March 14, 2008 (Austin, TX) – Seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong (formerly with Discovery Channel) is the owner of a new bike shop expected to open in Austin, Texas in May reports the Austin American Statesman. Armstrong has chosen a location at the corner of Fourth and Nueces streets, a block north of the Lance Armstrong Bikeway that will cut east-west through downtown Austin. The store will be called “Mellow Johnny’s ,” referring to Armstrong’s nickname while competing in the TdF.
Mellow Johnny’s will sell road bikes, commuter bikes, mountain bikes, triathlon bikes, fixed-gear bikes, low-riders, cruiser-style bikes and even hand-made bikes. Brands stocked will include Trek, Giro, Nike and Oakley. The facility will also include showers and a locker room for commuters who don’t have such facilities at their offices. A Carmichael Training Systems facility will be set up in the basement.
Armstrong speaks of promoting bike culture in his home town with hopes of recreating the bike-friendly atmosphere found in Portland, Oregon. He envisions bike lanes separated from motorized traffic and a municipal bicycle rental program similar to the Velib program operated in Paris and planned for Montreal. At present, Armstrong admits to being sometimes afraid of the cars in Austin and he wonders how inexperienced cyclists feel about riding here.
Bart Knaggs is Armstong’s partner in the venture while Craig Staley – the co-owner of a women’s fitness store – will be the general manager. Commuters and kids will be treated as well as top level cyclists and while Armstrong predicts his store will be the “coolest” bike shop in town, he doesn’t foresee putting any competitors out of business. The 18,000 square foot building dates from the 1950s and served recently as a beer distribution centre.
For the Austin American Statesman story click here.