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The Daily Rider: city specialist in D.C.

Published March 12, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C. (BRAIN) Mar 12 2012 11:41 AM MT—A boosted Bianchi gave rise to D.C.’s newest bike shop.

After bike commuter Beth Rogers’ beloved Milano disappeared from her shed, she began researching bikes not found around the nation’s capital. She discovered stylish brands like Pashley and Dutch bike makers Gazelle and Batavus.

On a trip to Los Angeles, Rogers and husband Loren Copsey found themselves at commuter shop Flying Pigeon LA paying for a Pashley Roadster Sovereign. They wondered: Why did we have to go all the way to L.A. to find a shop like this?

Fast-forward two years and co-owners Copsey—a lifelong cyclist who worked in bike shops as a teenager—and Rogers are putting the finishing touches on The Daily Rider, their commuter/city riding specialty store opening later this month in D.C.’s northeast quadrant, which currently lacks a bike shop.

In 2,000 square feet, The Daily Rider will stock around 35 bikes with a heavy focus on high-style European brands such as Bobbin, Biria and Gazelle. All price points will be represented, ranging from $300 models from Beater Bikes to $3,000-plus Spot Brand bikes with Gates Carbon Drive belt drivetrains. Copsey said he also hopes to stock cargo bikes from Denmark’s Larry vs. Harry.

To make the most of their space, Copsey said bikes will be mounted on the walls with holders from the U.K.’s Cycloc and also suspended from the ceiling. “What we really are going to be is a shop that doesn’t feel like a typical, traditional bike shop. We’re going to display things in a way that’s a little unconventional,” he said.

On the P&A side, The Daily Rider will have offerings from Brooks, Civia—Copsey said he also plans to get in bikes from the QBP-owned brand—and hand-tooled leather bags from Walnut Studiolo in Portland, Oregon, as well as helmets from Yakkay, Bern and Nutcase.

As he took a break from unloading his first delivery from QBP on Thursday, Copsey said that above all else, he and Rogers want the shop to be approachable for all walks of customers, including casual riders and, especially, women.

“The women’s market in D.C. is exploding. If you look on D.C. roads for commuters, about 35 percent of them are women. Shops in D.C. aren’t as receptive to that market. They do try, but there’s the traditional bike shop employee and the attitude that comes with it we’re trying to avoid,” Copsey said.

They’ve already seen firsthand the demand for women-specific commuter accessories such as skirt garters from Bird Industries. “When we were doing research for the shop, [Rogers] found this company and thought, ‘This is genius.’ When we brought it out at a neighborhood festival this fall, we sold through them. I couldn’t believe the response.”

And if any customers get out of line at the new shop, Copsey is trained to handle it. “I was a D.C. police officer for about 10 years,” he said. “I literally just handed in my badge and gun this week.”

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