In my humble opinion, you can never have too many bicycle shops. That's why it was such a bummer when Mathieu's Cycle — my "pedal temple" for several reasons — shut its doors at the end of June. However, another one of my former colleagues from the Farmingdale business has come to the rescue. And I couldn't be more pleased.
Nash Callahan has grabbed a hold of the handlebar and decided to open his own bicycle shop in downtown Augusta. He's calling it Capital City Cycles. There are two reasons why I believe his new venture will be very successful. First, Nash has a real passion for two-wheeled machines. Bikes have always been his chosen method for getting around in life, as he has no vehicle. And, secondly, he enjoys working with members of the cycling community and goes out of his way to pass along his knowledge to them — doing whatever it takes to enhance their riding experience.
To help get the wheels rolling for Nash and Capital City Cycles, I'd like to present this question-and-answer posting. And please, if you ever need work performed on your bicycle, I highly recommend seeking out his shop in Augusta. You will not be disappointed.
Q. You worked at Mathieu’s Cycle & Fitness in Farmingdale for a long period of time. Please talk about your experiences there and how they apply to your own bike shop.
A. Working at Mathieu’s was one of my favorite things I have been able to do in my life. For the most part I am a solo rider, so working there gave me a way to interact with the local cycling community and get to know a bunch of great people. My experience there taught me the needs and expectations cyclists have in the area.
Q. What services are you providing at Capital City Cycles?
A. Capital City Cycles is going to be repair and service based, but the shop also will carry basic accessories for cycling. I hope to do some used bike sales when I can. Whether it’s a tube, a tune, or just some air in your tires, come on down!
Q. Will you have the capability to deal with e-bikes?
A. E-bikes are a tricky question in the industry. I will work on the bicycle components of them, but for the majority I do not plan on working with the electronics. I plan on eventually being able to work on Bosch products once I am able to. I will assemble complete e-bikes from a box for those who do not feel comfortable putting bikes together, but I will not install any aftermarket kits.
Q. Why did you decide to open your own bike shop?
A. I decided to open my own shop for a couple of reasons. A big one was because I know there is a need for it. I’ve never owned a car, so for me it’s always been important to have somewhere to get my bike serviced and I know I’m not alone in this. Another reason was to simply keep doing what I love, working on bikes! I never planned on owning my own business and it hasn’t been the easiest journey getting here, but I couldn’t be happier making something of my own.
Q. Through my own observations, I know that you really enjoy working with customers and their bicycles. It’s almost a passion with you. Your thoughts.
A. That’s definitely something that I have missed these last few months. I’ve always enjoyed talking to people and making them happy. So if I can fix a problem for someone or just be a friendly face to talk to, it makes me feel like I’ve done some good in the world.
Q. What is the goal/aim of Capital City Cycles? Why should bike riders come to your shop?
A. My goal is to be the place folks can come year after year and get their bikes serviced. I want Capital City Cycles to be a place for everyone in the cycling community to feel welcome. I would always tell people after getting their bike, new or old, that the most important part is to go have some fun! A large part for me is to spread the passion and change how cycling is viewed in central Maine. I really hope anyone who is even thinking about biking will come down and talk about it.
Q. What are the benefits to being located in downtown Augusta?
A. One of the biggest benefits is being centrally located. A lot of people go through downtown when traveling through Augusta, so it will be hard to miss my bike shop. Another reason I wanted to be downtown was because so many cyclists use the Kennebec River Rail Trail, which is located nearby. I’ve seen so many bikes go by while getting the shop ready. In fact, I would pass this location twice a day going to and from work during the past couple of years.
Q. Any time for riding?
A. Not enough, which has been tough. Biking has always been my outlet for stress relief. Pretty much most of my free time has been spent on getting the business ready.
Q. When is your bike shop opening? What will be your hours of operation? And what is your contact information and shop address?
A. Capital City Cycles LLC is located at 180 Water Street in Augusta, Maine. Phone: 207-213-4762. Email: CCCycles207@gmail.com. I will be open Tuesday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. I am very close to having everything done and hope to be open in early November.