CROWN HEIGHTS — They may be newcomers to Nostrand Avenue, but these cyclists' Brooklyn roots run deep.
Former Bed-Stuy bike shop Bicycle Roots will celebrate its grand opening on Nostrand Avenue next Saturday, June 22, but fans of the two-wheel retailer have been getting their fixies (or folding bikes, for that matter) during the store's soft opening.
"Crown Heights needed a bike shop — there’s one on Franklin, but it’s a completely different neighborhood," said co-owner Nechama Levy of her decision to relocate to Nostrand Avenue from Fulton Street this spring. "The neighborhood was ready, the rent was fair, the store was in good condition."
Part of what drew Levy to the avenue was its role as an intersection for Brooklyn cyclists.
"There’s a very long tradition of bike riding in this area," Levy said. "It’s very close to the park, it’s very much in the middle of thoroughfares, streets that provide cyclists with very direct access to a lot of different neighborhoods, so it’s kind of at a crossroads."
The store, too, acts as something of a crossroads for the borough's diversity of bike riders.
"We stock a lot of different bikes, but we try to present the bikes that are most appropriate to people coming into the store. If someone is overwhelmed by a lot of technology, we’ll try to show them a bike that’s a little bit simpler. If they’re not intimidated, we’ll show them something that is a little more high performance," Levy said.
"For every person who’s just getting a new bike, we do our best to connect them with the deep wealth of resources that’s out there already."
In addition to its array of two-wheeled transport, the store also carries a wide variety of bike accessories — among them a better way to schlep your summer fun, be it a beach bag, a picnic basket or a six-pack of PBR.
"You don’t want to be sweating with a lot of weight on your back or your shoulders if you could just be carrying it on your bike," Levy said.
"It could be a front basket or a rear basket or a nice messenger bag or a good ergonomic cycling specific backpack, but thinking about what you’re going to carry on your bike is something a lot of people could do to improve their cycling experience."