● By Wendy Sipple
Photo by Dante Fontana.
Describe your business. Did you find it, or did it find you?
I’ve been riding, racing, commuting and fixing bikes since I was 16. I moved to Folsom nine years ago and saw Cycling Nirvana, and just had to open a bike shop.
What was your vision when you first started your business, and what is it now?
A bike shop can be an intimidating place for a new cyclist. I wanted to provide a relaxed and informative atmosphere plus offer the best bikes and accessories for the casual rider up to the professional rider. Most importantly, I want to treat every customer with the same respect, whether they’re buying a high-end road bike or a tube. I want to get people enthused with cycling, and we’ve succeeded quite well.
What is the best part of doing business in this community?
Besides being a beautiful place to ride and live, Folsom has lots of dedicated people furthering healthy lifestyles. Folsom keeps progressing with new bike trails, and cycling events such as Folsom Cyclebration. With all the trails, parks, and events, Folsom gives everybody a healthy nudge.
What was your first job, and what did you learn from the experience?
I spent two years riding a moped around Los Gatos making deliveries for a pharmacy. I found that interaction with the customer went better by being punctual and greeting them with a warm smile.
How are you involved with both the community and your customer?
Several times a year we provide a free bicycle maintenance class. I also attend Folsom schools as part of Bike Rodeos, where we teach bicycle safety and repair long lines of students’ bicycles. We are a major sponsor of Bike-to-Work month in May.
Why is your staff the best in the business?
Our three full-time employees all have 2-3 decades of cycling experience, which translates into loads of important information for our customers. The key is how we offer the information in a friendly way.
What life accomplishments are you most proud of?
My marriage and my kids. Raising friendly and responsible kids takes lots of work. My wife Lynda and I have done a pretty good job. Also, starting and growing a racing team has been very rewarding. I love bringing a bunch of cycling enthusiasts together to ride and race and become real friends.
And finally, customer service is…?
Respect! Getting new customers to feel comfortable with salespeople is key. We do this by being friendly, informative and asking lots of questions to find out what the customer really needs.
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