AUSTIN, TX (BRAIN)—Lance Armstrong’s new bike shop opened with fanfare on May 10 as hundreds of people flocked to downtown Austin to check out Mellow Johnny’s.
Customers lined up outside the door at 7 a.m. to get a peak at Armstrong’s newest business venture, said Craig Staley, general manager of Mellow Johnny’s.
The grand opening event included autograph signing sessions with mountain bike pioneer Gary Fisher, training guru Chris Carmichael, Michael Ward, a musician and author of kids cycling book “Mike and The Bike” and Armstrong himself, who packed the place with 250 signature-seekers just before the store closed.
Trek’s president John Burke was there, as well as Swobo managing director Sky Yaeger, Paul Mason with Solo cycle clothing, who flew in from New Zealand, and Sam Whittingham, founder of Naked Bicycle. Whittingham’s Naked Baba Ganoush won Best in Show at the North American Handmade Show in February and Armstrong purchased the award-winning bike, which now hangs in Mellow Johnny’s.
Despite the opening day craze, operations ran smoothly and sales were steady, Staley said.
“We did a ton of test rides and sold some bikes out of here. It was business as usual,” he said.
For more on Mellow Johnny’s, be sure to read the June 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer and Industry News.