EDWARDSVILLE — Keeping those wheels spinning, Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop, which had been located in Exeter, opened the doors of its temporary home in Edwardsville on Tuesday.
The Edwardsville location is a six-month rest stop on the business’ journey to its permanent location in the former Thomas’ Foodtown Market building off Wyoming Avenue in Kingston. Thomas’ Foodtown Market closed in December 2013 and recently has been under construction to renovate the building to house several businesses, including Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop.
The Kingston location will offer a high traffic and visible area, said David Kaplan, owner of Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop. He said the Kingston location will offer 3,200 square feet to showcase more merchandise.
The double move was not initially part of the plan. But when the building at 1069 Wyoming Ave. in Exeter sold, Kaplan rolled along and found a temporary location in Edwardsville.
The new activity in the West Side Mall has created interest, said Louie Colarusso, employee with Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop.
“There have been lots of people peeking in the windows,” Colarusso said.
Longtime customers are remaining loyal through the transition. For some customers, the seven-mile move created convenience, Colarusso said.
“We had people bringing in bikes for repairs as we were unloading the truck and moving in,” Kaplan said.
Sickler’s Bike and Sport Shop first officially opened its doors in 1933, Kaplan said. Since then bicycling has been a growing sport within the region. The popularization of mountain bikes, “fat bikes,” give cyclists the ability to ride all year round, Kaplan said.
Attributing the growing interest of the sport to “more people getting into physical fitness,” Kaplan aims to hold onto his current customers while attracting new ones through his three full-service bike shops, located in Clark Summit, Hawley, and now Edwardsville.
By offering clinics on bicycle maintenance and offering organized rides, such as an upcoming ride from their Hawley shop to Bethel, New York, this Sunday, Kaplan hopes to continue to peak the interest of cyclists.