Mar. 19—POTTSVILLE — A county native plans to open the city's first bike repair and sales shop in the city in seven years.
Allen Reinert intends to open Pottsville Cyclery at 122 Mahantongo St. in early April. He plans to offer repairs to all types of bikes, from mountain bikes to children's bikes, as well as selling bikes and items related to biking, including helmets, locks and parts, cycling jerseys and shoes.
He said the shop was in the works since he and his wife, April Reinert, moved to Pottsville last March and he was inspired to open the business to fill a need for those interested in bicycling in the county.
"I saw there really wasn't a cycling shop besides ones in Shoemakersville and Tamaqua," said Reinert, who grew up in Dieberts Valley and graduated from Schuylkill Haven Area High School in 2008.
"It seemed kind of crazy to me that the county seat, the biggest city in Schuylkill County, doesn't have its own bike shop," he said. "It felt like a great opportunity to create one."
Reinert, 31, is also no stranger to bike stores, having previously worked as a manager of Braking Cycles in Portland, Oregon.
In opening the shop in Pottsville, he hopes to bring the cycling community in the county together and "give them a hub."
"From what I gather, there's a lot of people who ride bikes but they don't all know each other," Reinert said. "A lot of people that ride bikes think they are the only ones that do and there is this larger group."
Eventually, he wants to have events and group rides that will start at the shop. Reinert also hopes to partner with Schuylkill River Greenways and is looking to "promote cycling in any way we can."
While Reinert will be the sole employee, he said he is interested in bringing on area high school students on summer break to help with repairs, which he did in Portland.
The store will be the first to sell bikes in the city since 2014. Pottsville Bike and Board was located two streets away at 125 W. Market St. from 2012 until the fall of 2014. The site is now home to Drasdis & Son, a men's clothing boutique that opened last December.
Dave Clews, president of the Pottsville Business Association, said having a specialty business decide to open in the city is beneficial.
"When they are here, that's as good as it gets," he said.
Having a business like a bike shop return to the city is also good because it gets foot traffic into Pottsville, Clews added.
While the business hasn't opened, Reinert said he has gotten many calls from people asking when it will, and passersby have stopped in when he has been at the store getting it ready to open. The business' logo, which is printed on its windows, was designed by his wife, who is a freelance graphic designer.
"I have people knocking on the door, saying hi," he said. "I get phone calls from people every day hoping to come in for repairs."
With the coronavirus pandemic still going on, Reinert said the store will only be open one day a week for repairs by appointment only. He said the large space, which is nearly 1,400 square feet, makes it easy to practice social distancing.
Reinert said the coronavirus pandemic was a mixed blessing for the bicycling world. Last year was the best year for sales of bikes as more people were outside, he said, but factory closures as a result of the pandemic meant there weren't enough to buy.
"My hope is that people who bought bikes last year will choose to come here for repairs," Reinert said. "I think it's going to do well once we open the doors."
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