Although it seemed like Walker’s Point should already have a place to buy and repair bicycles, it didn’t – until this week.
Carolyn Weber and Tristan Klein quietly opened Coast In at 700 S. 5th St. in the Bucketworks building. They plan to have a grand opening celebration on June 1.
Coast In Bikes offers bicycle repair, used-bicycle sales, bicycle-related accessory sales and, later this spring, bicycle rentals. The business will eventually sell new bikes and sell and rent cargo bikes, too.
"Cargo bikes are expensive, so people will have the chance to try them out," says Weber. "I think they’re great. I moved everything in my house on one."
All of the repairs will be done in the middle of the space, and there’s a "bar" around the workspace so customers and the curious can stop by, have a cup of coffee or tea and observe the maintenance process.
"People are invited to hang out here, ask us questions while we’re working," says Weber. Coast In also has a lending library and will offer classes and / or hourly rates allowing cyclists to come in with their bikes, use the shop’s tools and receive instruction.
Most of Coast In’s items were purchased from a bicycle shop that went out of business in Niagara. The couple saw the inventory for sale on Craigslist and drove three hours north.
"We bought the whole shop," says Weber.
Everything in Coast In Bikes – which is still under construction but open to the public – is on sale for 20 percent off throughout the month of May. There is also an ongoing raffle throughout the month.
Coast In Bikes was financed by Fund Milwaukee, a local investing group that invests in local businesses and WWBIC (Wisconsin Women's Business Initiative Corporation). They are also supported by Bucketworks as one of the collective’s start-up businesses within the space.
Weber and Klein, who plan to move to the neighborhood next month, are year ‘round cyclists. They also own a car.
"You really need cars for hardware store runs," says Klein, a former products service manager for Wheel & Sprocket. "Which we’ve done a lot of lately."
The couple has also been trying to open a hostel in Walker’s Point called Third Coast Inn. Originally, they were trying to lease a building on 3rd and Bruce Streets but were unable to secure the space due to the city’s zoning code.
"We have other locations in mind and potential partnerships with investors in the area that we will be working on developing throughout the summer," says Weber. "With lots of hard work we hope to have Third Coast Inn, Milwaukee's first hostel, up and running by next spring."
Walker's Point is the ideal place for a bicycle shop, according to Weber.
"All the major bicycle trails intersect in Walkers Point: the Oak Leaf Trail system, Hank Aaron State Trail and the developing Bay View Corridor," she says. "There are many bicycle lanes on the main streets including the newly (re)developed 2nd Street."
Currently, the business is open limited hours: Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 8 p.m.; Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hours will extend in the near future. Stay in the loop through Coast In Bikes' Facebook page.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.