BY JULIE JEFFERY MANWARREN
Since 1933, Sickler’s Bike and Sports Shop has provided northeast Pennsylvania’s cycling community with bikes and gear. In 2008, Sickler’s opened a second location on Noble Road. Recognized as one of America’s best bike shops by the National Bicycle Dealer’s Association, the business has worked to maintain a level of quality in the bicycles and gear it sells and the professional service it provides.
Sickler’s also embraces the community it is a part of. Years ago, the shop began organizing a weekly bike ride so its customers and others in the community could build relationships, share tips and enjoy the beautiful scenery of the region together.
Tom Boylan, sales and customer service rep for Sickler’s, said this summer, the local shop organized three group rides a week: a hammer ride, a beginner ride and a gravel ride.
“All our rides are weather pending,” Boylan said. “We try to kick off our weekly rides in April or May and we will go through the fall. We usually have a barbecue after our Thursday rides. The food is free. We just want people to come and enjoy riding together. The goal is community building and rider engagement.”
On a beginner ride they keep the pace to an average of 12 miles per hour and are mindful of the skill of the riders. Sickler’s group rides are no-drop rides, which means that the group will take breaks and wait for anyone who needs to catch up.
Ride with Sicklers
These free group bike rides are offered weekly at Sickler’s:
- Hammer Ride: This ride is offered every Tuesday, weather permitting. Bicyclists travel at about a 15 mile per hour average pace. This ride has a faster pace and more climbing than the beginner group ride. This ride is geared toward experienced cyclists.
- Beginner Ride: This ride is good for beginners and intermediate riders. It is offered every Wednesday, weather permitting. Cyclists will travel up to 12 miles per hour on average. Veterans and representatives from Sickler’s go along on this ride, offering help and advice when needed.
- Gravel Ride: This ride leaves from Sickler’s every Thursday, weather permitting. It follows the trolley trail and beyond. This ride is fewer miles than the others and the average pace is 10 miles per hour. Thursday’s Gravel Ride ends with a cookout at Sickler’s.
All rides start at 5:30 p.m. and leave from Sickler’s Clarks Summit location at 298 Noble Road. All group rides are “no-drop rides,” meaning the group sticks together; no one is left behind. Rides last about two to two-and-a-half hours, and riders return to Sickler’s before the sun goes down.
Riders should have a road bike, helmet, proper attire and water.
To sign up for an email newsletter with notifications about Sickler’s group rides, visit sicklerbikes.com. Or, call Sickler’s at 570-587-2453 for more information.