It’s been a little more than a month since Nate and Katie Baker uprooted their family from Arlington, Va., to open Rehoboth Cycle Sports on Rehoboth Avenue. The couple said it’s been a whirlwind, with a lot of sweat and a little bit of blood, but they are pleased with how things are going.
“We’ve been here working every day,” said Katie, standing with Nate in the empty store. “It’s really beginning to pay off.”
The Bakers were inspired to open their bike shop by longtime friends and Lewes Cycle Sports owners Brian and Megan Kellman, who bought their Savannah Road business in October 2017. Because of the expanded trail system, Brian said Lewes and Rehoboth are seeing an explosion in biking – both casual and serious.
“It’s going awesome,” said Brian of the Lewes shop. “We’ve more than doubled business in the last two years.”
The Bakers and Kellman have been friends since college. The Kellmans have Lewes connections – Megan is a 2001 graduate of Cape Henlopen High School.
Bike To Go was a Rehoboth Avenue staple for nearly two decades. Brian said he was approached a couple of years ago about taking over Bike To Go, but it would have just been too much. He said he wanted to keep the Lewes location family-run, and that wouldn’t have been possible with two locations.
Half jokingly, Katie said she and Nate had been jealous of the Kellmans' new lifestyle, which is why they jumped at the opportunity when it presented itself again this past fall.
“We always thought it would be awesome,” said Katie, of moving to the Cape Region. “When it came time to make a decision, it was like, ‘If we’re going to do this, now is the time.’ Two weeks later it became a reality.”
The Bakers describe themselves as casual bikers, which means the store will not be intimidating. There will be all new inventory, a dedicated rental area, clothing and other accessories, said Katie.
In addition to a new name, the interior of the shop will look different. Looking to maximize space, the register has been moved from the front to the far back wall. The color scheme is in the process of being changed from blue to black and white.
Katie said the anticipated opening is early March, but the hours of operation are still a work in progress. She said when the summer season begins, the hours will expand to account for the foot traffic Rehoboth sees. Also, she said, they’ll be open year-round.