Winter With the Wheelhouse!

We know that it gets tougher to put the medal to the icy asphalt for several months a year here in Detroit. We have put together a full roster of winter events to keep you engaged with cycling and hopefully get you to some more miles under your belt -- weather be darned!

FIRST FRIDAY HAPPY HOUR!

Join us the first friday of each month for food, drink, tunes and the chance to support a charity partner! The hours are 5 to 8 pm. Hope to see ya!

WINTER JOY RIDE!

We're gonna gather once a month on Saturday mornings for a two-hour no-drop ride. Pace, route and mileage will be dependent on who shows up and the weather. Stops will be similarly determined by the group that day. Flexible & Fun is the name of the game. 

Come equipped with at least one spare tube. Helmet recommended. Saturday mornings, 9 to 11 a.m.

DATES: November 11, December 9, January 13, February 17, March 10

Bicycle Maintenance 101

Want to gain confidence out on the road? Join us at one of our Flat Fixin' / Basic Maintenance sessions this winter.

First order of business is changing out a tube when you get a flat. Front or rear, single- or multi-speed...even internal hubs, we can work with you to get you to be an expert at getting back to rolling quickly.

Already know how to change a flat? Awesome. We can help you learn how to perform minor brake and gear adjustments!

We recommend that you bring your own bike to establish familiarity with your own ride, but if that is an issue, we got you covered!

These sessions are woman-led and absolutely free. Thursday nights, 6 to 8 p.m.

DATES: November 16 & 30, December 14, January 4 & 18, February 1 & 15, March 1 & 15.

OPEN SHOP NIGHTS

We're open late on Thursday nights, and we invite you to come by with your project bike and tinker around with it in the shop. You can totally pick our staff's brain about what to do...but we won't do any of the work for you. This is all about learning and DIY. Tool loans within reason.

Thursday nights, 6 to 8 p.m.

December 7 & 21, January 11 & 25, February 8 & 22, March 8 & 22.

America's Best Bike Shops 2017

We are excited to announce that we've been named one of America's Best Bike Shops by the National Bicycle Dealers Association for the third year in a row!

ABBS logo 4c year 17 (2).jpg

What is so especially gratifying about this recognition is that the application process looks at advocacy efforts, customer service, operations, product selection, staff expertise and store appearance. The NBDA also uses secret shoppers via email, phone and in-person, which helps to keep us on our toes!

All the 2017 winners were celebrated at Interbike in Las Vegas at a reception. The very same day, Kelli was interviewed by WJR about the program. Check it out at the link below!

Safe Cycling Tips

Guest Blogger Alert! When a lawyer reaches out and offers to write a blog post for you about safe cycling, of course I said yes. Thanks for the cogent write-up! - Kelli

Top Do’s and Don’ts of Dangerous Cycling Situations

When you’re out on the road, it can be difficult in the moment to decide how you will handle a potentially dangerous situation. How do you avoid that car that just seemingly appears out of nowhere? Where do you go when you see that car turning directly in front of you? How do you avoid obstacles without swerving into traffic? How do you stay safe?

Before your next ride, try to prepare ahead of time by learning the top do’s and don’ts for the most hazardous cycling situations.

Intersections

DON’T: Stall at the right of a car as you wait for the light to change. Not only does this keep you in the driver’s blind spot, but it can lead to a potential crash if they turn in front of (or into) your bicycle.

DO: Wait behind (not adjacent) to cars when you are in an intersection. This gives both you and other driver’s ample time to asses the situation.

DON’T: Assume that other drivers know you’re there, even when you’re riding through a crosswalk. Drivers on the other side of the street making left turns are especially prone to not seeing cyclists.

DO: Ride slowly around intersections. Try taking an earbud out or ditching the headphones altogether to be sure you are as alert as possible. Also, try to wear bright clothing during the day or reflective clothing at nighttime to make yourself as visible as possible to other drivers.

Unexpected Cars and Car Doors

DON’T: Hug the far right of the curb to stay entirely in your bike lane at all times. Especially when approaching hidden driveways or hard-to-see streets, this makes it difficult for your and other drivers to prepare.

DO: Play it safe and ride a bit further to the left than normal. This improves your line of sight and helps you see dangerous hidden drives before you ride through them. Also, look at a car’s wheels: If they’re turned toward you, the driver is likely about to pull out.

DON’T: Assume that parked cars are safe to ride by closely. Not only does this put you at risk for accidentally swerving into the car, but drivers may occasionally open their doors without seeing you, leading to a nasty crash.

DO: Regard even parked cars with caution. Try riding far enough away that even an open door would be too far to hit you. Even if this means riding in the car lane, it is better to be safe than sorry. The average car door is 5’ long, so if you ride 4’ away from parked cars, you should be safe.

Crosswalks and Sidewalks

DON’T: Ride against the flow of traffic. While it may seem safer to see oncoming cars, riding this way makes it difficult for cars that are turning to see you approaching a crosswalk. It also prevents you from turning right without dangerously crossing in front of other vehicles. And, in the majority of the United States, riding against the traffic flow is illegal anyway.

DO: Ride on the right side of the street, with the flow of traffic. This will keep both you and other drivers more aware of your presence. Just be sure not to cower to the right-hand side of the lane. This will allow motorists to assume they have plenty of space to pass you, when in actuality it’s nearly impossible to safely pass a cyclist in the same lane.

DON’T: Ride on the sidewalk. This limits your field of vision immensely and makes it difficult to see cars coming into crosswalks to turn. It also heightens your chance of riding hazards and limits maneuverability. 

DO: Ride on the street. This allows you to move more freely and see your surroundings better. In a pinch, the sidewalk can be used, but this should never be your go-to riding lane.

Weather Hazards, Potholes, and Obstacles

DON’T: Ride without planning your route ahead of time, especially when there is potentially dangerous weather. This includes anything from blizzards decreasing visibility, to black ice making roads slick, to high winds increasing the chances of debris and tougher riding.

DO: Use GPS, map programs, and weather alerts to guide your route. The best way to tackle these situations is typically to avoid them altogether. If weather hazards are possible, consider taking another mode of transportation wherever you need to go. If using your bike is necessary, be sure to ride with appropriate attire and prepare proper gear (high-grip tires, headlights, non-slip bike grips, etc.)

DON’T: Act too suddenly or rashly when faced with a pothole, a fallen branch, a traffic cone, or other unexpected debris. While swerving to avoid these objects is likely your instinctual reaction, this can put you at high risk for a crash if there are cars close behind. 

DO: Stop and walk your bike if there are too many unavoidable obstacles. If you know obstacles are coming, slowly correct your trajectory so you will be out of their way without suddenly swerving into traffic. If absolutely necessary, move to the sidewalk or swerve to the right to give yourself the lowest chance of a crash with other vehicles. 

There is no way to avoid a careless motorist, but if you keep some simple safety tips and techniques in mind, you will significantly lower the chances of getting in a crash.

*This article was provided by Personal Injury Help and was not written by an attorney. You should consult your city’s local cycling ordinances to ensure you’re always riding legally!

Get Rolling This Memorial Weekend!

We've got a lot going on this weekend, so this is the spot to find out all the latest information!

HOURS & LOCATIONS

RIVARD PLAZA

  • Friday & Saturday 10am-8pm
  • Sunday & Monday Noon to 5pm

HAMTRAMCK

  • Friday & Saturday 11am-7pm
  • Sunday Noon to 5pm
  • Monday CLOSED

EASTERN MARKET (RENTALS ONLY)

  • Friday 10am-3pm
  • Saturday 9am-3pm

TOURS

  • Techno (Extended): Friday Noon to 4pm
  • Belle Isle: Saturday 10am-1pm
  • Music Heritage: Saturday Noon-4pm
  • Techno: Sunday Noon-3pm

More info and reservations HERE.

BIKE PARKING

We are also offering free bike valet at Movement Festival. The location is near Mariners' Church on Jefferson just east of Bates and the festival's main entrance. (See #8 on the festival site map.)

We are also offering complimentary bicycle parking at the Detroit City Football Club's match against Glentoran FC on Saturday! Find us at the east entrance. #DCTID

Rentals at Eastern Market!

Wheelhouse is providing bicycle rentals at Eastern Market for the 2017 season! Explore the Murals in the Market and the Dequindre Cut. It's so easy!

We are located at 1454 Wilkins between Russell and Riopelle, just west of the new entrance to the Dequindre Cut.

Hours:

  • Friday 10am-4pm
  • Saturday 8am-4pm

Rates start at $10 for 1 hour; helmets and locks are included at no additional charge. We accept cash or credit card; we will make a copy of a photo ID and do require a credit card deposit for all rentals.

We will be adding Tuesday and Sunday hours when the Market season expands and will also be facilitating online reservations in due time: stay tuned!

Wheelhouse Detroit Bicycle Rentals in Eastern Market are presented in partnership with the Eastern Market Corporation.

Now Hiring Shop Help!

Job Title: Shop Helper

Pay Rate: $9/hour Hours: 10-32/week. Evaluation and raise after 30 days.

Location: Shifts are available at both Rivertown and Hamtramck locations.

Duties: A shop helper at Wheelhouse Detroit is an integral part of a busy, multi-faceted bike shop that services a diverse clientele with a strong focus on customer service. S/he will assist with renting bikes; general inquiries; minor mechanical issues such as changing a flat tire; restocking inventory; cleaning…and whatever else needs to get done!

Skills: The most important thing necessary for this job is the willingness to jump in and get your hands dirty! Scared to talk to strangers? Need not apply. This job can be high-energy and it can be fun. It can be stressful and it can be quiet. A successful candidate will be quick on their feet and nimble of mind. Must have weekend and holiday availability.

This job is the starting position at the Wheelhouse and, depending on your skill-set, can lead to another position at a higher wage fairly quickly (ie, Tour Sweeper, Mechanic or Retailer). Most shifts are 5-7 hours a stretch. No uniform is required, although we will provide you with a couple of t-shirts. No open-toed shoes. Fancy clothes are not recommended.

There will also be opportunities to pick up Bike Parking shifts, which also pays $9/hour and sometimes comes with free event tickets (ie, Movement Festival, Detroit City FC matches). It's probably the most fun you can have working.

This job is at-will, part-time and seasonal. Season is May-September.

Send resume and three references to info@wheelhousedetroit.com.

New to Wheelhouse: USED BIKES!

The additional floor space we now are luxuriating in at Wheelhouse Detroit - Hamtramck means that we are able to add used bikes to our array of offerings. What does this mean for our customers? That we will be able to offer more quality bikes at even more affordable prices! 

Some quick facts about our used bike program:

  • With a few exceptions, the used bikes we carry will be targeted specifically towards the urban rider.
  • We are sweeping the state for great deals on well-maintained unique bikes with quality components. Think Raleigh, Cannondale, OG Schwinn, Trek, Specialized, etc. You are not going to find Big Box reboots.
  • Some of our rental fleet will become available for purchase.
  • All bikes will receive a thorough going over by a professional mechanic prior to being offered for sale.
  •  Just like with our new bikes, all used bike purchases will come with a complimentary tune-up that can be used at any time ($50 value).
  • This one is important: We are committed to stocking quality used bikes from legitimate sources at a fair market price. What does this mean? This is not a pawn shop. We will not be taking bikes of questionable provenance EVER. 

 

If you are interested in trading in your bike towards the purchase of a new one, we can talk! We do ask that you provide proof of purchase or that the bike is registered with the City of Detroit or the City of Hamtramck and that the bike is one that was purchased at an IBD (independent bicycle dealer AKA a bike shop) not a big box store. We are not trying to be bike snobs, but we are also committed to quality.

You may as well know upfront that you should not expect to receive store credit equal to the resale value of the bike. As with most consignment-type operations, our internal costs must be accounted for, including staff time (both mechanic and administrative), insurance, taxes, and much, much more. If you are looking for the most cash possible out of your bike, by all means take it to Craigslist. But we promise to be fair and help you chip away at the purchase price of the bike of your dreams!

To see what we currently have available in terms of used bikes, check out our website. Questions? Email us at info@wheelhousedetroit.com.

 

 

Grand Opening of Wheelhouse Hamtramck!

 

 

WHEELHOUSE DETROIT OPENING HAMTRAMCK STORE ON BLACK FRIDAY

 

Hamtramck’s cycling headquarters to feature “Made in the USA” products

 

Hamtramck—November 17, 2016—Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop’s Hamtramck location will open its doors on Friday, Nov. 25 with a wide array of city-oriented bicycles, accessories and active wear with an emphasis on Made in the USA products.

The 2,600 square foot store at 9401 Joseph Campau at Florian St. is the second Wheelhouse location.  The first store, located on the Detroit Riverwalk in Rivertown, opened in 2008.

Owner Kelli Kavanaugh will mark the grand opening with a party for the community from 6-8 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 25 with food and drink courtesy of Amicci’s Pizza, Motor City Brewing Works, Cellarman’s, Al Haramine and Polish Village Café.    The store opens for business that day at 11 a.m. and will feature opening day and Small Business Saturday specials.

To mark the grand opening, a mural is being painted live by local artist Ria Noriega on Friday and Saturday on the building’s rear exterior wall.

“I look forward to Wheelhouse making a contribution to the growing and vibrant Hamtramck business district,” said Kavanaugh. “I chose this location because of its diversity and walkability, along with the welcoming nature of the existing retailers in the community.” 

Kavanaugh worked with Hamtramck apparel maker Sarah Ayres of William + Bonnie on a new line of cycling clothing for professionals who cycle to work.  It will be carried exclusively by Wheelhouse Detroit. Ponchos, dresses, skirts, knickers and caps in a variety of textures and patterns are currently in stock with more to come from the collaboration.

Wheelhouse Detroit features Kona Bikes, Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and Opus Bike. In terms of American-made products, shoppers can find bicycles from Detroit Bikes; bags from Green Guru, Alchemy, Chrome Industries, Ironweed and Timbuk2; vehicle racks from Saris; locks from Kabletek; lights from Fortified; Park Tools; caps from Walz; and bottle cages from King Cage. “My goal is to highlight the many cycling brands made in the USA,” said Kavanaugh.  “So much of the industry has moved overseas and there are some great products made here.”  

Wheelhouse also offers a professional service department that aims to be fast, fair and communicative. The new shop will allow for a wide range of parts to be on hand with the goal of a quick turn-around, and weekly special orders will be placed as needed to ensure total customer satisfaction.

Wheelhouse Detroit was named one of America’s Best Bike Shops by the National Bicycle Dealers Association in 2015 and 2016.  Criteria included customer service – with visits and calls from secret shoppers included as part of the analysis – community advocacy and staff knowledge and expertise.  

Wheelhouse worked with numerous local businesses on the expansion, including Christian-Hurttienne Architects; building owner John Grossi of Amicci’s Pizza; neon designer Signifier Signs; vinyl printer Vector Lab; Good Guy Electric; East Bay Painting; and web designer The Work Department. The growth is made possible with the assistance of Invest Detroit’s Urban Retail Loan Fund and Technical Assistance Grant.

In addition to selling and fixing bikes, Wheelhouse provides rentals and offers tours.  Some of Wheelhouse Detroit’s most popular tours include architecture, automotive heritage, Belle Isle, Corktown, Eastern Market, Hamtramck, Haunted Detroit, Music Heritage, Public Art, and Urban Agriculture. Wheelhouse is the city's largest bicycle touring company.

The shop’s winter hours are Sunday 12-5 p.m., Monday 12-6 p.m., Thursday 12-6 p.m., Friday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information, visit Wheelhouse Detroit’s website at www.wheelhousedetroit.com

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MEDIA CONTACT:  Colleen Robar, Robar PR, 313-207-5960, crobar@robarpr.com