In late April, Kenton neighbor Rich Walker moved his bicycle repair shop, Kenton Cycle Repair, from 2020 N. McClellan St., to a new larger space one block south in the former home of Nancy Fedelem’s Fang and Feather pet supply shop at 926 N. Kilpatrick St.
Walker, a bike mechanic since high school, has lived in the neighborhood since 2010 and originally moved to Portland in 2000. He opened in the McClellan space in September 2012. The shop offers new and used bicycles, repairs and new and used accessories.
“I grew up in San Jose, Calif., and rode my bike all over in the foothills with friends as a teenager,” said Walker. “I’ve always been mechanically inclined and decided that taking bicycles apart was a great way to figure out how they worked. I landed a job at a small shop and worked two years learning the basics of bike assembly and customer service. In April 2004, after moving to Portland, I wandered into the Community Cycling Center and applied for a job as a mechanic. I somehow persuaded them to hire me and spent eight years learning to repair and restore old bikes. I also met my wife and we had a daughter. In 2012, I was looking to work closer to home and thought I might be able to run my own shop. A friend was looking to start a bike shop too. In 2015, I bought his portion of the business and hired a full-time manager. Since then, we’ve expanded our repair capacity and started selling new bicycles.”
The Kenton Cycle team includes manager and service specialist Ash Mitchell, mechanic and large bicycle and bicycle-camping specialist John Rutman, mechanic Brian Manning, wife and graphic designer Marbry Walker, daughter and mechanic-in-training Molly Walker, and shop dog and greeter Josie Whales.
“There are a lot of bike shops in town, but we like to think we’re special, especially when it comes to customer service,” said Walker. “We like to make bikes be the best they can be – for anyone who rides. It’s that simple. Everyone who works here is invested in each customer having a fun, honest, and genuine experience when they visit. We’re really invested in being part of our community and growing it. So we’re really focused on our connections with people – in addition to getting people on a bike, and doing quality repairs.”
In the larger space, Walker has added two workbenches for additional repair capacity and a workbench with a complete set of tools for customers to use – which can be rented by the hour or available via membership. The shop is now working with a physical therapist to provide periodic bike fitting services on location. Walker has also added a custom-made display for his collection of vintage “dorky” bikes, frames and parts. Future plans include a room for kid’s trailers and family cycling accessories.
“We’ll now have space for customers to comfortably browse our new bicycles – both Raleigh and Soma, our extensive used part inventory and accessories for commuting,” said Walker. “Our manager, Ash – with input from Rich and others – came up with the floor plan and has been hard at work rebuilding benches and crafting shelving. She’s in there nearly every day. Ken Miller, our contractor, is doing fantastic work. David Kuch made amazing tools boards. Rob Bianco made cabinets. Dan Allen is building our bike display and Tree Davis has painted nearly every wall and piece of trim. Everyone is working together and we’re thankful to everyone who has pitched in.”
The Walkers and the team at Kenton Cycle are thrilled to be a part of the Kenton community.
“I’ve become friends with many of the business owners over the years and enjoy coffee from Posies and Prince,” said Walker. “Ash was born and raised in the Portland area. She really wants to give a shout out to our neighbors at the Parkside Cafe for providing a sunny spot or a cozy fire after a long day. We’re excited to be unveiling some new programs for the community this season. A larger space gives us room to stretch our wings and we have some surprises up our sleeves.”
For more information, call 503-208-3446 or visit www.kentoncyclepdx.com.