Hope Cyclery. The first bike shop in downtown Johnstown, Pennsylvania since 1976. Johnstown lies in the Rusty Belt and upper reaches of Appalachia which means coal and steel have determined its economic rise and fall over the last two centuries. Severe flooding has also played a major role in defining this town. A whole lot of books and articles have been written about Johnstown and flooding. And then there is the early Pennsylvania railroad and canal system that skirted right along the downtown area. All of these historical aspects are clearly evident as you move around the town and if you are reading this right now that means that you (hopefully) agree that the best way to move around (probably) is by Bicycle.
We here at Hope love bicycles an awful lot. They’ve shaped and defined our respective lives much like the coal veins and iron hammers and rowdy rivers have shaped and defined the town that we call home.
The idea of Hope Cyclery started many years ago. The brainchild of one Jarrod Bunk. Bunk, being an almost lifelong resident of the Johnstown area and having been working in Bike shops since ’99, was sensing a need for a shop in the downtown area. A place down here in the valley so people didn’t have to go up the hill for their bike needs. A place where everyone was welcome no matter what kind of bike they rode. So he opened a shop in downtown in early 2019.
Not long afterwards David Lane moved to Johnstown. Lane, having grown up four hours north of the area and been moving around the country working in bike shops and bike co-ops for almost twenty years, was sensing a need to get back closer to his family while also being able to work in a cool place. And also live in a town with cool places to go riding. So he became a co-owner of Hope Cyclery.
It wasn’t long before Bunk and Lane (so christened by the local Channel 6 News WJAC) had to find a new location for the shop. With the help of the local area redevelopment program, some amazing friends in the community and the community as a whole we were able to secure a permanent spot in a beautiful old garage workshop located in the Old Conemaugh Borough of Johnstown, Penna.
Come and see this place. It was an automotive electrical repair shop for the last sixty years. And before that it was a drive-thru beer distributor. We really dig it.
This is our bike shop. We are a shop specializing in commuting/ bike touring/ bike camping/ gravel/ mountain/ just getting out there and having fun. We sell what we like. Brands like Rivendell/ Crust/ Kona/ Ibis/ All-city/ Surly/ Salsa/ Tumbleweed/ Aventon as well as small bits, cushy stuff and doo-dads from the likes of Blue Lug/ Simworks/ Swift/ Nittany Mountain Works/ Northern Coffee Works/ Ultradynamico…. And why not Dr. Bronners soap and Benchmade knives. We try to be a hub for the cycling community in the area by hosting weekly Friday chill rides, monthly overnight camp trips and all kinds of impromptu rail trail jammers just for the hell of it. 2022 will see our second annual Higher Ground (https://www.bikereg.com/higher-ground) event in which we send riders out on courses that cover anywhere from 10 to 100 miles of prime Western PA scenery.
There is more to Hope Cyclery though. From the beginning when Jarrod started the shop he had a plan to take in donated children’s bikes and then fix them up to give away to children in need at Christmas time. That has happened for the last three years in a row. We just gave away almost forty bikes this last December.
We do an annual Cranksgiving ride where people ride bikes to different grocery stores and purchase food that will be donated to the local food bank. We’ve done the same with a diaper drive where donations go to the local YWCA. We work with a local Veterans Outreach program to get bikes to vets who need them. We see Hope Cyclery as a community space as well as a bike shop. We are optimistic for the future of our city and the role the bicycle has here.
If you’ve made it this far then hopefully you are interested in what we are doing. You’ve probably shopped with us online or in person. If you like what you are seeing, stick around. We’ll be sending out some news about our shop and the events we do and the bikes we build and the stuff we sell and the stuff we like. No set intervals at this time. Just random drops at random times throughout the year.
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