By: Bob Schultz
Remember the TV show Cheers “Where Everybody Knows Your Name?” This could describe Rockford Bike Shop / Speed Merchants.
Let me first describe the new name of Rockford Bike Shop. Speed Merchants has been a long-time sponsor of Athletic Mentors. Tragically, the owner, Kim Wood, died almost two years ago. His manager, George Swanzy, kept the shop open until he bought the assets and opened the shop in a new location as Rockford Bike Shop. Different name but same people serving our biking community.
George has sold and serviced bikes almost thirty years for some of the best cyclists in the area, including many of the Athletic Mentor riders. Craig Geitzen, who is well known for his gravel road and cyclocross racing, is working on bikes while George’s wife Katie is at the front desk. When you walk in, they know your name, level of riding and what bikes you own. It is not unusual to put a bike on a rack right there to diagnose it or make a repair while you wait. It isn’t just our circle of cyclists they treat this way. I have seen families come in to get a child their first bike and they still get the same attention.
With their knowledge and experience in cycling, they are on the leading edge with the newest in bikes, components, tires/wheels and accessories. Rockford Bike Shop is the dealer for Trek, but they service any brand of bike you own. I have had George tell me he would be happy to take my money, but I don’t need that level of a component, and other times don’t be so cheap, because I won’t be happy in the long run.
They are not only a bike shop but they have a number of group rides that leave from the shop. The most famous is the “Leg Wrecker” weeknight ride/race. Check out more details about this ride that has grabbed national attention in this recent Velo news article
Unfortunately, just two weeks after reopening, the government shut them down as Non-Essential, just at the busiest time of the year. Now that they are back open it is important we support them. Visit www.rockfordbikeshop.com or call (616) 951-7181. Their address is 169 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford, MI 49341.
It is not Rockford Bike Shop but rather George, Katie, Craig and Jackson (their basset hound). We know them, ride with them and enjoy a beverage with them. Amazon does not know how I ride nor can they make a quick adjustment on my way for a ride. Let’s make sure we support George and the rest of the crew at Speed Merchants / Rockford Bike Shop just like they support the cycling community!