St. Matthews Cycling Has Bikes, Great Customer Experience For All
Writer / Beth Beckwith Photography Provided
If you’re looking for something fun, laid back and productive to do this spring or summer, look no further than St. Matthews Cycling. The shop opened in March of 2019, and their second year has seen bikes flying out the door. The shop’s co-owners Todd Coy and Keith Bohne offer each customer quality service, and a variety of products, services and training for locals of all ages.
Coy and Bohne met while working at Middletown Cycling around 2017. The Middletown shop’s owner, Ross Horsley, is also a co-owner of their sister shop in St. Matthews but spends most of his time running the Middletown location. Together Coy and Bohne brought their passion project to life when a space became available off of St. Matthews Avenue. Their skill sets form a perfect harmony for the shop. Bohne runs the front of the shop, offering advice and assistance to customers on a daily basis. Coy mans the back of the shop most of the time, anticipating the needs of customers and keeping necessities and supplies well-stocked.
Coy was an emergency medical technician (EMT) for 24 years before working in the bicycling industry. He gained most of his experience with bikes by spending 10 of his EMT years as a bike-based EMT, working to quickly assist those in need during large events around town such as Thunder Over Louisville. Coy’s team rode mountain bikes with racks and bags attached to help cart around all of the necessary equipment, weighing in at approximately 45 pounds.
Roughly five teams, consisting of 10 or more people, were deployed at any given time during these events. Being on a bike allowed the teams to have access to people in large walking crowds, or closed courses during marathons that ambulances could not access in a timely manner. Coy says cycling allowed them to see above the heads of the crowd and spot people waving for help immediately. He retired as an EMT in 2016, but his experience cultivated his love for cycling, ultimately leading him to work at Middletown Cycling in 2017.
“My personality doesn’t allow me to just do something,” Coy says with a laugh. “I have to do it to the best of my ability, and that’s how I ended up co-owning a shop.”
Bohne was a graphic designer for most of his life and worked in housing renovation for some time. He spent much of his spare time mountain biking and racing BMX. He currently coaches mountain biking and BMX skills at local venues such as E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park. While Coy’s enthusiasm for cycling was nurtured through his career as an EMT, Bohne grew up with cycling and always dreamt of owning a shop one day when the timing was right. He moved from Goshen to St. Matthews in April of 2020, and appreciates the close proximity of everything in one location.
“St. Matthews has this great tight-knit community,” Bohne says. “We aim to be the St. Matthews community bike shop. We’re not just a bike shop for the high-end bikes and such. We’re the shop for everyone, from the little kids’ bikes to cruisers to the high-end race bikes. This is a shop for everyone.”
While the shop was off to a great start in 2019, the pandemic created new challenges. The team has worked consistently on creating new and innovative means of keeping the shop’s momentum going. One thing they didn’t expect was the demand for their shop’s products to increase dramatically over a small period of time.
“We rocketed up 300% in February, and we were worried about how the pandemic would affect everything,” Coy says. “Around mid-March we noticed an upward trend. Through August, at least, it was basically us struggling to get bikes in to meet demand. Now we are ordering and prepping for 2022 to make sure we will have what everyone needs.”
Luckily the shop is well-stocked after the summer craze began to wind down. With efforts combined, they are prepped for 2021’s spring and summer needs, as well as early 2022.
The pandemic has not stopped this dynamic duo from branching out and helping others. Every week they try to organize a group mountain-bike ride that is free for anyone who wants to join. Their events are for people of all ages, from those just beginning to explore the world of cycling to the seasoned pro. Thus far group rides start at the shop, where they proceed to travel roughly 1.1 miles to Cherokee Park. They are looking into organizing group road rides as well in the near future. Typically group rides are on Wednesday nights, and more information can be found about each event on their Facebook page.
“Cherokee can be confusing at times in terms of where to drop in, and where different trails continue,” Bohne says. “People may not know how to do a 10-mile loop but want to do a 10-mile ride. We help to show everyone the ropes and go at a ‘no-drop’ pace, which means we won’t leave anybody behind. All levels are welcome.”
Before the pandemic, the owners promoted their business by offering other free services around town. They offered support and gear assistance by setting up bike repair stations. Commonly they would be seen working free of charge at cycling events such as races, Derby events, and the riding portion of marathons. In addition, they are always on the lookout for nonprofit organizations to partner with and assist. When fatigued riders encounter complications such as blown-out tires or other minor mechanical issues, they offer their services free of charge before, during and after these events. Once these events reopen, they will continue to offer support whenever possible.
In the meantime, St. Matthews Cycling has found other ways to support their local community by whatever means necessary. They construct cycling safety courses, providing information about how to build speed and efficiency skills, and also offering tips and tricks to cyclists on how to repair their bikes at home. One such example occurred near the end of 2020, when Coy offered to help a troop of Boy Scouts gain badges via a Zoom meeting. A scout leader came to set up the equipment, and Coy was able to answer all of the scouts’ questions while demonstrating how to work with their biking equipment.
“It was a very 2020 thing,” Bohne says. “You could see all of the kids getting excited, watching, and asking questions all at once. It was surreal but cool.”
This type of involvement serves as a means of helping others, getting their names out, and staying safely involved during the pandemic.
“It’s not about the money for us,” Coy says. “We want to provide the community with what they need.”
The pair have a new e-commerce website they are working on for the shop that will provide customers with additional links, information and online purchasing options. They are diligently working to get their name out to the community by offering new events, lessons, and products that will help the local cycling community.
“No matter who you are and what you’re looking for, you’re going to get the same treatment here because customer service is number one for us,” Coy says. “We want to make sure we treat everybody who walks in the door like a next-door neighbor, make sure that they each get what they need, and have a good experience while they’re here.”
With the store well-stocked and new weekly events on the horizon, St. Matthews Cycling is sure to be a place that the St. Matthews community can depend on.
St. Matthews Cycling is located at 131 St. Matthews Avenue in Louisville. For more info, call 502-749-2003 or visit stmatthewscycling.com.