A bike shop with a difference has opened its doors at the former United Video site on Vanguard St, with a vision to cater to Nelson’s booming cycling population.
Bikes, fresh local coffee and food, a free covered bike park, a community table, seven days service and even a shower for cyclists to use, can be found at The Bike Station, which is the first bike shop of its kind in New Zealand.
Owner Brendon Mathews, who has been involved in cycling, racing and the bike industry since he was nine, says a good community-focused bike shop for Nelson is “well overdue”.
He saw the opportunity to create something different earlier this year while working as a mechanic in another local bike shop.
“I wasn’t aware how big biking is here – I was stunned, it’s insane,” he says.
“After a while of working there I thought – ‘you know what, I see a large opportunity here’ – this is a big thing, and it’s growing.”
He says the Vanguard St location is “perfect”, being handily located to the St Vincent St Cycleway and in the path of many cyclists who commute to Nelson for work.
“More and more people come to town to work, and car parking is an issue,” he says.
The “one stop shop” will be open seven days a week, including public holidays, with a trained mechanic on every day for those who need to bring their bike in to be repaired or serviced on weekends.
They will also be open from 7am to 6pm on weekdays for those who bike to work, and a ten space, covered bike park will be available to use free-of-charge for those who need somewhere to leave their bike for the day.
“Another big point of difference for us is we have a shower which will be handy for tourists and locals – because, if you’re hot and sweaty after biking to town for work, you can come in and have a shower, get changed, grab a coffee and go to work,” says Brendon.
As well as offering parts, accessories and bike hire, they will be stocking a huge range of new and used bikes for every age, need and skill – including electric bikes, which are quickly gaining in popularity in Nelson.
“The uptake on electric bikes here has been sensational,” says Brendon. “They are popular with second car families wanting to go down to one car, or retirees who live up on the hill – they see electric bikes as the solution and are buying these things flat out.”
There is still a 300sqm tenancy available at the redeveloped site, which is being marketing through Summit Real Estate.
The Bike Station can be found at 54 Vanguard St, and is open 7am – 6pm Monday to Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm on Saturdays and 10am – 3pm on Sundays.