Fort Wayne, Indiana is getting wild about bicycling! Mayor Tom Henry has helped bring cycling front and center by first issuing a cycling survey that all residents could opt to take and then stepping into the fray and making some of the suggestions a reality, like bike lanes and trails. Trails, though, in the Summit City have become a matter of pride among residents and Aboite Trails got a Big Help in the form of a Big Give from Oprah Winfrey a couple years ago.
Fort Wayne has several bicycle stores, but none are more community minded or more committed to green living than Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot, located at 1004 Cass Street.
As the creator of the Green ABC ‘˜s for Kids, I first came in contact with Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot when my son, Chris Langschied, and I hosted the 1st GreenFest in Northeast Indiana in 2009. They jumped into the event; made sure their presence was known and offered a prize to participants.
Not only, do the people at Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot know their business, they also make a conscious effort to become involved in the wider environmental community and that is just one more reason why I believe that Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot are the Best Local Bike Shop in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Recently, I took a few moments to ask Cara Hall of Fort Wayne Outfitters five questions about this community-minded shop. Here is what I found out!
ABS) How did the idea of Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot come to be. Who were the main players?
CH) The idea came from Tim Hall. His mother was closing her store (the Yarn Depot) in 1997 and she retired. Tim has always been an avid cyclist and loves all outdoor activities, including kayaking. He knew the historic Depot could serve cyclists since it is located on the Rivergreenway as well as kayaks and canoes on the St. Mary’s River. He also is interested in bringing people to the downtown area.
ABS) You have an immense presence in the green community in Fort Wayne? Is this position an important part of your mission?
CH) Absolutely. We truly believe we should all do our part to be more green. We have taken it into consideration with the brands we carry and try to help people make lifestyle changes. We try to support all groups who are working to help our environment through education and hands-on clean-up efforts.
ABS) What is the best selling bike right now, and why do you think that is?
Ch) The hybrids are the best selling bikes for us right now. They are great commuter bikes which many people use them for that purpose. We seem to be fitting lots of them with baskets and racks for people to carry their clothes to work or their groceries home which is very exciting for us. They are also very comfortable bikes, so they are great for any age to get out and exercise. We see lots of families out on the Rivergreenway spending time together and having fun while enjoying the outdoors and getting exercise. The hybrids are great for all of that.
ABS) What events are on your calendar for the next few months?
CH) Lots of cool stuff coming up. Here are some things:
Hoosier Environmental Council ‘” Meeting at Fort Wayne Outfitters Sept 11
Save the Maumee’s Canoe Can YOU Clean-Up September 18
Fort Wayne’s Amazing Adventure Race ‘” October 23
Spooky Cross ‘” Halloween themed Cyclocross Race ‘” October 30
Every Wednesday at 5:30p we offer free clinic and practice races for Cyclocross
(anyone is welcome)
ABS) What is your vision for the future?
CH) The rivers are very important to us. We hope the city will continue it’s clean up efforts and we hope they are more utilized in the future for recreation and tourism. We also hope to see continued growth of the trails and bike lanes in the city to encourage more people to pedal instead of drive.
For our business, we’d like to continue to grow and get more people excited about getting outdoors. We consider ourselves more lifestyle outdoors, with things you can use in your every day life to stay active and have fun. Our vision would be to make more people see this ‘” you don’t necessarily need to buy a tent and sleeping bag to use once every year or two to get outdoors.
There are lots of things you can do every day to stay active and enjoy the outdoors. Things like biking, kayaking, running, hiking you can do each day and make it part of your lifestyle. You can commute to work on your bike and be outdoors, getting exercise, saving money on gas and helping the environment. We hope to be a hub for people to meet others with similar views, as well.
Fort Wayne Outfitters and Bike Depot are proving that a community mind set is an important ingredient for success in today’s economy and ever-changing world.
Why not visit them today at normal business hours; Open Mon-Tue,Sun 10am-6pm; Wed-Sat 10am-8pm.!