Support Your Local Bike Shop
Robbie Wood works with his hands a lot. His trade skills, fixing bikes of all shapes, sizes, and models is a unique one in Church Hill because his is the only bike shop that serves the area. Currently a manager of Cyclus Bike Shop, Robbie reached out to let us know about a new move. The shop he’s been at for the past 10+ years will have a new home, a new name, and our neighborhood needs to know.
Robbie will be opening Wheel Simple Bicycle Repair after signing a 3-year lease on 707 Mosby St starting January 2020. While the move is an exciting adventure, there will be some changes. The space at Mosby is much smaller than the current one so he will be focusing on “adopting a repair and wheel building focused model” and have less stock for used and new bikes for sale.
We came into Cyclus last week after hearing of his GoFundMe Page and his eminent move to Mosby. What was going to be a short meet and greet turned out to be way more interesting than we thought. In a period of 30 minutes, Robbie handled 3 different customers:
- One VCU professional brought in his bike missing the rear wheel. Apparently, he was on vacation and someone stole it. He seemed resigned and exasperated. Robbie quickly made him feel better with a solution. He would fix his bike in two days.
- Then, three older folks came in looking for inner tubes to restore their bikes. They didn’t know exactly what they needed, and Robbie decided to guide them to what they needed for the repair. The price: 6 bucks.
- Finally, a third customer brought a worn, loved and well used bike. Without saying much, Robbie and the customer knew exactly what the bike needed. He would repair the bike in two days.
I share these stories because it’s important that you’re aware that Robbie Wood is a one-man shop. He has no employees; he spends the day fixing bikes and helping customers and being a small business owner all by himself. His growth as a businessman ties directly with how much he can get done with his two hands. He takes no real lunch breaks; but the neighbors love the guy, and they show him so by bringing him sandwiches and snacks for lunch. He works because he loves his job, loves supporting the community, and because he wants to be there for his family and support them however he can.
Supporting Robbie is an investment in our community. One that continues to change and moves more towards bicycles as a means of not only fun, but essential transportation. It’s also one of the only options in the neighborhood for people that use their bikes as their sole source of transportation to get help, repairs, parts, etc.
If the GoFundMe page confuses you, please listen. Some might make the argument that you shouldn’t need a GoFundMe if you already have a successful business. However, the error in that thinking is that the business is Robbie’s. He has been the manager and ran Cyclus for some time but he’s not the owner of it. This new shop will be all his, with a new name, a new location. The old Cyclus bicycle shop he managed will be closing.
He writes in his GoFundMe page:
This is a big step for me! After leaving college in order to be much closer to (grandmother) Iris and my brother who are planted firmly in Richmond, I had to fall back on a passion of mine (bikes). It was a hard and painful decision with years of fallout, but here I am now; much better poised to fulfill my personal goals without abandoning my family. A neighborhood needs its own local bike shop and it is our duty to help support a local business that has good intentions for all customers who come into the establishment.