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Bike Shop Day seeks to bring communities together through cycling

Published November 26, 2019
So far, 67 retailers in 26 states — and one in Nigeria — have pledged to join.

CHICAGO (BRAIN) — With a smaller staff and a colder start to the winter — both in terms of temperature and sales — Cosmic Bikes wanted to simplify its Bike Shop Day festivities this year.

And that singular focus for the day, which is Dec. 7, will benefit Lydia Home Association.

"We wanted it to be more about the community coming together for donations for kids who might be overlooked in the holiday season," said Justyna Frank, co-owner of Cosmic Bikes.

Lydia Home, a nonprofit foster care group in Chicago since 1916, will receive Cosmic Bikes' donations from the community. The retailer sells cargo bikes, and one of the larger ones will be decorated in the store for the holidays. It's where winter clothing, toys and books will be held before being brought to Lydia Home.

"I thought it would be neat to dress it up as the Santa bike and see how many gifts we can get in that box," she said.

It's that kind of caring spirit that Joe Nocella had in mind when he started Bike Shop Day three years ago. So far, 67 retailers in 26 states — and one in Nigeria — have pledged to join Nocella this year to demonstrate how their shops bring the joy of cycling to their communities. Nocella said he expects the number of retailers to increase to 150-200 by the day.

"It's a nice way to do things with the shops, to connect with each other," Nocella said. "I think it's great. It's after Black Friday, it's in the gift season, and it's just way to raise your hand and say we're really important here. This is the value we bring to your cycling experience."

One change for this year is not limiting participants to brick-and-mortar retailers. "There are so many non-traditional bike shops that can bring joy to the community," Nocella said.

Nocella, owner of 718 Cyclery in Brooklyn, New York, will have a day of workshops and group rides. Other retailers will have sales, clinics, trade-in programs and other promotions.

Of note:

  • The Bicycle Cellar in Tempe, Arizona, is hosting a repair workshop to benefit its numerous commuters who rely on their bikes daily.
  • Big Shark Bicycle Co. in St. Louis will appeal to your taste buds, hosting a holiday open house and "wafflefest" all day.
  • Bloomington Cycle & Fitness in Minnesota will host a group ride but beforehand will have a winter riding clinic covering how to dress for the weather and maintain your bike in winter conditions.
  • Vermont Bicycle Shop in Barre will have a Snow Day event, with fat bike demos and sledding while providing coffee and hot chocolate and a fire pit. It also will have kids' helmet giveaways.

Bike Shop Day "is not about our shop leading the charge," Nocella said. "We're all involved. We toned it down this year. We just wanted shops to think about what brings them joy as they deal with the community."

Bike Shop Day on Dec. 7 is a way for retailers to embrace the community.

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