Both its location and its business plan are a bit different than a traditional bicycle shop.
The owners of Tucson’s Loop Bicycle Shop hope to be open sometime in April and say their shop will actually be more of a bicycle convenience store for cyclists riding along the Santa Cruz River Path.
“If you get a flat or something you always have to get home and either drive or make another special trip to a bike shop to get tubes or whatever you might need,” Michael Wilkinson, one of the shops owners said. “We are hoping to be a little more convenient than that being right on the loop.”
When Wilkinson, says “right on the loop,” he means it.
Wilkinson is opening the shop with his boss Robert McCoy, who owns a landscape materials business located next to the Santa Cruz path just north of El Camino Del Cerro.
Wilkinson said both he and McCoy are avid cyclists and they have daydreamed about starting a bicycle shop. When they found out the paved path the county was building next to their property was going to be part of a 55-mile loop, they decided to open up a shop next to it.
“Our gate is going to be 10 feet from the path,” he said.
Since they also run a landscape businesses, Wilkinson said the hours will be limited at first and hopes the business will grow.
He said they plan to be open at 8 a.m. on weekdays to serve commuters who ride through the area and recreational riders for the rest of the morning.
Although at first the shop will not have a mechanic, it will have tubes, tires, parts, food and drinks.
Wilkinson said they are also planning on having rental bikes so visitors can ride along the Santa Cruz and Rillito Paths when they are visiting Tucson.
Right now, the area where the shop will be is filled with equipment, but Wilkinson said they are working on clearing the space out and hope to have that completed soon.
When they are done, he said they will set up a table and spend some time giving away water bottles and snacks, while asking cyclists what they would like to see from a bicycle convenience store along the path.
“I know it is kind of an odd spot, but we are just so close to the path we are hoping to draw people that direction,” he said. “We’re not sure how it is all going to work out, we are just allowing it to weed itself out.”
You can “like” Tucson’s Loop Bicycle Shop on Facebook to see what they are up to.