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Not your average bike shop

on May 28, 2009

The Wheels of Justice cyclery, nestled in the foothills of Montclair, is a community-oriented bike shop whose aim is to create a welcoming atmosphere for families and give back to the children of the bay area. Daniel Watson and Justice Baxter (from whom the store draws its name) opened the store in 2003 because they wanted kids in the area to have opportunities that they lacked when they were young.

“When Justice and I started riding, we didn’t feel that the bike shops in the area were really helpful in trying to teach us or help get us into cycling at all,” recalled Watson, who grew up in the area and met Baxter in high school. “What we really try to do is make cycling accessible to kids and families.”

With families in mind, Watson and Baxter created a bike trade-in program for kids who come to the shop. Any family who buys a youth bike can bring it back when the child outgrows it and receive half of its original value toward buying a bigger bike. The outgrown bicycles are then donated by the store to local schools and youth groups that encourage area youth to start riding early. According to the co-owner, the program has been hugely successful and has attracted families from throughout the Bay Area. “We sell a little over 1,000 bikes in a year, and (kids’ bikes) are about 700 of them,” Watson said. “It gets a lot of families in and circulating through our shop. It brings people from very far away.”

Along with their kids bike program, what sets Wheels of Justice apart from other area stores is its exceptional customer service. “We’ve got a complete satisfaction guarantee on any bike we sell,” he explained. “So if for any reason you buy a bike that doesn’t work out for you or doesn’t suit what you need, we’ll get you on something different or give you your money back.” Wheels of Justice also services all bicycles that they sell free of charge for as long as their customer owns the bike.

“We’ve been making big pushes to try and change the local bike shop scene a little bit, trying to do more donation programs…trying to get more kids on bikes in general,” said Watson. “It’s really good for every business to give back a bit to the community.”

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Photo by Basil D Soufi
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