Shift Bicycles owners Mark Runac (left) and Glenn Amey. Photo by Jay Paul.
Biking is a way of life for Glenn Amey. He has loved life on two wheels since his childhood in rural Maryland when he would spend several hours a day on his bike. That passion has only grown: He bikes to work every day and spends as much of his down time as possible planning his next outdoor excursion for himself, his wife and their four young boys.
What’s interesting at first glance around the shop at 113 N. 18th St. is that it’s half bike store and half jewelry boutique. The other half of the store is known as Artware.
The jewelry business preceded the bike sales. Amey has an art degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and for about 21 years, he has sold his classic and custom jewelry in this space. Wanting to turn his love of cycling into a business and provide others with durable, everyday bikes for touring and families, he and Runac decided to condense Artware to one side of the space and bring Shift Bicycles to the other.
Shift is an exclusive showroom of Co-Motion Cycles’ handmade touring and tandem bicycles for the state of Virginia. “If you are a bicycle tourist, if you like to load your bike down and ride for several days, if you want to cross a state or a continent, this is the bike that you’ve always wanted to reach for, but you’ve never been able to see one [physically],” Amey says.
The store also carries Xtracycles cargo bicycles. Amey easily fits three of his younger children on the Long Tail model with a padded rear rack and front attached child seat. Plus, the waterproof cargo bags make hauling items from groceries to camping supplies a breeze. “With this comes the reduced use of your car, which to me is amazing,” Amey says.
There’s also the Xtracycle EdgeRunner, which has an electric motor assist that allows you to ride without expending excessive energy. This is helpful not only for long trips, but also for commuting to work, so you’re not exhausted upon arrival.
“It will get you there very fast without even breaking conversation pace,” Amey says.
The amount of electric assist is adjustable and can even be turned off.
For those looking to jump on the Virginia Capital Trail, which begins three blocks from the shop, Amey rents cycles for $30 a day (helmet included). That $30 rolls into the purchase price of about $399 if you decide to buy.
Amey’s passion for cycling and getting families on bikes extends to his free time, too: He volunteers at the Richmond Waldorf School, where he provides bicycles and lessons to first- and second-graders during P.E. classes.