Ben Madary of CycleWorks in Lake Jackson, Texas recently reached out to us, inquiring about our Cat Rainbow Butt Limited Edition M232s. We wanted to know more about his shop, and he happily answered some of our questions.
A lot of folks think it'd be cool to run their own shop one day. How’d you get into running a bike shop?
I learned to work on bikes as a kid. I worked at our local bike shop when I was 14-15 years old and learned how to work on bikes then. I always dreamt of owning a bike shop one day and my awesome wife helped me make it a reality.
How did she help you make it happen?
She worked full time as a nurse which allowed us to utilize her health insurance while I went back to school to get my business degree. She was the one who encouraged me to quit my full time job to do something I loved. I had gotten to a point in my previous career, where stress had me sick significantly more than I have ever been in my life. It had also led to me gaining about 20 pounds.
Our bike wheel lights are definitely not traditional. What makes your shop unique?
We try to do things a little differently, we focus heavily on our community and its needs. Our staff helped start a local weekly social ride that helps riders get into cycling in a non-threatening casual environment. We get anywhere between 10-40 riders weekly that do the social ride and they are always doing fun themed rides.
We also partner with a local college to get students who need transportation onto bikes that have been donated to our store. So far we’ve gotten around 20 bicycles into the program.
We have a 3x7 foot table on the sales floor where anyone is welcome to come in and hang out, eat their lunch, have a cup of our coffee or just read a book. Had a guy in today who hung out and worked on a college project.
Why do your customers buy Monkey Lights?
Many of our customers who buy monkey lights have seen them on a bike during the social rides and had to have them. We also sell them as a great safety item. During the short daylight hours of fall/winter, its a great way to be able to go riding at night and still be seen.
Tell us a bit about your shop’s community.
We have a vast array of people in our shop daily, from people who utilize their bikes as their only mode of transportation by choice, also by necessity, to avid road and triathlete riders, to families who just want to get out and ride their bikes together. We try to make everyone fall in love with cycling as adults like they did as kids. Our community has rallied around us since we opened almost 2.5 years ago and they continue to support us and we are incredibly thankful they choose to.
Thank you, Ben, for taking the time to answer some of our questions.
If you've got a story to share, we'd love to hear from you. Please get in touch!