At the beginning of the month, we published a poll discussing the improvements that could be made to Kingston’s cycling infrastructure. While we have made some headway since the last version of this guide, the response showed that there is still room for more change and innovation. We love these conversations and have spent a lot of time advocating for and encouraging discussion about ways to improve our transit system in the past. Today, however, we are focusing our attention on the independent businesses who specifically and directly support cycling. While there are lots of big box retailers who sell bikes when the season arrives, we’re moreso interested in the little guy who tirelessly caters to the dedicated cycling masses, trail riders and triathletes.
- Ahoy Rentals, 23 Ontario St, 613-549-4277: Touted as Kingston’s only on the water equipment rental store, Ahoy does bikes ($5/hour, $25/day, $125 weekly) and tandems ($6/hour, $30/day). Trail-a-bikes and kids’ trailers are also available ($4/hour, $20/full day). Of course, they also do kayaks, canoes and small sail boats.
- Funk N Used Bicycles and Antiques, 154 Division St, 613-549-2556: Rentals ($5/hour for a minimum of 2 hours, or $25 day), repairs and sale of used bikes, a stone’s throw away from Queen’s and the Hub. A humble establishment operating out of the owner’s residence.
- The Cyclepath, 471 Princess St, 613-542-3616: One of the larger specialty stores, with racks of gleaming bikes for every style of riding, and all the gear you could ever need. Family-owned and operated since 1997. Full service honest repairs, and decent prices.
- Cycle Wolfe Island, 1291 Main St, 613-385-2240: What better place for a summer ride than Wolfe Island? Cycle Wolfe Island offers bike rentals for $15 (half day) and $25 (full day). They ask that customers refrain from taking bikes off of the Island over to Cape Vincent or Kingston.
- Frontenac Cycle, 336 Barrie St, 613-542-4455: Another one of the larger shops located downtown, again with lots of selection, gear, apparel, and full service should you need it. Celebrating over 40 years in the business, they’ve earned a reputation for honest service and fair prices.
- Gears and Grinds, 42 Queen St, 613-544-7704: A favorite haunt of triathletes and serious cycling enthusiasts. These guys take great pride in showcasing the best bikes and gear and offer full service. Stepping foot inside is somewhat intimidating, but folks behind the counter are friendly.
- J&J Cycle, 1690 Bath Rd, 613-389-6777: Serving Kingston’s cyclists for over 35 years, J&J operates out of the west end. With over 150 bicycles on display at their spacious showroom, they pride themselves on providing great products and service.
- Rick’s Bike Repair, 400 Elliott Ave, 613-449-8437: Rick is dedicated to putting people on bikes to enhance fitness and wellness and also to reduce dependence on fossil fuels. In addition to sales, Rick offers a full bicycle repair shop that can service all makes and models, specializing in tune ups, repairs and fitting bicycles to their riders.
- R L Fletcher Bicycle Repair, 916 Portsmouth Ave, 613-549-4853: Another in-house repair service and seller of new and used bicycles. Bob strives to put the customer first, and when it comes to regular maintenance, they don’t charge for little things like air and oil.
- Ted’s Road & Triathlon, 477 Princess St, 613-767-3076: Ted’s is an offshoot of Cyclepath, dedicated entirely to road cyclists and triathlon enthusiasts. Aside from road and tri candy, Ted offers services such as on-the-spot tube changes to comprehensive Bike Fitting to ensure your bike is configured perfectly to your body size.
- Yellow Bike Action, 303 York St, room 124, 613-545-0404: Yellow Bike is a volunteer-run bike shop which has been providing reconditioned bikes for sale and inexpensive bike repairs since 2000. Outgrown bikes can even be brought in and traded up with the time comes. Hours vary so be sure to call before stopping in.
Did we miss any locally owned, independent champions of cycling? Drop off your comments on the local bike shop and rental industry below.
Thanks and credit for today’s photo to halfrain.