The Business of Bikes

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Owner, Mark Sanderson/ Photo by Mark Warner

Velocipede Peddler is a distinct name familiar to most long-time residents in the greater Lansing area. And if a bike or bike accessories are on your Christmas gift list this season, you’ll want to visit the shop at its new location in East Lansing’s Brookfield Plaza on the northwest corner of Grand River Avenue and Hagadorn. Velocipede Peddler moved early last month into a building at the plaza that used to be a grocery store. The store’s been gone for four years, and the owner decided to gut it and build walls to fit a couple of smaller businesses. The “big box” layout of its new home gives store owner Mark Sanderson more room to display the large array of bikes and equipment he carries. “It was an empty box when I moved in,” Sanderson explained, and a perfect fit to showcases the shop’s merchandise. The bikes are the latest models of some of the nation’s top-selling and popular brands. Among them are Surly, Electra, Seven Cycles, Townies and many more brands with proven track records known for their quality, performance and durability. From everyday to weekend biker, racer to recreational biker, Velocipede Peddler sells bikes to fit any customer and for all seasons and terrains. You’ll find recumbent bikes, road bikes, racing bikes, hybrids (a cross between a mountain and road bike), cruisers, townies and mountain bikes. And if you think you can’t enjoy biking all year long, they also sell Surly bikes with “fat” tires that can drive through snow, soil or sand. Three-wheelers and children’s bikes are also available. Along with top-selling bikes, the merchandise includes training stands that convert outdoor bikes to indoor stationary ones, bike racks for cars, clothing for men and women, helmets, cycling shoes, tire pumps and more. Although Velocipede Peddler has moved a few times since it first opened in the early 1970s, “we’ve had customers follow us regardless of where we’re located,” said Sanderson, who took the shop over from his father several years ago. His father was a partner with the original owner but eventually bought out his partner in the 1980s, and the shop has remained in the Sanderson family ever since.

Inside Velocipede Peddler/ Photo by Mark Warner

They’ve stayed in business for more than 38 years because they’re experts in their field, Mark Sanderson said. He employs experienced managers, knowledgeable staff and professional bike mechanics. “The store also does repairs on any make or model,” Sanderson said. They can order bicycle parts, answer your questions and get you fitted with the right kind of bike and biking accessories. Having lived in the area for a while, serving local residents is something Sanderson and his staff are very familiar with. Students at Michigan State University have remained his core client base, but he hopes the new location will broaden his base to include a wider spectrum of costumers – from Lansing to Okemos and beyond. Because of the students, “the store has enjoyed pretty good success through the years,” he said. “The current location is a good one for locals – families and college students alike,” he said. Sanderson is a biker himself, having participated twice in the DALMAC bike tour that takes place around Labor Day weekend. The five-day 350-mile tour from Lansing to the U.P. is a popular event that marks the end of summer. Bikes have a great appeal, Sanderson said. They are a great means of transportation for students in a college town like MSU, but also a great way for anyone to get some exercise and enjoy the scenery along the way. Velocipede Peddler will have a Grand Opening in the early spring, but the shop is open for business now. Whether you or that special someone on your Christmas list bikes for fun or necessity or both, you’ll want to visit Velocipede Peddler.
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Tags: bike shop, shop local, Velocipede Peddler

Ann Cool

Ann Cool, MPS, is a freelance writer who lives in Mason with her husband Bob.

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