September 25, 2020
When Doug Hamilton made the transfer again to Ohio after spending a decade as an expert musician, he anticipated his profession path would take a flip.
He simply didn’t count on that flip to be down a bicycle path.
Now, 18 years later, Hamilton owns and manages BikeWise Oxford, situated at 9 N. Beech St., a specialty store serving Oxford’s biking neighborhood with every little thing from bike upkeep and repairs, gross sales and even customized wheel units.
Hamilton acquired his begin in bikes within the late ‘80s as an worker at The Bike Middle, initially owned by Marty Creech. When Hamilton returned to the realm within the early 2000s, Creech was prepared for a profession change of his personal, and bought the property and stock from the unique retailer to Hamilton and moved on to change into an actual property agent.
Assisted by the developments for biking within the Oxford space, together with the latest completion of the second section of the Oxford Space Path System, BikeWise has change into a regional affect within the biking neighborhood.
The store steadily has clients who journey for a number of hours to get their bicycles serviced at BikeWise. Hamilton and his workers have despatched wheels they’ve constructed to locations so far as Hawaii and Qatar.
BikeWise additionally sells to all kinds of shoppers — from kids and newbies trying to discover their first set of wheels, to knowledgeable riders available in the market for specialty bikes and tools.
“The sorts of bikes we promote are as assorted because the tradition,” Hamilton mentioned.
The workers at BikeWise is licensed to work on specialty electrical bicycles. In offering pedal help by way of battery energy, these latest developments higher serve those that could not be capable of use typical bikes, particularly for prolonged intervals of time.
The store additionally gives some applications completely for Miami College college students, together with free bike storage for those who don’t need the effort of shifting their bike house for the summer time.
In previous years, BikeWise has additionally run a rental program for college students. Nevertheless, on account of COVID-19, scholar leases won’t be out there this fall.
Whereas the pandemic has crushed the shop’s rental enterprise, it has truly elevated BikeWise’s enterprise total. Bike shops throughout the nation have been inundated with clients on the lookout for new methods to get round, keep match and get exterior, resulting in a nationwide scarcity of bicycles and components, Hamilton mentioned.
Hamilton’s “right-hand man,” Chris Goff, mentioned that in New York Metropolis, the place he’s initially from, bike gross sales are up over 800 % as a result of nobody desires to trip the subway.
“The complete trade is at capability, small shops are at capability — we haven’t been caught up since March,” Hamilton mentioned.
Hamilton described the pandemic as each a increase and a problem for the store, which by no means closed, because it was deemed an important enterprise by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
Along with its common gross sales and repair, BikeWise is now providing contactless pickup and supply to raised serve a rising variety of clients.
“We’ve seen plenty of new cyclists and people who used to trip who wish to get exterior,” Hamilton mentioned. “I believe it’s a stupendous factor.”
Whereas the pandemic has actually elevated the demand for bikes, the tradition at BikeWise has stayed the identical.
BK, the store cat, nonetheless greets clients, and even from behind their masks, BikeWise workers members present recommendation and experience to native riders.
“Each bike store is meant to promote and repair bikes. The best way you’re going to be handled while you stroll by way of the door is what makes us totally different,” Hamilton mentioned.