Bike to the Beach with Newport Cruisers

My bike ride around Newport Beach began with a stop at Newport Beach Cruisers.  

When I walked in the front of the store it smelled like fresh clean tires, and it was easy to see why.  The place was jam-packed with bikes and every bicycle accessory imaginable, including blinged out air tube caps for your bike tires.  

Past the selection of bikes, nuzzled against the left hand wall, you will find the help, either Caroline Garret, Greg Meyers, or Austin Harkey, who will most likely greet you as soon as you walk in the door.  I spoke directly with both Greg and Caroline.  Even though they were both considerably busy, neither one seemed in any rush to stop chatting about the store or their bikes. 

While I was in the store, a young couple purchased a bike for their daughter.  The woman walked throughout the store, looking at the different tire, rim, and frame colors until deciding to go with a white framed Skull & Bones beach cruiser with pink rims and tires.  During the time that the woman was deciding, Caroline patiently stood by, answering any questions the woman had about the product.  Then, once the colors were decided, the bike was immediately assembled (which took about 20 minutes) and the happy family was sent on their way.  No long waits, no “come back tomorrow when your bike is ready” just real, immediate customer service. 

After I checked out the main store I was directed out the side door and around the building where I found the bicycle rental and repair shop.  

Outside, stood a group of black tandem bikes, waiting to be rented.  Indoors, I met Jeff Eltieste, head of bicycle repair and a veteran Newport Cruisers employee.  The shop was lined with slightly used bikes and accessories such as child seats and trailers for rent.  In the middle of the store, a counter separates the shop's bike rental space from its repair space.  My visit with Jeff was constantly interrupted by bike loving beach goers happily renting, returning, and bring their bikes in for repair.  

Even with all the rush, Jeff quickly served each customer to their satisfaction.  I was throughly impressed with the amount of contented customers that walked out the door that afternoon.  I realized I should have brought my own beach cruiser in for an extra cheap tune-up, but, since I had left it at home, I decided it was time to rent a bike and hit the boardwalk...want to hear about my bike ride around Newport beach?  Stay tuned for next weeks article, The Loop, with a special segment for the out-of-towner.   

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