Rolling wheels of progress track into new bike and repair shop
By MATTHEW KENWRIGHT
Precision Valley Golf Center will be peddling bicycle services to customers.
Set to open mid-May and have a ribbon cutting May 21, the new shop already has sold three bikes. Repair services and accessories also will be offered, said Landon Paul, Precision's general manager.
The golf center's owners recognized a market for a bicycle shop because the idea was a constant in conversations with friends and community members. The Bike Hays grid and trails at Lake Wilson offer outlets for bicyclists, he said.
The new shop will help expand Precision's appeal beyond golfing, he said.
"We hope we're going to turn it into oriented to getting outside and being active," Paul said.
The showcase area for the Giant Bicycles brand was renovated to replace a golf simulator. Forty bicycles of many sizes and styles will be on display, and customers can place special orders. Rentals might be offered after the business is established.
Sara Kay Carrell, the bike shop's mechanic and sales associate, said she was the manager of the former Hub Bicycle Shop in Hays for eight years. She is excited to help bring a bike shop back to Hays.
"It's something you do because you love it," Carrell said. "You do it out of your heart so everybody can be out riding their bike, and for fitness and health and fun."
Before she worked at the Hub in 2004, locals were not familiar with the Giant Bicycles brand. Trek was popular because of its connection with Lance Armstrong, but Carrell advocated for Giant. The world's largest bicycle manufacturer has "superior engineering and design," she said.
Tammy Wellbrock, executive director for Hays Area Chamber of Commerce, said Precision's owners are meeting a goal identified in the city's 20-year comprehensive plan. One aspect of the effort envisioned bicycle paths for residents.
"That effort at the city level is now going to be mimicked by private enterprise, and that's very exciting," Wellbrock said.
The expansion fills a much-needed niche, she said.
"With those people that are passionate cyclists, as well as those that would like to do this more from a leisurely perspective as well as a transportation means, they have not been able to really get a higher level of needs met," Wellbrock said.