Longmont’s Bike-N-Hike recipient of BRAIN makeover

bike hikeFrom the Times-Call

The bike business has evolved a lot in the past 40 years — the advent of mountain biking as a mainstream sport in the ’90s, major innovations in gears and brakes, and the dawn of Internet shopping, which altered the retail landscape forever.

But Rick and Jill Emerson’s Longmont bike shop, Bike-N-Hike, has hardly changed at all since it was founded in 1973 by Dave Swenson. Even after a move in 2007 from 11th Avenue to 1136 Main St., decades-old carpet, cheap flourescent lighting and handwritten signs remained.

The revamping of Longmont’s historic downtown had really begun to ramp up when Bicycle Retailer and Industry News put out a call for bike shops in need of a facelift. And so, the Emersons applied.

“With all the wonderful things they’re doing on Main Street in Longmont, it seemed like a great time for a makeover,” said Jill Emerson, adding that she and her husband were “ecstatic” to have been chosen.

Bike-N-Hike beat out about 60 applicants from all over the country. Last year’s winner, at Now Bikes and Fitness in St. Paul, Minn., was picked from among 80 shops that applied to the inaugural contest.

Val Vanderpool, features editor at Bicycle Retailer, said the publication started the program as a way to show retailers how changes — big and small — can impact the bottom line.

“We wanted to make it something other retailers could learn from. little things they could do in their store to make an impact,” she said…

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