Buzz Pasdar opened The Bike Hub a year ago Monday.
“We moved from Brooklyn about 11 years ago because we were having a baby and we got priced out,” he told me. “We were in the Heights for 3 years and then we had another baby – so we saw a house over here by Lincoln Park. We appreciate the diversity – it’s one of the reasons we chose to buy here.
“I’m a big cyclist – and I noticed there were no bike shops around here. There were a couple in the Heights and one downtown, but none over here. I was always looking for one.
“I thought about it more and more, talked to my wife, and we decided to come to Monticello.”
And he hasn’t looked back.
“Everyone came in to wish us good luck – that’s been the best part. Everyone has been 100% positive – there’s been nothing but good. I’m glad I picked this location. The people are down to earth.”
The Bike Hub is a one-stop-shop for cyclists. They carry new bikes from several distributors.
“Trek is at the top of the game right now as far as technology and research, and they’re offering lifetime service. I’m really happy to carry Trek. We also carry Focus – they’re a German company, and the other one is Jamis. They’re a NJ based company.”
They’re also a full service repair shop, they have a full wall of accessories, (including two options for child seats), they host bike events (like the upcoming “How To Ride” clinic), and maybe most importantly, they don’t just talk about the community – they give.
To date, The Bike Hub has handed out 68 bikes – 23 of which were donations from folks who read about their bike philanthropy.
“At this point,” Buzz said, “it’s a real community effort. We started by giving away the bikes our kids weren’t riding anymore, and the kids we gave them to were so happy. We felt great, and now those kids have an opportunity to learn how to ride. One of the recipients might be a future cycling champion because of a bike that we redistributed as opposed to it sitting in our basement.
“So I started talking to friends to see if their businesses would want to invest in giving bikes to kids – and they did. It was heartwarming and it continues to bring the community together. The owner of Apollo Jets (a jet leasing company) gave me a check for $2,100. While we were there, the employees were scrambling to get even more money together! We left there with almost $3000. And of course we give helmets too. The kids were really happy.”
Moving forward, “The plan is to contribute to making a better community. To keep doing what we’re doing,” Buzz said. “Giving back is important to us because we live here. That’s also why we’re doing so many events. We did a Polar Bear Cub Ride in January. It was 19 degrees and snowing – and we had a dozen kids riding around Lincoln Park on bikes!”
Their event calendar is quickly filling up, Buzz told me. “We have a century coming in early September – that’s a 100 mile ride – and we’re gonna have a 50 miler coming up soon too. We’re doing flat fix classes, night rides… There’s a lot to look forward to.”
And if you are looking for a bike, but don’t necessarily know what you’re looking for, start by talking, Buzz recommends. “When a customer comes in, the first 5-10 minutes I just listen. I don’t have any hard and fast advice – it really depends on what they’re using the bike for, what their number one purpose for getting the bike is.
“If they’re using it for transportation, they’ll be looking for a commuter bike, probably with a rack on the back and a fender to catch any water that might kick up from the tires. Also commuter bikes are a little heavier, and there’s a chain guard. Alternately they might like a hybrid bike. Those are geared a little more towards speed, and you’re a little more upright.
“Ultimately I put people on bikes. I combine whatever they’re thinking and whatever I’m thinking, and then we put them on the candidates. I’m a big fan of putting people on the bike – you need to ride to decide.”