2020 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Fairfax
www.fairfaxcyclery.com; (415) 721-7644
What do they offer?
carries an excellent selection of kids’ bikes, racing bikes, scooters, mountain bikes and downhill bikes. The brands include: Marin Bikes (based in Novato), Intense Cycles, Intense BMX, SE Racing, Yeti Cycles, Redline Bicycles, Madd Gear Scooters, Redman Bikes, and WTB (based in Mill Valley).
Prices start at $129-350. All bikes come fully built, with warranty and service.
The store also has jerseys, helmets, sunglasses, Lake bike shoes, gloves, and bike shorts, plus bike parts and accessories such as tires, fenders, handlebars, seat posts and pedals. On-site mechanics offer fast repair service for bikes purchased here or elsewhere.
Who are they?
Owner/president Bryan Harrell, originally from San Clemente, grew up racing bikes (BMX) from age ten through twenty, then got into mountain bikes and road bikes, which he's raced ever since. At UC Irvine he met future wife Lisa Mennucci, a San Anselmo native whose grandparents were both Italian opera singers in San Francisco. “She’s a casual rider, but she has a mountain bike,” said Harrell, who takes his out three or four days a week. “I just got her on BMX.”
BMX Racing is an Olympic sport. Dirt race course tracks are made up of serpentines and jumps. The off-road racing sport is family-oriented and participant-driven, with riders ranging in age from 10- to 60-years-old. Skill classification is based on a points accumulation system over the racing season (year). Ranking is within a national age group. There are professional ranks for men and women 19- to 40-years-old.
The Harrells' seven-year-old son, Jacob, is also a BMX racer. “We travel all over the country racing BMX. There are 28 USA BMX nationals a year, with adults and kids," said Harnell. "Our season starts Jan. 1 and we practice and race together three or four days a week, after school () and on weekends. I was 20th in the country in my age group. Jacob is probably 26th in the country now for his age group.” Both have the trophies to prove it. (See photos.)
Everyone in the store is knowledgeable and enthusiastic. Manager and head mechanic Josh Orlando, who grew up in Mill Valley riding at the base of Mt. Tamalpias, has been an avid mountain biker for twenty-five years. “I can fix anything with wheels,” he joked. His left calf sports the tattoo he designed (see photo). “Live to ride” and “Wrench to live,” it proclaims.
Mechanic and twenty-year Fairfax resident, Steve Huma, said, “In Marin, we have the best back yard ever for biking.” Mechanic Alex Hughes, who lives in Forest Knolls said, “I’m impressed at how difficult it is to get some tires off rims.”
How long have they been there?
Fairfax Cyclery has been in the current location, next to , since 2007. There is plenty of free parking and the shop is open seven days a week.
Why are they business of the week?
Even though it won't fit down the chimney, a bike is the perfect match for Christmas. Many of us were thrilled at the sight of one, bedecked with red bow, under the tree when we were children. And we all know it's better to give than to receive. Well, sort of.
With sales, lay-away and specials happening now, prices are 10 to 30 percent off almost everything. For the person dedicated to mountain biking who wants cutting-edge technology, the most expensive item in the store is a Yeti Cycles bike for $8,000. (Some oenophiles spend that on a bottle of wine!)
A $10 raffle ticket gives you the chance to win a Yeti AS-R 5 Carbon (Enduro Build kit). The odds are good with only 350 tickets.
Fairfax Cyclery also sells day and annual passes to nearby , one of Marin County’s last open access single track trails systems. At $45, a yearly pass would make a great gift.
Harrell’s joy and passion for cycling is infectious. “I love everything about it,” he said. “Being outdoors, feeling the wind in my hair, being active out in nature, having fun and being healthy.
“It’s great for kids. Too many sit around playing video games. Cycling gets them up and out. Bikes are a good way for kids to get themselves to school when they are old enough. If their parents also cycle, biking is a great way for families to bond.”
“I am so happy about all the time I get to spend with Jacob now," said Harrell. "By the time he’s thirteen, he probably won’t want to be around me that much, so I’m grabbing onto every minute of the present.”
If you want to grab one of his bikes as a present, note that the store will be closing early, at 4 p.m., on Christmas Eve.
Do you remember getting your first bike?