NEW BETHLEHEM – Saturday marked opening day for a newcomer to The Block along Arch Street in New Bethlehem. Valley Bike Shop, the brainchild of Rhett Atwood, is still in its formative stages, and the day’s event was an opportunity to raise some seed money for a much-needed area business.
Located in the former Keck Block building, Valley Bike Shop lies only a few feet from the regional Redbank Valley Trail. Atwood had a lot to say about what he envisions for his business.
“We are starting out with a 24/7 indoor bike course where people can practice a little bit at the start of the season or if the weather is bad,” he said. “We would like to begin selling bikes soon, along with having a good repair service. There is nothing like it along the trail between Brookville and the Allegheny River in this area.”
At present, the business offers service, parts and assembly of bikes. Its most recent triumph was putting together a Schwinn tandem bike for a customer.
Later, Atwood sees the establishment of emergency-repair stations at several points along the trail and kayak rentals with a livery service. The repair stations would be turnkey operations, unstaffed most of the time but offering crucial tools to trail riders having authorized access. This would be necessary to prevent theft, Atwood said.
The Valley Bike Shop will be hosting a series of upcoming fun events to raise additional cash required for expanding its operations. The immediate focus will be on building sturdy ramps for those using the indoor BMX-type bike course.