Winding path to get his bike shop
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Apr 25, 2014, 07:00
JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Louis Scheer recently bought a bike shop in Enon and renamed it Molly’s, after his dog who died after being hit by a car. Below: Toby, a big black lab, greets customers at the shop.
CHESTERFIELD — When customers enter Molly’s Bicycle Shop in Enon, they are greeted by a big black lab named Toby. His tail wags and his cold, wet nose seeks out any extended hand.
Its a similar kind of excitement you’ll get from owner Louis Scheer, who prides himself on making customers feel welcome and to provide them with great service.
“I want it to be friendly and have people come in and grab a cup of coffee, a banana or water or whatever,” he said.
When a customer came in recently with his dad looking for a new Redline BMX style bike after the old one had been stolen, Scheer swapped out the tires for free, adjusted the seat, helped pick out a lock and set the combination and even threw in a free pair of novelty tire stem caps.
When you enter the shop, you’ll find a vast array of different bikes, from BMX to road racing and beach cruisers. Brands like Redline, Torker, Revolutions, Sun, Skookum, La Pierre and Jamis fill the floor in the shop, which looks like a small ranch home alongside Route 10. The walls are lined with accessories and dozens of more bikes await repairs or tuneups.
The shop is not completely new as it has gone through several incarnations. The location has been a bike shop since 2000 but Scheer has been operating it since Nov. 18.
It had been “Pedals, Chains, and Things” two years ago then became “Cycle Solutions,” a combination scooter shop and a bicycle shop. Scheer has gotten rid of the scooter part and made a lot of changes, such as opening up the floor space, changing pricing and increasing hours.
The name Molly’s came from a dog he had that was hit by a car and died during surgery.
“Hopefully, I will have another Molly here soon,” he said.
Scheer said he’s just working on getting as many people as he can in the door to see the changes, and he has more changes planned. He said he will soon be bringing in higher-end brands for the avid riders, including carbon-fiber road bikes.
“I saw a lot of potential in this shop. … I want to be that shop that can take that bike from Walmart and fix it so its not on the back of a pickup on the way to the scrapyard and not make it cost as much as the bike,” he said.
Scheer says his bikes are step above what you would find in a big box store and also offers two years of service free. But he said its not that the cheaper brands of bikes are bad, its that they are thrown together before ending up on the rack.
Part-time employee Daniel Cubbage changes a tire on a BMX bike that was just purchased.
“You are surrounded by every walk of life here, and I want to make everybody at least comfortable riding a bike where they don’t throw it in the garage and say ‘That’s it, never again.’ And that happens a lot,” he said.
Scheer worked in bike shops for most of his youth, but it has been a winding path to get his own shop. He is originally from San Diego but recently lived in Texas.
“Basically I got tired of working for the man. I worked for an extremely large window manufacturing company. … I would rather live poor and work for myself than live mediocre and work for a corporation at this point,” Scheer said. “It just sucked the life out of me and it made me dread work every day. Now I work more hours here than I did there but it doesn’t bother me one bit.”
He says he has been into bikes his whole life and his dad owned a bike shop when he was a kid in Carson City, Nev., and later after they moved to California when his father worked in a Schwinn shop.
“So every day after school it was going to the shop, from kindergarten on,” he said.
Scheer worked there all the way through high school.
“I always wanted to own a shop. I just never thought it would be possible, because it takes so much money,” he said.
Scheer’s family is still a part of the business. In addition to part-time worker Daniel Cubbage, Scheer’s girlfriend Amy Ballard and sister Sherry Kelley all help out in the shop.
Scheer said he decided to buy the shop after seeing it for sale online and he really liked the Richmond region.
“It’s like a cross between Boston and North Carolina. You got a lot of history and a lot of tradition but a lot of really relaxed people,” he said.
He also said it is a great area for biking. Scheer said he enjoys all types of riding but sold off his BMX and road bike to make space in the shop.
“I kept my mountain bike because there are a lot of trails around here. I don’t love road riding if you can’t ride without traffic blowing by you all the time,” he said.
Molly’s Bicycle Shop is located at 2126 East Hundred Road.
For more information, visit mollysbicycleshop.com or call 804-530-9022.