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Gear up at Revolution Cycles in Greensboro

by Rich Lewis

If you were lucky once upon a time in your life, you had a bicycle and the incredible freedom it represented. You rode to get to places, you rode just to get out, sometimes over asphalt, sometimes over gravel, sometimes over dirt trails and at least once over a makeshift ramp and the neighbor’s kid.

If you had a bike, you were never bored and rarely stayed in one place. Then life happened and the old bike went to the basement or the garage or to the yard sale.

If you’re looking back on that with a bit more than nostalgia, then you need to head over to see Watts Dixon at Revolution Cycles on Spring Garden Street in Greensboro. He can help you pick up right where you left off.

“Back when we first started,” Dixon said, “we were just scraping by, having a hard time of it and I was about ready to give in. I didn’t know how we were going to keep going and then I got a call from another bicycle shop here in town and they were going to close.”

Dixon explained that the news was tough because all of the shop owners and workers made a pretty close community, but it changed how he was looking at the business. It also gave his own shop just enough breathing room to spot an opening and make a move.

“My perspective of what it meant to be a small business owner changed,” Dixon said. “We didn’t have any debt at the time, just cash flow issues and I realized that our take on what we were doing had gotten a bit skewed.”

“At that time, the town was super saturated with bicycle shops,” he continued, “and we didn’t have a clear vision, we just wanted to be a bike shop for everyone. Then we realized that if we’re going to keep struggling with this business, we were going to have to do it on our own terms and sell what we liked and rode.”

“We started doing that and people flocked to us,” he continued. “We just sat down and looked at what we had been doing best with and realized that we were really good at selling boutique mountain bikes.”

From there it flowed into not just highend mountain bikes and cyclocross, but also the whole lifestyle of bikes that could do more than just race down a well-maintained street. Gravel-grinders and trail racers, sidewalk cruisers and even bikes made for the snow are present in the shop, lining the walls and hanging on racks, alongside helmets and other gear.

The shop offers brands such as the classic Raleigh and Ritte lines, Salsa and Santa Cruz and even upstarts like Handsome Bicycle Co. and Surly, which produce heavy-duty workhorse bikes that can be a lot of fun for the expert and beginner alike, whether it be on streets, sand or snow.

Dixon said Revolution Cycles wasn’t about someone coming in and just buying a bike off of a rack and taking it home. He said he and the staff are there to help with recommendations and find just the right machine for what you want to accomplish. “All of our retail bikes here are demos, we want people to go out and really test them out, see how they fit and what they can do.”

He said that the shop charges a small demo fee for the use of the bike and the customer can take the one they choose out and ride it until they find what works best. Then they can come back, and an order is placed for a brand new, shinier version of the bicycle, with any customizations that might be needed. The demo fee is even credited toward purchase of the bike.

The shop also offers used and consignment sales of other bicycles and offers a first-rate onsite repair shop. Children’s bicycles are also available, and even a tandem bike or two could be had for the right folks.

Revolution Cycles is also a great place for cyclists to hang out, with a community of enthusiasts that visit regularly. Cold beer on tap doesn’t hurt, and they offer a selection of craft beers that rotates throughout the year. From the punk rock music to the laid back atmosphere to the painted back wall that reads “This machine kills boredom” Revolution Cycles is just the place to get back in touch with that part of yourself that did things, went places and pedaled away the days.

You might just owe it to yourself to head over to Revolution Cycles at 1907 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC. The shop is open Mon – Fri 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sat. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can reach them by calling (336) 852-3972 or check out their website at www.revolutioncyclesnc.com. !

RICH LEWIS is a father, husband, writer and cook who makes his home in Greensboro, NC.

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