“A small bike shop with a big idea” was Robert Pate’s plan when he opened up Cyclin’ Nutz LLC. Located within walking distance of English Park, Pate offers a selection of bicycles to purchase or for rent, as well as on-site bicycle repairs.
With over 30 years in business, and years of working on his own bikes, he and his wife Sally found the perfect location to start up: “a lot of work was involved in getting set up, but the location is good. Next door you can rent stuff for kayaking or fishing; between us we have everything you would need for the park nearby. And when you are done, you can go right next door to Scoops and get some of the best ice cream in town.”
After living in the area for 15 years and being an avid cyclist for the last 10 years, “I would have to take my bike all the way to Lynchburg for work or repairs, and you don’t get it back right away. They are so busy, sometimes it takes a week or two to get your bike back.”
He decided it was worth it to “try to do something here to keep bikes local and help people in the immediate area.” The shop is not specifically geared toward professional cyclists, but it is “geared more towards families, the local population, and what people need and want. We want to show them that they can get better bikes and services locally for what they need.” Pate notes, “we get a lot of local business, and people coming from South Boston, Salem, and the surrounding area for repairs. We even have one person that drives down from New York to buy bikes from us.”
Not only does the shop have bicycles, but they have helmets and safety gear, too. Safety is a priority, and Pate makes sure the bike “is adjusted well for them where they will be comfortable; we don’t want someone to buy something too big or too small. We are big on safety.” With their proximity to the park, they also carry a small selection of items for walkers and runners.
It's a family-run business, with just Pate and his wife, but he stated, “I couldn’t do it without her.” He said when COVID-19 hit, “sales actually went up because everyone has been wanting to be able get outside, buying bikes or getting their bikes fixed, so we never reduced hours in the shop.” Pate mentioned they “had started having weekly bike rides, but with COVID, that’s been shut down. We may start that back up in the future.”
With so many local businesses struggling under the quarantine guidelines, Pate says, “We are just very grateful for how much the town has supported us. Our customers are awesome, and we feel very blessed they have supported us in the way that they have. Summer is our busy time, and we are here Monday through Saturday, 9:00 – 6:00.” You can also keep up with their new arrivals on their Facebook page “Cyclin’Nutz LLC.”
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