Shift: Riding into National Bike Month and a grand opening

Shift Cyclery & Coffee Bar had its official grand opening as National Bike Month commences

More stories from Maggie Cipriano

On Hawai’i Time
December 3, 2018

Photo by Gabbie Henn

The National Bike Month and grand opening events included community bike rides, records and spin art.

Shift Cyclery & Coffee Bar embodies the perfect coffee shop experience with the aesthetic decor and loud grinds and bangs of beans and machines behind the coffee counter. Beyond the coffee bar is the other half of the building: the bicycle repair shop. While waiting for a quick tune up, one can enjoy one of the many coffee drinks on the menu.

May is the perfect time for the new, trendy coffee shop in Eau Claire to have its grand opening. Since Shift opened over two months ago, the team did not have time to “let (their) hair down” and have a grand opening, Aaron Salmon, co-owner of Shift said.

Since Shift finally had time for a grand opening, Salmon said he and the Shift crew thought that National Bike Month would be a perfect time invite the community to celebrate.

The League of American Bicyclists created National Bike Month began in 1956. It is encouraged that during this month more people give biking a try, according to the League of American Bicyclists.

“We spent two years in this building to get it exactly how we want and set up a space that is welcoming and feels good to be in and has this vibe that people are reacting positively to,” Salmon said. “It feels good … the community is definitely supportive of us.”

The grand opening held events such as an early morning ride for experienced riders, and a less extreme community ride later in the day. There was a colorful spin art section for kids, as well as records being played by Billy from Revival Records until close.

“Today is a day to have fun and relax into it a little bit, and celebrate the fact that we did this thing, and it is working and people are digging it,” Salmon said. “We want to spread the word and share with people and have people come down and celebrate with us.”

At the community bike ride event, Mary Hoffman, an Eau Claire resident dressed in summer attire and a helmet talked about the community aspect.

“I think it is really great when you can get people to ride together,” Hoffman said. “Especially this event because it is not for hardcore people it is for who like to ride bikes.”

Hoffman said she loves what Shift did with the building, and that they are inviting the community to these events which “support the fun vibe” in Eau Claire.

Shift focuses on community, not just in the event of the grand opening, but in the concept of the coffee and bike shop as a whole. For Salmon, the hopes for Shift mirror his hopes for the community. It is more about being a destination in the community — for locals and bike tourists — than anything.

There is a deep history of bikes in Wisconsin, with major bike brand Trek located in Waterloo. Bike tourism is already a big part of the state’s culture because of this, but Salmon said he wants to bring that bike tourism to Eau Claire through Shift.

“It’s more about our town and our community and being a destination for bike tourism and bringing people in to town and our bike trails and all of their beauty,” Salmon said.

National Bike Month has been off to a good start with the sunny 75 degree weather Eau Claire has been having. At Shift’s grand opening, there was a line out the door at 11 a.m. He said he could not have been happier with the turnout.

“We are really excited to celebrate with everybody,” Salmon said. “Every single day we share our excitement with everyone coming in, and they are as enthused as we are to be here.”