Bike repair shop set to open on Broad St.
Dan Greeson and Rhonda Eichenberger, two of Rome’s longtime cycling enthusiasts, have joined forces to open Gears to Cheers Bicycle Repair in the basement of Forrest Place, 436 Broad St.
The shop is primarily a bike repair shop, though Eichenberger said they will have a retail assortment of items to repair things that break on bikes.
The shop will open this Tuesday and be open Tuesday through Friday from noon to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Eichenberger said the theme for the shop is “solutions to keep people pedaling.”
Eichenberger has been an avid mountain biker in the area for years. In fact, she has been an adjunct instructor at Berry teaching an elective physical education course in mountain biking for the past seven years.
Greeson worked the front counter at the former Cycle Therapy shop in Rome for about a year and a half before it closed in 2018.
He said the pairing with Eichenberger was something that just seemed meant to be. Both were recently retired, to some degree according to Greeson.
A mutual friend told him Eichenberger was interested in becoming a bike mechanic during her retirement. Later, Greeson said real estate agent Jimmy Byars, also a cyclist, suggested the space in the basement of the Forrest Place might work for the business.
“Well, I knew Rhonda from before, so voila. With Cycle Therapy closed we thought Rome could use a second bike shop,” Greeson said.
Eichenberger said while a lot of people look at bicycles as toys, that they are actually vehicles, a means of transportation.
“We look at them first from a safety perspective,” Eichenberger said. “We want to make sure your brakes work and the wheels are not going to fall off.”
She used a mountain bike trek as an example.
“If you’re going downhill and something breaks, you’re in a bad situation,” she said.
Greeson said the shop was also planning to get into the consignment sale of bicycles.
“We’re not going to get into new bikes any time soon,” Greeson said. He said a lot of people don’t want the hassle of trying to sell an old bike online. “They’ll bring their bikes in, we’ll give them a safety check and we’ll handle the transaction. We’ll take a cut and they won’t have to hassle with a sale.”
Eichenberger said the amount of people road biking has nearly tripled in growth in Rome over the last decade, and as the number of local trails increases, the number of mountain bike enthusiasts has also gone up.
In addition to the large number of paved trails that criss-cross Rome, the city has two urban wilderness trail systems on Jackson Hill and Garrard Park — not to mention multiple trails at Berry College. She would really like to see the number of women involved in mountain biking grow in coming years.
In addition to Gears to Cheers, Romans interested in new bikes can visit Pullen’s Ordinary Bicycle shop, at 105 Broad St., where Mike Barger has been the manager for many years.
Gears to Cheers will hold a formal grand opening event Feb. 1, from 5 - 6 p.m.