Monday, November 10, 2008

Geneva, NY Has a Terrific Bicycle Store

When I attended Hobart College in Geneva, NY more than 25 years ago, the local bike shop was a sad joke -- old bikes amid sporting goods. The old owner even smoked in the store.

Then Jim Hogan bought the store 12 years ago and turned it all around, making the shop a Top 100 bike retailer. The Geneva Bicycle Center in the heart of downtown Geneva on Exchange Street is a full-service retail shop with nice hybrids and introductory bikes on the first floor and the cool boutiquey rigs up on the second floor.

Here's Jim.

The store is a big Trek dealer, but the shop also sells a variety of other brands such as Giant and Cervelo and the service is done out in the open -- which I think is a great feature of any decent retail bicycle shop.

Before I left Geneva today to return to Baltimore, I spent about 20 minutes chatting with Jim and learned his store leads local rides, works with Hobart and William Smith Colleges on its yellow bike program, is home to the Mussle Man triathlon and is a general advocate for bicycling in the Finger Lakes region.

The Finger Lakes is America's unknown gem for road cycling. In the summer, late spring and early fall, there's not a better place for long road rides along the lakes, between the lakes and off the lakes if you love steep hills. The long lake views are mesmerizing, the back roads are usually quiet and the weather is pretty decent in the summer.

David Luppino, co-owner of SWFBUD member store Suncoast Trailside Bicycles and former owner of Carrollwood Bicycle Emporium and Oliver's Cycle Sports, grew up in the southwest section of the Finger Lakes area and knows the beauty of this central New York state region.

If you need a week in the summer to escape Florida's oppressive weather and need a great place to road cycle, go to the Finger Lakes and stop by the Geneva Bicycle Center. I recommend the shop highly. Rent a place for a week and ride all day. You won't regret it and you might even fall in love with the Finger Lakes.

It's where I did my first long-distance bicycling.


GhostRider said...

Nice photo of the store owner...that's funny!

Anonymous said...

Did Ray's Bike Shop used to be in this building?