Bike-loving father-and-son duo Donald and Donnie Avramis have recently opened Springtown Cycles, just a stone’s throw from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail off Springtown Road.
According to Donnie, who grew up in New Paltz and spent his childhood riding BMX, ATVs, road bikes and mountain bikes, this was a dream that he and his father had always had.
“We both love biking, working on bikes,” said Donnie, from the inside of their newly renovated commercial site. “My Dad is a big cyclist and also loves motorcycles, so this is an extension of what we’ve always done.”
He joked that his father “is way more disciplined and consistent about getting on the bike. He’ll go from here to Hopewell Junction. I like to ride around here on the rail trail.”
Although they’ve owned the property at 220 Springtown Road for a long time, it sat vacant for years. “In 2010 the [Wallkill] River flooded high enough that the water got inside the old building and did a lot of damage,” he said. “During COVID, we went in and gutted it out and then decided to put this building up, which is much more flood-resistant.”
The small shop has an outdoor parking area and a picnic table where they’ve set up shade tents for cyclists and patrons. “We opened up a few months ago on the weekends, but for the past eight weeks we’ve opened full-time: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Sunday. We’re open every day. Basically, we’re open when none of the other shops are open, which sets us apart.”
Donnie mans the shop the bulk of the time, as his father works in New York City as a glazer, installing glass windows on high-rise buildings, and has to hit the ground running at 2:30 a.m. most days to make the commute. “He works hard to make this thing work,” said his son.
It was the pandemic that gave the father/son duo time to turn this business idea into a reality and make it operational by the beginning of 2023. “During the pandemic, it was very difficult to find bikes, and that was something that people really wanted to do and could do,” said Donnie. “We found this stock of Polygon bikes that were solid hard-tail mountain bikes, and we purchased them for this business. And then I worked on getting our LLC and doing the graphic design for the business and building the website.”
Springtown Cycles has a fleet of adult mountain/gravel bike rentals. They can be rented for two, three or six hours. “They can also reserve them online in real time, so that they know the bikes are available,” said Donnie.
They also sell a variety of bicycles, from high-end road bikes to pre-owned bikes, gravel bikes and leisure bikes. They also have a full-service shop where cyclists can get tuneups or a new part, get their lines flushed or stop by to grab a water bottle, bike gloves or a new helmet.
“We do sales, service and rentals, and we’ve added retail and a nice cooler, in case people just want to grab a drink on a hot day or a snack.”
They offer what Avramis called the “value meal of service,” which is a basic tuneup, as well as “à la carte” offerings where someone might come in and “need new grips and a derailleur or a new chain.”
The ethos of the shop is more about “bikes for everybody. We welcome serious cyclists, but we’re also here for the weekend warriors and the casual riders or the person just looking to get into biking and wanting to rent bikes and explore the rail trail. The location is perfect. You can hop on the rail trail and ride towards the Rosendale Trestle and Kingston, or go towards New Paltz and Gardiner and hop on the River-to-Ridge. It’s flat, it’s shaded and it’s beautiful. It’s the perfect place to go for a casual ride.”
Avramis said that they’ve had a great reception so far. “Everyone has been great, and we’ve met a lot of awesome people. We want to work with the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail and be as much a part of the community as we can. This is where we live, and we’re so fortunate to have these great places to ride.”
Their website, www.springtowncycles.com, has detailed information on all of their services, as well as bikes that are for sale. “I try to stay very active on social media as well,” Donnie said, noting that they can be found on Facebook at Springtown Cycles or on Instagram @springtowncycles. The website also has a blog on local rides and bike maintenance tips. The shop can be found at 220 Springtown Road or by calling (845) 633-8179.