Let Schlegel Bicycles Prepare You for a Family Ride - MetroFamily Magazine
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Let Schlegel Bicycles Prepare You for a Family Ride

by Jennifer Jackson

Reading Time: 4 minutes 

Cooler weather means it’s the perfect time to hit the road on two wheels. Schlegel Bicycles can get you started. 

With September upon us, the kids have returned to school and it is a little less daunting to venture outside for a family outing. There are significantly lower odds that some member of your family will utter the words “I’m hot.” As cooler temperatures set in, so do the memories of our own first days of school. The smell of chalkboard dust and the sound of a bicycle crashing carelessly to the ground before running through the doors of the school. On a good morning, as you usher your own kids out the door, you can almost feel the weight of your backpack on your shoulders and feel your lunch box bang against your knee as you pedal your bike, its wheels slicing through the heavy air of late summer.

Steve Schlegel, owner of Schlegel Bicycles in downtown Oklahoma City, never forgot what it is like to ride his bike, though its unlikely he has allowed one to crash haphazardly to the ground in a good many years. An avid cyclist, Schlegel took his bike up the iconic Route 66 to Tulsa earlier this summer. Since 1984, he has been sharing his passion for two-wheeled transportation with the good folks of the metro. He became the owner of a little bike shop in south Oklahoma City in 1988, established Schlegel Bicycles and things just got bigger and better from there.

Currently situated in the historic Automobile Alley, Schlegel Bicycles works tirelessly to outfit people with the perfect bike. It’s grown to include two venues, a multi-sport and pro shop across the street from the family and recreation shop.  From avid sporting cyclists to families who like to go for a ride on the weekends, Schlegel said he and his team are enthusiastic about the sport and eager to help everyone interested in bicycling, be it for sport, recreation, exercise or transportation.

MetroFamily was able to chat with Schlegel about his bike shop, far from little nowadays, his involvement in the community and about the bicycling culture that is rapidly growing in Oklahoma City. His bike shop has been named among the top 100 bicycle retailers in the country six times. With more than 5,200 retailers competing for those spots, this is no small accomplishment.

“It’s not just about market share either,” said Schlegel. “Community involvement, presentation, quality and customer service are factored into figuring out who gets to be a top retailer in the industry.”

Schlegel is no stranger to community involvement, either. Last year, during the aftermath of the tornado that struck the region, he found and orchestrated a way to help. Partnering with Trek Bikes and working in conjunction with FEMA and the YMCA, Schlegel was able to donate 275 bikes back to those who had lost everything in the storms.

“It was great to be able to give back in the best way we know how,” Schlegel said of the effort.

Families looking for a fantastic and healthy way to spend the upcoming fall days can find an all-encompassing resource in Schlegel Bicycles. The professionals at Schlegel Bicycle will happily help you select a quality bike by looking at several elements. The experts will look at your family’s style of riding, or distances you expect to ride, how often you’ll be hopping on the bike and the surfaces you’ll be traversing. They’ll also help you get the best fit.

“Just like jeans, your bike needs to fit you just right,” Schlegel said. “Too many people get discouraged about bicycling because their bike just doesn’t fit. It’s uncomfortable to them and it doesn’t respond quite right and it just isn’t fun when the bike isn’t fit properly.”

As to purchasing a high dollar bike for your ever-outgrowing cyclists, Schlegel maintains that a quality bike, though perhaps higher priced, isn’t as outlandish as it seems. It’s important for little riders to have bikes that fit them, and there’s always an opportunity to sell the bike when a child outgrows it.

Once you’ve worked with Schlegel to get the best bikes for your fall of family cycling, you’ll be able to choose the route or path. Since 1997, the City of Oklahoma City has been working to improve the safety and accessibility of routes for the metro area’s cyclists. Randy Entz, senior planner for the city, said as the metro population is moving more toward the urban core, the city is focusing more on bicycling culture. In 2008, the Oklahoma City Bicycle Master Plan spearheaded adding miles of trails and facilities for bicyclists, including metro cyclists’ best kept secret – The Oklahoma River Trail. According to Entz the trail is 15 miles and is great for families as it is relatively flat and good for beginners. It is far less crowded than the more well known Hefner Lake Trail and connects to several parks that make great stops for the kiddos.

No matter where you choose to ride, nothing compares to a brisk bike ride with your family on a late summer’s eve. If you aren’t already into cycling with your family, consider letting Schlegel and his crew sell you on the timeless pastime. Invested in the sport, the hobby and the equipment, his passion is contagious and a visit to the shop might convince you to take up two-wheeling.

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