On my continuing quest of visiting every bike shop in West Virginia, I stopped in Elkins to see what Joey’s Bike Shop was all about.
After Arriving, Joey and I got to talking, and the interview enlightened me with this information:
Joey’s Bike Shop was started three years ago, and Joey and his wife are the sole proprietors and employees. Why’d he start the shop?
There was nothing else to do. Fat Tire Cycles: Elkins closed down; bikes have been my primary occupation, hobby, and passion for over ten years. I have been seriously involved with bikes since high school, so this seemed to be the natural course.
What events and programs are you involved with locally?
A couple actually; first, the Allegheny Highlands Trail Foundation. I’m a board member of this council, and secretary. I am also part of the Davis Health System which will be coming up in April. I am also sponsoring two rides with WVMBA; one in May, and another in August. I am also in the process of starting a twelve-person race team some time this year; keep an eye out for this one!
What kinds of bikes do you carry?
What kind of trends have you noticed that West Virginia follows along with rest of the nation?
WV doesn’t really follow that many trends at all; I mean MTBs are always a big thing, but that is about it. You really have to make your own trends. You have to make your customer base, and use your own hard work to keep things going; associate yourself with events, and be a part of the community. I do spin classes at the local YMCA on Tue/Thu @ 6:30 PM, and they are always packed. Things like the race series that JR Petsko is doing really helps the area. He’s really bringing back cyclocross to WV.
Used bikes also are a big seller in this area; older name brand mountain bikes are used for every purpose, and also for the rail trails. Comfort/Hybrids and inexpensive MTBs in the $340-$500 range are my bread and butter.
What is the ratio of bikes you sell? Ex: 30% road, 20% BMX, etc?
MTB has always been a big seller, so I would say….
68% MTB 20% Hybrid 10% Road 2% Specialty/Others
What was the last race that you did, and how did you do?
Oh man… It was the Blackwater Cyclocross, and I placed Third in SSCX. In A-Class, I placed fifth, since I had to switch bikes due to a flat. That was fun, but a real bummer.
What are some fun places to ride in Elkins?
There are a ton of places. I have tons of custom maps that I have made with trail locations plotted. There are lots of singletrack areas, and of course the rail trail, but a lot of people ignore that we are a few paces away from National Forrest trails, too. Randolph County has more dirt rides than road. Southeast of Elkins is some of the best trails in the State.
Where do you see Cycling and West Virginia heading in the next five Years?
Growing for sure! Everyone is starting to have a glimpse of what a healthier lifestyle can do for you, and that it is also becoming an expected thing again. I think there is going to be a lot more cyclotourism going through the state; not sure it will be the #1 place people will stay and visit, but it will most definitely be a place they stop!
Joey and I ended talking about a lot of other things like the Great Divide Race, bike camping, how his business is doing, and how it has grown in the past three years, gardening (another one of his hobbies) and what kinds of risks starting his business was with the economy how it was. I got a sense that Joey really loves what he is doing, and that he really brings out the essence of what a little mom and pop shop is… I mean you don’t see everyone turning their garage into a bike shop, and making sure that your #1 goal is supporting and making sure your community is having fun, no? While there are bigger and better shops in WV, Joey’s Bike Shop has it’s place making sure that cyclists are kept tires down and going!
Email: joeysbikeshop @ hotmail . com
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