People are enjoying the outdoors on their bikes

By Bill Althaus
The Examiner

While classrooms are closed and students are enjoying a summer break, Gianni Cusimano was busy doing some important research. 

Like so many, young Cusimano was busy looking for the perfect bike. He found it at Bike Stop in Blue Springs. 

Bike Stop manager Ryan Ryan Hamman, left, and sales person Renee Thiery help Gianni Cusimano and his grandfather Jack Knapp select a bike that will fit the youngster's needs over the next few years.

“Gianni did a lot of research, and I’m really proud of him because he wants a bike that will grow right along with him,” said his grandfather, Jack Knapp. 

“He’d go on the internet and find a bike he liked, and then he would do his research, finding out the cost, how durable it was – things like that. And we found the perfect bike.” 

A Talon 4, which Bike Stop manager Ryan Hamann said is the perfect ride for a 13-year-old on the go. 

Hamann said it is hard to keep models of some bikes in stock because so many people are getting back outdoors. 

“We get people like Gianni and his grandpa in here every day – young riders, older riders, experienced riders, new riders. We had two ladies come in a few weeks ago, and they each bought a bike and they have been in a couple of times telling us how much fun – and exercise – they are getting.  

“And that makes me so happy, because I can’t imagine my life without my bike.” 

And that’s how Gianni feels. 

“If the sun is out, I’m out on my bike,” Gianni said.  

When asked about business, a large smile appears on Hamann’s face. 

“Crazy busy,” he said, “and that’s great for us, and great for the people who looking at buying a first-time bike, or making an upgrade. We have customers who range in age from the mid 80s to a 3-year-old. 

“We have people who ride for fun, people who ride for exercise and people who do a little of both. And as you can tell from watching Gianni and his grandpa, we love to talk about bikes, answer any questions and make everyone, especially newcomers feel comfortable, like this is their second home.” 

Although he had no hard data, Hamann said sales have grown nearly 10 times in the past few months since COVID restrictions have been eased. 

“This is Bike Stop’s 34th year and my tenth year here and I think this is as busy as we’ve ever been,” Hamann said. “If someone is interested in a bike, come in, ask questions, take a test ride, Who knows? It might change your life.”