Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Grand Opening For Spokes: Saturday, January 8 *UPDATED*

Spokes, Little Rock's newest bike shop, opened for business on Monday, January 3, for a "soft" opening as Mat and Regina Seelinger prepare for their Grand Opening this Saturday. Since a new retailer wants to be sure that things like the cash registers work so that they can actually sell something and take money, soft openings are a good idea. The store looked much different than it did when I checked in a couple of weeks ago, with plenty of two-wheeled eye candy, shelves stocked, the coffee brewing, and the shop well-equipped, though Mat was still fretting over yet-to-be-delivered inventory.

The coffee bar off of the showroom sports a row of stools and some more relaxed seating. I made a quick stop at lunch and friends and customers were already drifting into the just-opened shop.
 Barista Regina was ready to rock. She endeared herself to me by offering me a Krispy Kreme doughnut, which, through some otherworldly temporary power, I was able to resist. The service area is behind the bar so that the coffee sipping counter birds can see how it's done.

Soft goods enjoy their own space and the store kit looks good.

Saturday Plan: Bike rides, Barbecue, and Buddy

Mat said that they have a couple of rides planned for departure from the store Saturday morning at 9:30 and returning by lunchtime, followed by free BBQ prepared by the Spokes folks, Mat and Regina come from the restaurant business, so the BBQ should be a good bet. They will be juicing the crowd with free Doma coffee to keep everybody alert, and at 2:00PM Judge Buddy Villines will speak about the Two Rivers Bridge, the development of Two Rivers Park, and connectivity to the River Trail. I don't have any details on the rides, but the phone number for the shop is (501) 664-7765.
That all sounds like a good start both in terms of good business and community involvement. Drop by and visit our new neighbors at Stifft Station.
Here are details of event from e-mailed invitation received after my original post:

Please join us for our Spokes Grand Opening celebration!
Saturday, January 8, 2011

1001 Kavanaugh Blvd

Schedule of Events:

9:30 - 11:30 Group MTB Ride led by 2010 National Cross Country Champion, 2010 USGP Cyclocross Series Champion and 2008 Olympian, Georgia Gould. The ride will be co-hosted by Matt Seelinger (owner of Spokes), Suzanne Karklins and Lonnie Kinkade (Orbea USA).

11:30 - 12:30 BBQ lunch, autograph signing and Q & A with Georgia Gould

2:00 - 3:00 "Past, present and future of the Central Arkansas bicycle path network" presented by Judge Buddy Villines. This is a must see presentation for all cyclists! Judge Buddy will tell us about:

• How the Big Dam Bridge came to be

• The status of the new Two Rivers Bridge (currently under construction)

• The planned improvements to Two Rivers Park

• The future expansion of the bicycle path network in Central Arkansas

3:15 - 4:45 Group road ride led by Gary Lamb (CARP), and Liz Cazer.

....both mountain and road rides will start at Spokes. There are only 27 parking spaces in the lot on the west side of the store so you may need to park on the surrounding neighborhood streets.
I just found out that KATV is doing a Day-Break interview with Georgia Gould at 8:45 AM prior to the ride. Spokes would love to have a crowd of cyclists in the background during the interview. If you come to be in the “crowd” scene, Spokes will have free coffee and breakfast goodies.

We're fortunate to have a number of outstanding bike shops in town and it looks like Spokes is set to join them, with its own slightly different approach. I plan to do some posts profiling some of the other local shops soon, as each of them has earned their position in the market by serving us well. It's a great time to be a cyclist in Central Arkansas.

1 comment:

Chad said...

Very cool. The Little Rock cycling community seems to really be growing. By my count, this makes around 7 full service bike shops in Little Rock and North Little Rock.