|Vitesse Cycle Shop keeps Normal rolling|
|Written by Tyler Yonke, Daily Vidette Staff Writer|
|Monday, 12 November 2012 15:57|
The Bloomington-Normal area is filled with miles of bike trails, and Vitesse Cycle in Uptown Normal offers a host of options to get equipped for two-wheel travel.
The store’s origins go back to 1975, when Seaway Distributing opened three Vitesse locations in Madison and Janesville, Wis. and Normal, according to the company’s website. Seaway decided to jump to manufacturing, and the Vitesse location in Normal was sold to a group of five owners.
Chris Koos, Mayor of Normal, first bought into the company in 1978, and in 1992 he purchased the others’ shares to gain full ownership of Vitesse Cycle.
With Koos’ leadership, the company continued to develop, moving in 1995 from 100 N. Linden St., which was shared with the Pub II, to its current location, opening Often Running, a sister store focusing on running shoes and accessories, in the process.
The selection of bicycle brands and styles Vitesse offers are sure to fit the needs of anyone from casual cyclists to two-wheel enthusiasts.
“We sell just about any kind of bike there is,” Andre Conton, bicycle manager, said. “Our two biggest sellers are hybrids and road bikes, but we also sell youth bikes, mountain bikes, comfort bikes. We also have styles such as cyclocross bikes, which are a mix of two other styles.”
Vitesse also sells all the equipment cyclists need to be properly fitted for their hobby. Helmets, pumps, lights and eyewear are just a few of the offerings Vitesse has to round out the biking experience.
The store offers repair and maintenance services that allow customers to get the most out of their bike.
“We do any kind of repairs, but our most common repairs are tires, tubes and gear adjustments,” Conton said.
One special paid service offered by the store is called a bicycle fitting. Cyclists bring their bike into the store, and employees examine how the rider and vehicle measure up together. The experts adjust measurements such as seat and handlebar height, and work towards creating dimensions which make the rider more comfortable and ergonomically healthy.
“We want to make sure the person is riding a bike that is not too big or too small for them,” Conton said. “We also want to see that they are getting the proper positioning and leg extension when they ride.”
The store’s website, vitessecycle.com, has tips for buying bicycles, training with them, maintaining them and more. In addition, customers can shop for bikes and accessories online.
Vitesse is also very active in supporting local bicycling organizations and races.
“We are associated with several different organizations,” Conton said. “We sponsor races put on by the McLean County Wheelers and the Tri-Shark Club.”
The store also takes an interest in the group Friends of the Constitution Trail, as it lies just east of the prominent biking path.
“Bike BloNo is also a newer group which we support,” Conton said. Bike BloNo is a recently established group which promotes biking as everyday transportation.