There's a new bicycle shop in town called the Brentwood Bike Company, filled with splashy, colorful cycles in myriad models and state-of-the-art designs. A quick look around the stylish store confirms the obvious: this is definitely not your mother's bike store.
Unless, of course, you're shopping for a retro-type model, one of those cute cruisers with cushy seats and single gears. But for the most part, agree owners Chris and Bobbi Michalski, biking is an old-fashioned sport with a decidedly high-tech edge. How edgy and how high-tech is up to the rider.
The great thing about biking is that you don't have to be a hard-core hammerhead to enjoy it, said Chris. Bikes have changed a lot, but there really is a bike to fit every style and pocketbook. Our motto is changing lives one bike at a time,' and I think it's true.
Open since April 1, the Michalskis have taken their personal passion for two-wheelers and brought it to the public. Chris is a diehard enthusiast, competing in century races and endurance competitions. Bobbi considers herself more of a leisure, recreational rider. But their goal is the same: promoting a healthy lifestyle through biking.
They're also promoting something that customers won't find at the big box conglomerate stores personal attention.
Well, service is the main thing, of course, said Chris. We're not just going to sell you a bike and send you out the door. We fit each customer to their bike, we offer a free follow-up tuneup, and we stand behind each bike we sell. That's not something you're going to get with the department-store bikes.
From comfort bikes to road cycles and cruisers, aluminum-based frames to lightweight carbon-fiber bikes, whatever kind of cycle you're looking for, the number-one consideration, says Bobbi, should be fit.
I would have to say that (fit) and comfort are the biggest things, said Bobbi. For a long time I was riding a bike that was too big for me, and it was causing me some back pain and other pain. And as a result, I was finding excuses not to ride. Once I got on a bike that fit, it was a whole different ride.
Finding that perfect fit needn't cost an arm and a leg, said Chris. A good, solid, entry-level bike can be had for around $300. From there, the sky's the limit.
You can pay thousands of dollars for a bike, but it depends upon what your needs are, said Chris. And of course, there are the accessories such as helmets, gloves and clothing. The good thing about biking, though, is that once you make that initial investment, it's paid for. That's not true for a lot of other sports.
And given the price of gasoline these days, biking for many is an effective way to avoid the pain at the pump.
We've had a lot of people come in and say they are going to ride their bikes to work, said Bobbi. If you can make that switch, it's a great way to get some exercise and save money, too.
But whatever the motivation for getting on a bike, there's no arguing that riding a bike is just plain fun.
Everyone loves to ride; who doesn't? said Bobbi. It's an easy way to get a good workout, and it just makes people happy. What's not to love?
The Brentwood Bike Company, 7750 Brentwood Blvd., Suite C in Brentwood, is open Tuesday through Sunday. For store hours and additional information, call 925-634-5000 or visit www.brentwoodbikeco.com.