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Building the Outdoor Economy: One Bike at a Time

July 05, 2023 12:00 AM
By: Hanna Ryon, DCNR Intern to the Director of Outdoor Recreation

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Some estimate that worldwide, every two seconds, someone buys a bike -- amounting to almost 50,000 bikes per day.

Small businesses selling and maintaining bicycles have emerged among dozens of outdoor recreation outfitters in Pennsylvania that contribute to the Commonwealth’s $14 billion outdoor economy.

Bike shops have made their mark on places from Philadelphia to Erie. Local shops provide services to the community that are often unseen.

The stores featured here are among many that have reinforced the importance of outdoor recreation being inclusive and accessible to all people, and of giving back to community.

Freeze Thaw, Centre County

Freeze Thaw has roots in State College. The shop started in 2005 from a group of college friends looking to sell bicycles to cyclists in Centre County. They later found themselves on Allen Street in downtown State College.

The shop provides multiple cycling services to central Pennsylvania -- retail, repair, and service, and fit studio space.

The owners believe strongly that no bike part belongs in the trash, there is always something that can be done with it.

Freeze Thaw is committed to honesty through sales, aiming to serve the customer to the best of their ability.

They also strive for advocacy and community involvement through maintaining safe bike routes and trail networks, which increases equity and inclusion throughout the area.

Cedar Bicycle, Luzerne County

A group of people stand indoors in a shop. Items hang on the walls and on shelves.

Cedar Bicycle calls Scranton home. At its roots, this bike shop aims to make cycling attainable for Pennsylvanians of all skill levels.

The shop stresses the diverse benefits of biking. Its website lists the importance of biking for physical, environmental, and economic wellbeing.

Cedar Bicycle allows visitors to take advantage of the opportunities for outdoor recreation in Scranton.

Aside from bikes, Cedar Bicycle has accessories, helmets, and apparel to complete the perfect bike ride, also noting no bike ride is truly complete without a smile and a good attitude.

Warren Cycle Shop, Warren County

The Warren Cycle Shop is a member of a local family of bike shops, sharing resources with its siblings in Chautauqua and Jamestown, NY.

The shop, previously known as the Jock Shop, now incorporates bicycle sales into its sale of skis and snowboards and serves as a convenient repair and supply center for riders of the popular Trails at Jakes Rocks in the Allegheny National Forest.

Through the store’s relationship with area bike clubs, riders can not only gear up for a day on the trail; they can also learn about ways to volunteer to maintain and support area riding opportunities.

Hope Cyclery, Cambria County

Hope Cyclery hit the map in downtown Johnstown in 1976. Since then, they have served the area as a bike shop for repairs, custom builds, bike accessories, and more.

Hope Cyclery welcomes people of all ages, genders, race, and gender expression -- making bikes a connection point for all people to experience the outdoors.

The owners of the business saw the gap in access to outdoor recreation and strived to fill it.

The bike shop is reaching more communities every year.

As of 2021, Hope Cyclery has donated more than 200 bikes to children in need in the Johnstown area.

In addition to these bikes, the organization often donates funds and bike parts to non-profits supporting children’s outdoor recreation.

Tricycle, Montgomery County

A row of bicycles stands outdoors in front of two people talking to eachother in front of a building.

Find the unique Tricycle café and bike shop directly along the Schuylkill River Trail. This bike shop seeks to represent the diversity within the cycling community through human connection and quality products.

Serving Conshohocken, the café and bike shop displays a myriad of opportunities for biking solo and with a group. The shop strives to provide gateway paths for residents to fulfill their outdoor recreation passions.

From the Tricycle website, readers can learn more about the organization and the team who started this ambitious organization.

Tricycle offers a place to fill out a form and rent a bike that fits exactly what the rider needs.

Bikes for Outdoor Recreation

Two people stand with bicycles at an overlook of a lake with benches and informational signs.

Biking in Pennsylvania is the fifth largest economy in the country, adding nearly $142 million of gross domestic product to the state. The economic impact of the industry expands far beyond the dollar amount at first look.

People who own and work at bike shops are often there because they love cycling and want to share it!

If you’re among the 50,000 people looking for a bike today stop by a local shop to seek expert advice, make a connection to other cyclists, and to efforts to improve places to ride.

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