BikeWise Oxford’s spirits ride high through pandemic – Oxford Observer
BikeWise Oxford’s spirits experience excessive by means of pandemic – Oxford Observer
September 25, 2020
When Doug Hamilton made the transfer again to Ohio after spending a decade as an expert musician, he anticipated his profession path would take a flip.
He simply didn’t count on that flip to be down a bicycle path.
Now, 18 years later, Hamilton owns and manages BikeWise Oxford, positioned at 9 N. Beech St., a specialty store serving Oxford’s biking neighborhood with every little thing from bike upkeep and repairs, gross sales and even customized wheel units.
Hamilton acquired his begin in bikes within the late ‘80s as an worker at The Bike Heart, initially owned by Marty Creech. When Hamilton returned to the realm within the early 2000s, Creech was prepared for a profession change of his personal, and offered the property and stock from the unique retailer to Hamilton and moved on to turn out to be an actual property agent.
Assisted by the developments for biking within the Oxford space, together with the latest completion of the second part of the Oxford Space Path System, BikeWise has turn out to be a regional affect within the biking neighborhood.
The store ceaselessly has prospects who journey for a number of hours to get their bicycles serviced at BikeWise. Hamilton and his workers have despatched wheels they’ve constructed to locations so far as Hawaii and Qatar.
BikeWise additionally sells to all kinds of shoppers — from kids and rookies trying to discover their first set of wheels, to knowledgeable riders out there for specialty bikes and gear.
“The kinds of bikes we promote are as assorted because the tradition,” Hamilton mentioned.
The workers at BikeWise is licensed to work on specialty electrical bicycles. In offering pedal help by means of battery energy, these latest developments higher serve those that might not have the ability to use typical bikes, particularly for prolonged durations of time.
The store additionally provides some packages completely for Miami College college students, together with free bike storage for people who don’t need the effort of transferring their bike residence for the summer time.
In previous years, BikeWise has additionally run a rental program for college students. Nonetheless, on account of COVID-19, scholar leases won’t be accessible this fall.
Whereas the pandemic has crushed the shop’s rental enterprise, it has truly elevated BikeWise’s enterprise general. Bike shops throughout the nation have been inundated with prospects on the lookout for new methods to get round, keep match and get exterior, resulting in a nationwide scarcity of bicycles and elements, Hamilton mentioned.
Hamilton’s “right-hand man,” Chris Goff, mentioned that in New York Metropolis, the place he’s initially from, bike gross sales are up over 800 % as a result of nobody desires to experience the subway.
“The complete business is at capability, small shops are at capability — we haven’t been caught up since March,” Hamilton mentioned.
Hamilton described the pandemic as each a growth and a problem for the store, which by no means closed, because it was deemed a vital enterprise by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
Along with its common gross sales and repair, BikeWise is now providing contactless pickup and supply to raised serve a rising variety of prospects.
“We’ve seen lots of new cyclists and people who used to experience who need to get exterior,” Hamilton mentioned. “I believe it’s a ravishing factor.”
Whereas the pandemic has definitely elevated the demand for bikes, the tradition at BikeWise has stayed the identical.
BK, the store cat, nonetheless greets prospects, and even from behind their masks, BikeWise workers members present recommendation and experience to native riders.
“Each bike store is meant to promote and repair bikes. The way in which you’re going to be handled whenever you stroll by means of the door is what makes us completely different,” Hamilton mentioned.