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Bike-shop veteran sets out on new Path

Published October 1, 2012

CLEARWATER, FL (BRAIN) — Gary Keener brings 30 years of industry experience to his new full-service store, The Path Bicycle & Ride Shop, set to open Monday in Clearwater, Florida.

While The Path is the first shop of his own, Keener has worked in bicycle retail since his early teens, starting out as a mechanic for Bike Barn in San Antonio and later managing other shops in Texas.

Seeing a glut of shops carrying the major U.S. brands in and around Clearwater, Keener selected Kona and Linus as his primary bike lines, along with Subrosa, Sunday and Eastern for BMX and Fairdale for urban commuter bikes.

“Kona and Linus have gone above and beyond for us. I didn’t want to carry any brands that are saturated in this area,” he said.

The 1,000-square-foot shop also will carry a selection of hybrids to serve customers riding the nearby Pinellas Trail. And The Path is working with local framebuilder BJ of BJ’s Bikes—“If he has a last name, nobody knows about it. He only goes by BJ,” Keener said—to sell handmade custom steel bicycles and restore vintage bicycles with contemporary touches.

To keep business going during the hot summer months along the Florida coast, The Path will also sell longboard skateboards for cruising the beach path as well as stand-up paddleboards. “That’s where the ‘ride’ in the name came from,” Keener said.

A grand opening is planned for Oct. 26, with free beer, wine and food while it lasts.

 

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