UPDATED 4:25 p.m.
With a pet store, yoga spots, a theater, several watering holes, a thrift store, a 7Eleven, a Capital Bikeshare outpost and even a Safeway just up the road, the Atlas Corridor’s H Street NE is one of the city’s most rapidly gentrifying areas.
It seems like the only thing missing is — wait for it — a bicycle shop.
Now riders who have to trek up and down the “Hopscotch Bridge” finally have a haven of their own to flock to for repairs, new wheels and accessories at The Daily Rider, which opened its doors today at 1108 H St. NE.
What kind of shoes does one wear to a soft opening?— The Daily Rider (@TheDailyRiderDC) March 29, 2012
The owners, husband and wife Loren Copsey and Beth Rogers, are longtime residents of the neighborhood who were persuaded to open up the space after Rogers went on a search to find a bicycle to ride around town on and run errands with, due to her Bianchi being stolen during the 2010 Snowamgeddon.
While on a visit to Los Angeles (where Rogers’s father lives), their search led them to a shop where they found a Pashley for her (she now rides a Bobbin Birdie), and they left wondering why a shop that puts an emphasis on selling useful, commuter-friendly bikes (as opposed to sport bikes) didn’t exist in their area. A casual e-mail from Rogers about 18 months ago suggesting that they could turn their idea into reality was all Copsey needed to get the gears in motion.
“We looked around and tried to find a bike shop like what we wanted to visit, and we didn’t see one. H Street seemed like a natural fit,” Copsey said. “I kind of called her bluff, and we started doing the research.”
The shop is geared toward selling bicycles that are easy to ride around the city “and doing a lot of your everyday activities on,” Copsey said. “There’s no requirement to change clothing, and there’s no need to assume a position that’s uncomfortable. They’re comfortable bikes for relaxed riding,” he says of the cycles they offer, which at present includes the easygoing Gazelle, Biria and Bobbin bicycles. However, they do plan to offer repair services for all types of rides. “We really realize the fact that we’re going to be a neighborhood bike shop, so that’s a service that we have to offer.”
As the business gets started and the temperature warms up, The Daily Rider plans to hold bike repair clinics and offer brewery and brunch rides to its patrons. “One of the big goals we have with [these] rides is ... to get people on the streets, to get them to have that experience of riding to a place, not having it be something that requires you to work up a huge sweat, but just as a mode of transportation, and to feel comfortable doing it,” Rogers says.
Nestled in the vicinity of area venues The Rock and Roll Hotel, H Street Country Club and other late-night spots, the shop has even opted to keep its doors open until 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, understanding “that H Street has the night life component to it,” Copsey said. “We’re open to every rider. We think that every person that gets on a bike is a rider, and we’re open to everyone that gets on two wheels, three wheels, or however they ride.”
The Daily Rider will be open from noon to 10 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., and Monday and Wednesday from noon to 8 p.m. (closed Tuesdays). Follow them on Twitter and check their Facebook page for updates.