Fig Garden Loop. This past weekend marked the one year anniversary of the NEW Fig Loop shop and I thought it was a good time to catch up with Joshua Housssiere the shops manager to see just how the NW Fresno location has effected business.
What is nice to hear is that Josh says most of their customers were already from the Fig Garden area and traveling down to the old shop in the Fresno High area so many of them love the convenience of the new location. Josh also tells me many people think they moved from the old location because of the area which isn’t true. The reality is they have been in business for 60 years and are looking forward to another 50 and that just wasn’t possible with the building they were in so a change had to be made. For this cyclist it was a GREAT change. Not that I didn’t like the old shop but Stevens went from ‘the old shop in town’ to “the SHOP in town” with a simple move and upgrade facility.
Gone is the old shop with no A/C or public bathrooms which the employees and customers are equally happy about the new shop having not just both of those features but being an amazing retail space. What owner since 1990 Brent Kutzbach has created is a dream bike shop with everything anyone who loves getting on a bike and going outdoors could wish for. From a toddlers strider to a pro cyclist 10K dream machine its right there in the store ready to be somebodies new baby. Bikes, tubes, clothing……….whatever, They have it and you can get it with a smile and a thank you from a local owner, local employees and a welcome when you walk in much like that if you had a saved seat in the local pub.
Most of the time all I need is a tube or some bike related food but every time I go to the bike shop I get the same smile I did way back when. Every once and a while though there is that itch for a new toy and when I need to scratch said itch there is no better place than the bike shop, because face it bikes are cool and if you ride bikes you will be cool, RIGHT!