Outdoor Opportunities

On a Roll

By
From the September 2013 issue of Columbus CEO
  • Photo by Ryan M.L. Young

Columbus cycling enthusiasts keep a variety of bicycle shops in business. Bike sharing is here as well.

This summer, the city of Columbus launched a novel public transportation program: CoGo BikeShare is a system of 300 bicycledocked at 30 stations around the city. The $2.3 million , centered around Downtown, is designed and managed byAlta Bicycle Share IncCustomers can purchase yearly memberships ($75) or single-day($6) passes. An innovative approach to urban transport, underscores the local popularity of cycling.

Columbus sustains multiple biking organizations and events, including the 52-year-old TOSRV (Tour of the Scioto River Valley) and Pelotonia, the annual fundraiser that raised $16.9 million in 2012 to benefit cancer research at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center – Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Richard J. Solove Research Institute

Central Ohio is also home to a growing number of independent and chain retail bicycle shops. “There has been a big increase in bike stores, but I think it makes sense given the trends, especially in terms of alternate transportation,” says Chris Boring, principl of retail research firm Boulevard Strategies. The new REI store at Easton Town Center will include a bike shop that provides assembly and maintenanceservices as well as cycling education.

It remains to be seen if Columbus’s retail bike market will become oversaturated. “I think it’s going to get maybe a little over-competitive, that niche,” says Boring. In addition to the cycling departments in large retailers such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sports Authority, Target and Walmart, a number of independent retailers have already carved a space for themselves. They include B1Bicycles, Bicycle One, Bike Source Columbus, Columbus Performance Bicycle, Handy Bikes, Northland Cycling and Fitness, Once Ridden Bikes, Paradise Garage, roll: and Trek to name a few.