Conte’s Bike Shop Adds Experienced Industry Professionals To Its D.C. Team

A messages from WABA Corporate Partner, Conte’s Bike Shop:

Conte’s Bike Shop® is pleased to announce that Nick Kwasigroch and Walker Wilkson have joined the Company as Assistant Store Manager at the Cathedral Heights store and as Service Manager at the Company’s Logan Circle store, respectively.

Walker has spent nearly ten years growing the service department at the former Bike Rack in Washington, DC. Walker’s love for bicycles started in the unlikeliest of cities: car-centric Houston. The journey to bicycle repair began when a flat left him afoot four miles from home (in the July heat!). Walker believes that bicycles are transformative in people’s lives. He is an experienced cyclist and logged his longest ride (Texas to Tennessee) on a hybrid, however his favorite local ride is the C&O Canal. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Houston and is an avid reader having finished 137 books in 2019. He and his wife have a toddler and live in the Brookland neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Nick relocated from Chicago to Washington, D.C. 13 years ago and has been an avid bicycle commuter since the mid ‘90s. He enjoyed a dedicated 11-year career as a member of Bike Rack’s management. Nick’s educational background is in graphic design, but having discovered that he is a born sales person, he has combined his eye for design and his love of cycling to create shop apparel, cycling kits and local race team kits. In joining Conte’s Bike Shop’s management team in the D.C. region, Nick described his goal: “I am looking forward to what I can bring to the Conte’s Bike Shop franchise in NOVA-DC, and in particular to my new colleagues at the Cathedral Heights store.”

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Walker and Nick, two known professionals in the D.C. cycling culture, and to have them as part of our management team illustrates our commitment to excellence”, said Co-Owner David Conte.

Founded in VA in 1957, Conte’s has been recognized 11 times as one of the Top 100 Best Bicycle Retailers in America, was cited by Tidewater Women Magazine as the recipient of the Ladies Choice Award in the Bike Shops category, and designated “Retailer of the Year” by the Retail Alliance. In 2016, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News selected Conte’s as one of only 6 Award nominees for National Bicycle Retailer of the Year. With 14 locations in Virginia, Washington, D.C. and Florida, the Company prides itself on being a center and resource for the cycling community, offering events, clinics, professional fitting services, structured rides and online resources.

Takoma Bicycle gets a fresh look

WABA’s Business Members understand the importance of a community that bicycles. Their membership supports our advocacy, outreach, and education. Our business members are committed to a creating a healthy, more livable region and are adding their voice to a growing number of bicycle-friendly businesses supporting WABA. Today, meet Takoma Bicycle.

You know how you feel when you’re cruising down a protected bike lane? Wind in your hair (through your helmet, of course), smile on your face, not a worry to be bothered by? It’s pretty magical, right? That’s the beauty of design. Much like the layout of a street, the layout of a bike shop has the power to create the same effect as that protected bike laneleaving you with a smile on your face, and ready to start riding.

Bike industry veteran and Takoma Bicycle owner Bruce Sawtelle, has been thinking about bike retail since running around his father’s Schwinn shops as a kid. Bruce’s dad implemented the innovative retail model of Schwinn with a clean, well-lit and organized sales floor, and exceptional customer service.

But since the Schwinn retail revolution of the 1960s, not much has changed for shops. To drive that improvement, Bruce sends employees to retail training sessions each year. And as a member of the National Bicycle Dealers Association Profitability Project (a bike retailer group), Bruce has visited stores across the country to experience the best of various retail models.

Since opening Takoma Bicycle in 2010, Bruce has focused on welcoming all types of riders, from the commuter and the casual weekend rider to kids and families. In the spirit of innovation, Bruce wanted his shop’s layout and design to reflect Takoma Bicycle’s focus on customer experience.

Bruce worked with award-winning retail designers at 3 Dots Design in November 2017 to remodel his store. Some highlights are the new e-bike display, a remodeled kids accessory area, bright apparel section, signs for merchandise categories to orient shoppers, a brand new well-lit fitting room, and storage room that brings hundreds of helmet boxes off the retail floor. New elements clean up the small space and invite customers to stay, chat, and shop.

Whether or not you appreciate the intricacies of bicycle retail, you can appreciate a great bike shop experience, and Takoma Bicycle is worth a visit. While you’re there, make sure you say hi to Bruce who continues his father’s legacy and services the families and commuters in the lovely Takoma Park community.

Do you own, work for, or patronize a business that is a good candidate for our business membership? Help show your support for a bike-friendly region and WABA’s advocacy and get all sorts of perks, including your very own blog post! Details here.

Join WABA’s DC Bike Ambassador for Bike Shop Outreach Week

Get to know your local bike shop and join our Bike Ambassador as we head out to a slew of DC shops next week for WABA’s first-ever shop outreach week! We love our local bike shops (without them, there wouldn’t be anybody out there on the streets to advocate for) and we want you to love them too.

It’s back-to-school season and nothing says “Welcome to DC, college freshmen!” like a bike! You can buy one brand new from any of DC’s excellently stocked and superbly staffed bike shops or you can bring that “deal” you found online in and the masterful mechanics will fix it up and get it ready to ride.

We’ll be out at a different shop each evening after work, handing out bike maps and safety info and encouraging folks to head on in and stock up on bike parts, apparel and accessories. Show us your receipt from the shop dated the day that our Ambassador is there, and you will be entered into a weeklong raffle for a WABA prize pack!

What’s more, if you purchase a WABA membership at any of the shops next week, you will get a bonus gift from us and 2 more entries into the raffle. Wait, hold on, did we mention that WABA memberships purchased from our Ambassador will be discounted down to $25? This is the steal of the season!

Here is the schedule for Shop Outreach Week, all appearances will be 5pm-7pm. Come out, say hi, and get into your local bike shop!