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Bikes-And-Boards appeals to serious cyclists and skate boarders
By Michael Summers
Fort Wayne Reader
When Jerry Seifert retired from IBM a few years ago, the idea of “sitting around” didn’t really appeal to him.
Seifert was already an avid cyclist when his daughter got into BMX racing. Seifert followed her. “I got into BMX racing because my daughter does that professionally, so I started racing in the over 60 BMX age group,” he says. “There aren’t too many of us in there.” His interest in BMX racing lead to him opening Bikes-And-Boards at 6648 St Joe Road near Shoaff Park. Originally intended as a specialty store for BMX racers and skateboarders, Bikes-And-Boards has since grown into a complete biking store serving every kind of cyclist with a wide range of bikes and boards, custom work, and express bike repair.
Open a little over two years, Bikes-And-Boards has gained a loyal customer base among serious cyclists and skate boarders, as well as newcomers who want to make sure they’re making a good investment. Seifert says he didn’t envision Bikes-And-Boards having such wide appeal, or carrying such a broad selection of items, but as more and more customers began to special order parts, or bikes, or custom work, the store expanded. “I intended originally to just cater to the BMX crowd, and maybe some skateboards,” Seifert says. “But we just grew and grew. Now, we’ve evolved into every conceivable line of biking.”
When he says “every conceivable line of biking,” he isn’t kidding: there’s road bikes, mountain bikes, comfort, recumbent, racers, BMX… you can even find beach cruisers, adult tricycles, and unicycles. There are plenty of accessories, too, like clothing and shoes.
One of the cornerstones of Bikes-And-Boards is the custom work the shop offers. Seifert says the number of people interested in customizing their bikes or boards was an eye-opener for him. You might expect a hardcore skateboarder or cyclist to want something adapted specifically to their needs, but Seifert says quite a lot of clients are looking for the personal touch. “People are now beginning to want a lot of custom work and things done on a personal basis,” Seifert says. That also extends to the service the store offers. If you couldn’t tell by the list of bikes on offer above, buying a bike or a skateboard these days isn’t as simple as it used to be; people want to hear about all their options from someone who knows the field. “They (customers) really want someone to fill in all the missing pieces of information,” Seifert says.
Seifert is expanding Bikes-And-Boards with a second store downtown inside the new indoor skate park on Wabash avenue. “A church on Reed Road has what they call Oasis park every Saturday,” he says. “They set up skate board ramps and let kids skate. Now they have the Tokheim facility on Wabash avenue, and they’re opening a park there.”
6648 St Joe Road