VALDOSTA -- Valdosta Bike Center is up and rolling, and owner Blake Waagner boasts the new store offers anything a cycling enthusiast could want.

A Trek dealership, the store offers a full line of Trek, Lamond, Kline and Gary Fisher bikes and accessories. "No other place around offers the parts and accessories we do," Waagner said.

Open just six weeks, bike enthusiast Waagner said word of mouth has kept he and his lone employee, John Griffin, very busy so far -- but not so busy they don't have time to ride. "We try to ride at least an hour every day," he said.

The store offers a wide range of bike styles to suit everyone from the casual weekend rider to the hard-core racer. The cruisers typically have wider seats and brakes on the pedals, and the bikes get more complicated from there, with styles that are road and mountain biking hybrids, all the way up to the light, fast,sleek -- and expensive -- racing bikes.

"Our bikes range in price from $200 to $6,000, but the higher end bikes are custom built," Waagner said.

Waagner and Griffin fit each customer, regardless of the style bike, and even let them take the bike out for a spin before buying.

The store carries baby joggers, baby seats and the pull-behind kid carriers for the convenience of parents. Other accessories include a full line of Nike shoes for bikers, saddle bags, tires, pumps, shirts, bike shorts, helmets, car racks, gloves, seats and more.

Waagner said they work with cycling clubs and offer group discounts. They also repair bikes and do regular tune-ups as well as replacing gears, tires, and rims.

The bike center keeps a bulletin board with information about races in the area, including the West Georgia American Heart Association Century Ride on June 1, the KA Tommy Swann 5K at Valdosta State University on April 26 and the upcoming Ride Across Georgia.

Valdosta Bike Center is located in the Baytree Center and is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Waagner said even if the store doesn't have a certain bike or accessory in stock for a customer, "We can order just about anything and have it here in four days."



To contact Business Editor Kay Harris, please call 244-3400, ext. 280.

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