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New Portland Shop Serves Commuters

Published November 10, 2011

PORTLAND, OR (BRAIN)—If you’re hoping to make a lunchtime run to put your bike in for a derailleur adjustment or wheel truing, you might be out of luck at Green Garage Bicycle Repair. After all, owner Bill Fasano closes his new Portland shop from noon to 2 p.m. to hold a group ride.

However, if you’re a bike commuter suddenly in need of a tube or fresh tread at dark-thirty in the morning, Fasano’s your man. Located along a busy bike commuting line and near a MAX light rail stop, Green Garage opens weekdays at 6 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m., excepting the mid-day pedaling siesta.

“My idea is that people who are commuting in the morning, they can drop by and get what they need before getting on or off the train,” said Fasano, who worked at Portland’s Bike n’ Hike for six years in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

He opened Green Garage in mid-October in 300 square feet inside a North Portland warehouse across from the Widmer Brothers Brewing. (Rob Widmer, co-founder of the brewer, is a bicycle commuter and recently dropped into the shop to welcome Fasano to the neighborhood.)

Fasano deals in repairs and the sale of “basic emergency items”—inexpensive tires, tubes and pedals—and has begun stocking up on such items as wheels, safety lights, reflective gear and fenders. He also plans to eventually sell used bikes, either consignments or ones he finds himself, with a focus on what he calls “bikes of significant interest,” such as classic road bikes. Additionally, the shop will start hosting indoor trainer sessions Jan. 1.

Ideally, Fasano would like to expand into a combination shop/bar/restaurant, but he admits he would face stiff competition from Widmer’s brewpub and other nearby watering holes and eateries. “That’s kind of one my dreams, but at this point I would have to spend a lot of money,” he said. “It would have to be a pretty big deal to go head to head with my neighbors.”

In the meantime, Fasano is focused on providing his customers next-day or, if they bring in their bike early in the morning, same-day service on repairs. The fact that distributor Cyclone Bicycle Supply is just across the Willamette River from Green Garage makes it easy for Fasano to get, on short notice, most any part he needs. The company delivers by cargo bike three days a week, but Fasano can also make the 15-minute pedal to Cyclone if he needs to turn around a service order in a hurry.

“I can almost see their building across the river,” he said.

—Toby Hill

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