The Bike Shops that Kept Back Roads Rolling

Keeping over 1900 bikes rolling along tens of thousands of cumulative miles is no small task. Five bike shops volunteered and provided valuable services at the different rest stops along the way: Mt. Airy and College Park Bicycles, District Cycle Works, Eastern Panhandle Biking, Spokes Bicycles, and Element Sports. We treasure their expertise, talent, and devotion to their craft and caring for the riders and are grateful to have had the chance to partner with them. We tip our helmets to them — their tireless work helped to make Back Roads a success!

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Mt. Airy and College Park Bicycle Shops — Thank you Larry Black and staff for taking care of riders at both Shepherd University and Jefferson Fairgrounds.

“Mt Airy and College Park Bicycle shops have helped organize, support, and lead rides and special events for Potomac Pedalers going on 40 years. As for their service, parts, and bikes? Those that know agree, these bike shops are like no others.” — Larry Black

Discount for Potomac Pedalers: 5% off bikes; 10% off equipment and clothing.

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Eastern Panhandle Bicycling Company — Thank you Shannon Webber and Staff for working SAG and a rest stop.

Eastern Panhandle is on the east side of Martinsburg, WV, about 8 miles west of Shepherdstown. They focus on the family that rides, from kids bikes to comfort bikes and hybrids to entry and pro level mountain and road bikes. Eastern Panhandle is a pro level service center with only experienced and certified technicians working on your bike. They offer professional wheel building and setup and have a professional fitting studio with 2 certified fitting techs. Eastern Panhandle has been voted as one of Americas Best Bike Shops the past 3 years. (EP/BC also offers all the outdoor recreation products needed for the Eastern Panhandle, including the largest selection of Kayaks in the area, as well as hiking and camping footwear, apparel, and accessories.)

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Spotlight on District Cycle Works  —

by Rudi Riet

If you happened to look around at the Henry Arena rest stop at this year’s Back Roads Century, you may have seen a new face or two brandishing wrenches and dishing out coffee. This was the District Cycle Works crew out of Washington, DC, who joined the veteran BRC wrenches from Mt. Airy Bicycles and Spokes Etc.

Led by Matt Moore and supported by Mike Diamond and Fil Dinku, District Cycle Works was asked at the last minute to provide support for our monument ride. “We were happy to step in and help, and it was great to see so many excited cyclists and be able to help them with their mechanical issues,” says Matt. He and his crew also dished out advice if riders had questions or their bike wasn’t completely “dialed in,” often accompanied by a hot cup of excellent coffee from Vigilante Coffee Roasters in Hyattsville, MD.

Established in 2013, District Cycle Works specializes in top-notch bicycle service, bike fitting, and helping riders order the custom bicycle of their dreams. His is not your typical bike shop, in that he doesn’t stock a selection of off-the-shelf bicycles; rather, his philosophy is to either make the bike you have work as well as possible, or if you are ready to pursue a custom-framed addition to your fleet, he and his capable staff can help with fitting, ordering, component selection, and build.

During its relatively short existence, District Cycle Works has built up a large and diverse clientele who appreciate the attention to detail Matt and his fellow mechanics pay toward their trusty steeds. Upon pickup from the shop, bikes worked on at DCW often look showroom new, even if the bike is 5, 10, or even 20+ years old. The shop’s approachable, friendly personality and frank, honest, non-upsell approach to customer service also wins praise from the DC cycling community.

The main question is: will District Cycle Works be back in 2017? According to Matt, “we plan on it!”

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Spokes Bicycles — With five shops in Virginia, no doubt Potomac Pedalers are well familiar with Spokes Etc. But, what Pedalers probably don’t know is that we owe Spokes Etc. a HUGE thank you for stepping in to assist at the Back Roads Century. We needed one more shop to staff a rest stop and Spokes signed on when asked to just days before BRC. Not only did they staff the Yankauer Preserve rest stop the entire day — which saw every single rider — but they also had a mechanic on bike. Spokes is the place in Virginia whether you’re in the  market for a new bicycle or you’re looking for a friendly mechanic to take care of your existing collection of bikes. They offer outstanding customer service, expert advice, and comprehensive maintenance, and hope to see us again very soon. (Thanks also for hosting our Nov. 5 Maintenance Clinic — see page 9 for details.)

Discount for Potomac Pedalers: 5% off bikes and parts; 10% off equipment and clothing

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Element Sport — Thank you Josh Lewis and Element Sports of Winchester, Virginia for providing your services during the Back Roads Century! A former employee and avid cyclist, Josh took over Element Sports in August 2014 and has expanded the shop’s services and products. New brands and certified professional bike fitters on staff make Element Sports a great local shop that caters to many different types of cyclist. Now that the weather is turning cooler, don’t ride your trainer alone in your basement —bring your bike to Element Sports and use their trainers.  Josh encourages anyone in the area to stop in and say, “Hi!”

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