I see you every day as I commute to school on my bicycle. You’re waiting for the bus. You’re sitting in traffic. You’re driving around in circles looking for a parking space. You’re pumping gas at more than $3 a gallon. You know what I do when I see you? I laugh. And then I get to class on time, without fail.
The mercury has been firmly out of the 40s for at least a week, which begs the question: Why the heck aren’t you riding a bike?
Head down to one of these local bike shops and figure out what works for you. There are countless styles, shapes, colors and sizes to meet your needs, and bike shop employees are expertly trained at finding a perfect fit for your lifestyle.
Here’s the lowdown on a handful of bike shops on or within walking distance of University Avenue:
Super Cool Bike Shop
3460 W. University Ave.
Brands: Cannondale, Specialized
Super Cool Bike Shop has the nicest looking showroom in Gainesville, and it’s loaded with high-quality bikes and gear. Nice commuter bikes start at $390, and purchasing a new bike gets you 20 percent off accessories and one year of free service. Super Cool is the official team sponsor of Team Florida and the TriGators, and the shop offers a discount to members of the Gainesville Cycling Club.
“Our owner puts the money from the store back into cycling — either reinvesting in the store or sponsoring riders and events in Gainesville,” said store manager Justin Marquand.
1225 W. University Ave.
Brands: Schwinn, GT, Giant, Masi, Redline, Haro
Schwinn Shop caters to students. It’s one block from campus and has a great selection for all tastes. All styles have an entry-level model for about $300, and a new bike gets you two years of free maintenance. Schwinn Shop also buys and sells used bikes.
“We are the funnest and most bike-friendly bike shop in Gainesville,” said owner Dave Bingaman.
425 NW 13th St.
Brands: Electra, Marin, Redline, Kona
Mr. Goodbike has an easygoing vibe and a good selection of both new and used bikes. They specialize in commuter styles, so you probably will want to go elsewhere if you’re looking to drop some serious money on a road bike. New bikes built for cruising start at about $200, with used bikes as low as $50.
“We’re just a quality bike shop with good, honest, experienced service at fair, student-friendly prices,” said owner Mike Hetrick.