Small Business Saturday offered reminder to shop at Stoneleigh's bike shop and other local stores

To spite the Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail frenzy, it always feels nice to support local merchants on the Small Business Saturday that nestles in between. Walking in the neighborhood that afternoon, I happily noticed that one independent biz, Pedal Fun Cycles, has really taken off.

Back in April, I shared the story of owner Scott Chambers tackling his longtime dream of opening a bike shop in the site of the old Stoneleigh Cycle & Hobby. In November, Pedal Fun expanded from the back third of that space to where it now fills the entire store.

Chambers is thankful for the community’s enthusiasm and support, and enjoys giving back to invest in the well-being of our neighbors of all ages. Last month, Chambers donated bike tune-ups as prizes for the Greater Baltimore Walk to End Alzheimer’s and to the Stoneleigh Elementary Read-a-Thon.

As an experienced cyclist who was with the University of Arizona Cycling Team and as an exercise physiologist, Chambers takes a personal and professional approach to helping people meet their cycling needs, from beginner basics to elite equipment.

A range of new cycles is on display, and now Chambers has the added capacity to offer a trade-in program. In the back workshop, he can restore life to that dusty bike you’ve been meaning to get out of the shed and back on the road or trail.

Part of the charm of a small business is that it allows for the unexpected. “I get to explore all my passions,” Chambers said. That means that lacrosse-savvy customers can discover that Chambers also custom laces leather pockets for girls’ and boys’ sticks.

“You may ask, ‘Why lacrosse in a bike shop?’ The two sports go hand in hand,” he said (he’ll explain why if you stop in). Another unique offering at Pedal Fun is classic shaving equipment — with new and vintage double-edge razors, blades, brushes, soaps and creams.

When it comes to time-honored traditional Christmas wish lists, a good bike consistently ranks at the top (especially given that the practice of gifting puppies is generally frowned upon these days). “Finding a bike under the tree is just one of those ultimate Christmas experiences. It stays with you for a lifetime,” Chambers said.

Santa has put three bikes under the tree in our household over the years, and they still rank as all-time favorite scores. Perhaps my biggest success was gifting a mountain bike to my husband nearly 25 years ago. He has an emotional attachment to that bike, and he’s kept it in use with good maintenance.

Hmmm … speaking of maintenance, maybe he’ll also need some new shaving supplies in his stocking this year…

Visit Pedal Fun at 6717 York Road (410-377-4447). While you’re there, check out all the great small businesses along that Stoneleigh shopping corridor, including Ayd Hardware, Lily Pad of Towson, Villagio Café, Gennuso’s Barber Shop, The Charmery, SASS Salon, Pure Raw Juice, Gordon Florist, Stoneleigh Lanes, and many more. Shopping local makes happier holidays for everyone!

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