Bike fest business booming

Business is hopping for several Victoria bike shops. Troy Woodburn of the Trek Bicycles Store credits that windfall to the buzz around the inaugural Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria and the newly named and revamped Victoria International Cycling Festival

Business is hopping for several Victoria bike shops. Troy Woodburn of the Trek Bicycles Store credits that windfall to the buzz around the inaugural Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria and the newly named and revamped Victoria International Cycling Festival

Business is up for a number of Victoria bicycle shops, which are enjoying the economic spinoffs of the star-studded Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria and Victoria International Cycling Festival, which kicks off Friday (May 27).

With 1,200 cyclists registered for the inaugural tour’s 90- and 40-kilometre rides through the Capital Region, many have turned to the professionals for help.

“(Business has) definitely picked up because of this,” said Troy Woodburn, owner of Trek Bicycles Victoria.

Bike sales, requests for tune-ups and cycling clinics are keeping staff on the go.

“It’s great. It’s definitely an increase from the last few years,” Woodburn said.

Mike Korb, manager of Russ Hay’s The Bicycle Shop, has seen a spike in attendance at weekly rides offered through his shop, and in people keen on road bikes.

“We’ve definitely seen people gearing up,” said Korb. “I think there’s been a resurgence in the road biking aspect for us in general.

“The events are definitely getting people psyched.”

The Fairfield Bicycle Shop is also cashing in on the buzz around the tour and festival.

In recent months, co-owner Tim Unger has seen an increase in people returning to cycling, newcomers to the sport, and demand for repairs and tune-ups.

“We’re booked up for about a week-and-a-half in advance,” Unger said of the boost which started about a month ago.

“It’s generally like this in the summer,” he said. “It’s a little bit earlier than usual that we’re booked up like that.”

Celebrities taking part in the tour, such as Tour de France hero and Metchosin resident Ryder Hesjedal, are creating a lot of buzz. “The ride with the pro is obviously a larger draw,” Unger said.

emccracken@vicnews.com