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BikeWise Oxford’s spirits ride high through pandemic – Oxford Observer

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BikeWise Oxford’s spirits experience excessive by means of pandemic – Oxford Observer


Picture by Kayla Kamil

B.Ok., the BikeWise store cat, retains a watchful eye on the comings and goings on the store.

By Kayla Kamil

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 count on that flip to be down a bicycle path. 

Now, 18 years later, Hamilton owns and manages BikeWise Oxford, situated 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. 

Doug Hamilton returned to Oxford and took over the bike shop 18 years ago
Doug Hamilton took over the store 18 years in the past after returning to his Oxford roots following a decade as knowledgeable musician Picture by Kayla Kamil

Hamilton obtained his begin in bikes within the late ‘80s as an worker at The Bike Heart, initially owned by Marty Creech. When Hamilton returned to the realm within the early 2000s, Creech was prepared for a profession change of his personal, and offered the belongings and stock from the unique retailer to Hamilton and moved on to develop into an actual property agent. 

Assisted by the developments for biking within the Oxford space, together with the latest completion of the second section of the Oxford Space Path System, BikeWise has develop into a regional affect within the biking group. 

The store regularly has clients who journey for a number of hours to get their bicycles serviced at BikeWise. Hamilton and his employees have despatched wheels they’ve constructed to locations so far as Hawaii and Qatar. 

BikeWise additionally sells to all kinds of consumers — from kids and rookies seeking to discover their first set of wheels, to skilled riders out there for specialty bikes and gear. 

“The forms of bikes we promote are as assorted because the tradition,” Hamilton mentioned. 

The employees at BikeWise is licensed to work on specialty electrical bicycles. In offering pedal help by means of battery energy, these latest developments higher serve those that could not be capable to use standard bikes, particularly for prolonged intervals of time. 

The store additionally affords some applications solely for Miami College college students, together with free bike storage for those who don’t need the effort of shifting their bike residence for the summer time. 

In previous years, BikeWise has additionally run a rental program for college kids. Nonetheless, on account of COVID-19, pupil leases is not going to be accessible this fall. 

Whereas the pandemic has crushed the shop’s rental enterprise, it has truly 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 components, Hamilton mentioned. 

Hamilton’s “right-hand man,” Chris Goff, mentioned 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 needs to experience the subway. 

Chris Goff, an employee at BikeWise in Oxford
Chris Goff, and worker within the store, mentioned bicycle gross sales and repair are up dramatically all around the nation due to individuals on the lookout for methods to train exterior throughout the pandemic Picture by Kayla Kamil

“The whole business is at capability, small shops are at capability — we haven’t been caught up since March,” Hamilton mentioned.  

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 numerous new cyclists and folk who used to experience who wish to get exterior,” Hamilton mentioned. “I feel it’s a gorgeous factor.” 

Whereas the pandemic has actually 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 employees 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 whenever you stroll by means of the door is what makes us totally different,” Hamilton mentioned.


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