Two Bikes, the business born out of the demise of Dream Bikes, will open Saturday at 118 Central Street. Executive Director, Mitchell Connell and Operations Manager Matt Zingg forged forward with a vision for their own non-profit. Two Bikes gives away a bicycle for every one it sells, operating with donated bicycles which are lovingly refurbished before being gifted or sold. Gifted bikes are primarily distributed through the Boys and Girls Clubs of Knoxville.
At about 3,600 square feet, the new location (next to Corks) feels more manageable than the larger space the group previously occupied. It’s plenty of room for a great selection of beautiful bikes, averaging around $250. Thanks to a donation from middle Tennessee, they currently have an amazing selection of quality children’s bikes.
Mitchell told me that a lot of work went into getting the inventory into the new space. Structural work had to be completed. Permitting took longer than they had hoped. Even with the delays, the group met the spring deadline they’d hoped to hit for their opening.
It’s come with a lot of help. Mitchell said Jon Clark, president of their board, and Thomas Boyd, their landlord at the new location, have been helpful at every turn. They also had some great crafts-persons working to make it all possible. The logo and inscriptions on the windows were hand painted by Meg Wood of I Saw the Sign out of Nashville. Lauren Sanders and Erica Mendoza built the bike racks mounted to the wall. Little Rabbet did the build-out of the space. Robin Easter Design did their branding.
While they may add new bikes later, for now they are focused on refurbishing great bikes for sale. They are also offering to help the community learn to repair their own bikes through one-on-one instruction or classes. They also offer community work stands in the store for customers to use without charge, with tools provided.
Masks are currently required for entry to the shop and the number of patrons inside at any given time will be limited. Classes will be limited in number of students. Word is there may be beer coming at some future time.
Mitchell said the group is just “happy to provide more access to affordable bikes to the city. We think life is better with a bike.”
For word on classes and other news, you can follow the group on Facebook or Instagram.