It seemed very counterintuitive — closing a bike shop at what would seem to be its busiest time of year.
That, however, is just what James and Heather Barringer did with Newton Bike Shop on West Sixth Street when they announced a temporary closure earlier this year. They have reopened, with no big party or fanfare when they did so.
According to the Barringers, the hiatus allowed for them to refocus on the business' original mission.
“Our passion is to create and foster a love for cycling and to build a stronger, healthier community by sharing our passion for hospitality and outdoor fun. We want to make it easy for families to enjoy the outdoors, get moving, and create healthy memories with their children and grandchildren,” the couple said in a news release.
There is a new focus — the bike shop is now a donation center for old bicycles. The shop continues to operate a a full bicycle salvage yard. Donated bikes become a way to add parts and keep prices inexpensive for potential customers who need that option.
“Donations allow us to offer extremely low-priced transportation bicycles to those who need them as well,” Heather Barringer said.
The shop is back to refocus on the mission. When the shop opened, the showroom floor was mostly used bicycles. Over time, that showroom floor began to fill with new bicycles, and the focus change.
“We realized that our original mission – to put more people on bikes as often as we can and within any budget – had been overlooked in some respects,” Heather Barringer said. “With the addition of a fleet of new bicycles, our used bicycle inventory had dwindled to almost nothing leaving many with little options for purchasing bicycles. With increasing the stores’ new bicycle inventory comes an implied emphasis to sell those items resulting in lost focus on one of our favorite things to do...recycle bicycles. Also, filling a store with all the “touch and feel” items means service prices must go up. So, we’ve also made some changes in service pricing to better serve our community and our mission.“