electrical bike BikeWise Oxford’s spirits trip excessive via pandemic – Oxford Observer
September 25, 2020
When Doug Hamilton made the transfer again to Ohio after spending a decade as knowledgeable musician, he anticipated his profession path would take a flip.
He simply didn’t anticipate that flip to be down a bicycle path.
Now, 18 years later, Hamilton owns and manages BikeWise Oxford, positioned at 9 N. Beech St., a specialty store serving Oxford’s biking group with every thing from bike upkeep and repairs, gross sales and even customized wheel units.
Hamilton received his begin in bikes within the late ‘80s as an worker at The Bike Middle, initially owned by Marty Creech. When Hamilton returned to the world within the early 2000s, Creech was prepared for a profession change of his personal, and bought the property and stock from the unique retailer to Hamilton and moved on to turn out to be an actual property agent.
Assisted by the developments for biking within the Oxford space, together with the current completion of the second section of the Oxford Space Path System, BikeWise has turn out to be a regional affect within the biking group.
The store often has clients who journey for a number of hours to get their bicycles serviced at BikeWise. Hamilton and his workers have despatched wheels they’ve constructed to locations so far as Hawaii and Qatar.
BikeWise additionally sells to all kinds of shoppers — from youngsters and newbies trying to discover their first set of wheels, to knowledgeable riders out there for specialty bikes and tools.
“The sorts of bikes we promote are as various because the tradition,” Hamilton stated.
The workers at BikeWise is licensed to work on specialty electrical bicycles. In offering pedal help via battery energy, these current developments higher serve those that might not be capable of use standard bikes, particularly for prolonged intervals of time.
The store additionally affords some applications completely for Miami College college students, together with free bike storage for those who don’t need the effort of shifting their bike house for the summer season.
In previous years, BikeWise has additionally run a rental program for college kids. Nevertheless, because of COVID-19, scholar leases won’t be accessible this fall.
Whereas the pandemic has crushed the shop’s rental enterprise, it has really elevated BikeWise’s enterprise general. Bike shops throughout the nation have been inundated with clients on the lookout for new methods to get round, keep match and get exterior, resulting in a nationwide scarcity of bicycles and elements, Hamilton stated.
Hamilton’s “right-hand man,” Chris Goff, stated that in New York Metropolis, the place he’s initially from, bike gross sales are up over 800 p.c as a result of nobody desires to trip the subway.
“All the trade is at capability, small shops are at capability — we haven’t been caught up since March,” Hamilton stated.
Hamilton described the pandemic as each a increase and a problem for the store, which by no means closed, because it was deemed a vital enterprise by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
Along with its common gross sales and repair, BikeWise is now providing contactless pickup and supply to raised serve a rising variety of clients.
“We’ve seen a variety of new cyclists and folk who used to trip who need to get exterior,” Hamilton stated. “I feel it’s a ravishing factor.”
Whereas the pandemic has definitely elevated the demand for bikes, the tradition at BikeWise has stayed the identical.
BK, the store cat, nonetheless greets clients, and even from behind their masks, BikeWise workers members present recommendation and experience to native riders.
“Each bike store is meant to promote and repair bikes. The best way you’re going to be handled if you stroll via the door is what makes us totally different,” Hamilton stated.