When the bike shop Bikehampton closed in Sag Harbor it was a grey day for many local and part-time local cyclists. Where would they go for their repairs, their gear, or to buy a bike for their kids? Those of us who support local shops and businesses know how sad the day is when we don’t have what we really need locally and we are left with a lot of what we don’t need. A bicycle shop is a mainstay in a town. Most of us grew up with a local bike shop in the neighborhood.
Russell Diamond, is one of those people. He was contacted by Myles Romanow, fellow cycling enthusiast and local entrepreneur, who suggested they should get together and open a bike shop in an empty space on Bay Street in Sag Harbor. Diamond is “a business guy, a financial person,” who knew that “bike shops are terrible investments.” Another cyclist and friend, Andy Boyland, also a financial person, owned two bike shops in New Jersey. “He really knows the business,” Diamond says. Boyland was on the Board of the National Bike Dealers Association. “We all realized the risk involved, we didn’t want a time consuming thing.” They have other jobs.
For the past 15 years, the men biked all over the East End. “We are the ones you see riding from Sag to Montauk and on Napeague. We meet in the Sag parking lot. Forty five of us, men and women, every Saturday and Sunday at 7 a.m.,” says Diamond. “Everyone is welcome to join us. There is no better way to be out here than on a bike.” The shop is a collaborative operation. Five operators, 20 investors, “nobody has too big a risk or stake and we are community oriented all the way. We met up on April 9 and we opened on June 9. Thanks to Andy and Myles, we got all our product in.” said Diamond. Romanow serves as the general manager. “The shop will be run well and efficiently. The owners are known out here. They bike. There is one degree of separation between one of them and the guy in the tight pants on a bike. We do ‘Cycling Advocacy,’” says Diamond. “Sag Harbor and the whole East End caters to people who are super into biking.”
Just when you wondered where to take your bike for repairs, you can search no more. This shop is your go-to place. These guys know bikes. They are cyclists, not salesmen. They are there for your repairs, concierge service, home service and if you are coming into to town on your yacht, go on down to Bay Street and rent a few bikes.
“Biking is low impact, unlike running and hiking. I can bike forever,” says Diamond. Pop in and see the new bike shop. Remember when you stepped into your neighborhood bike shop to test out your first bike? Relive that experience. Take the kids down. The grandkids. Feel the joy of seeing them ride out on their first bike. Helmets, bell, the works. The big opening party is Saturday, June 30 from 5-7p.m. before the fireworks in the harbor.
Sag Harbor Bike Shop, 34 Bay Street, Sag Harbor. 631-725-1110 www.sadgharborcycle.com. Check them out on Facebook too.