Slow Roll rides are already departing every-other week from 3800 3rd Ave. S., where a new bike center is slated to open next spring with the working title The My Bike Project.
The new shop is founded by Anthony Taylor, who works as adventures director for The Loppet Foundation. Taylor is also co-founder of the Major Taylor Bicycling Club, a group that promotes cycling to the African American community.
Taylor plans to focus his business on novice riders, teaching them to become committed and confident cyclists. He aims to provide quality bikes priced between $400 and $1,000.
“Bikes over a thousand [dollars] seem to be a mainstay of business,” Taylor said. “For a beginning cyclist, that number scares them to death.”
Taylor said he personally started biking after he quit playing football. To keep his weight down, he said he started biking to the gym, and one day he just kept riding.
In the winter, the shop would promote other Minnesota sports like snowboarding and Nordic skiing.
“Everybody wants it to work,” he said. “Bike shop owners are really generous, and they want there to be more bikes on the sidewalk.”
The bike center will be located across the street from the Seward Co-op’s new Friendship Store. Taylor said the location is the perfect crossroads between neighborhoods that are often pulled in different directions.
“We believe we can bridge the gap between spandex and non-spandex,” Taylor said. “Transit-oriented and recreation-oriented.”
He said equity also comes into play as part of the growth in cycling.
“What’s really important as we create a movement is including women, people of color and kids,” he said. “That’s who is missing from the movement.”
The Slow Roll rides depart every-other Wednesday at 6 p.m. from 3800 3rd Ave. S. The next ride is Sept. 9. The rides are always leisurely-paced, 90 minutes or less, and stop at local businesses like Angry Catfish and A Baker’s Wife. Taylor said he tries to give exposure to lesser-known shops.
“It’s amazing how many people live around the corner from Butter and don’t know it’s there,” he said, referring to Butter Bakery Café at 37th & Nicollet.