Real Bikes with Gary Vasbinder – Editor’s Note: We spoke with Gary Vasbinder, the owner of Real Bikes Englewood / Venice with his wife Melody. Visit RealBikes.Wordpress.com or call 941-445-7325. The store is located at 461 S. Indiana Avenue.
Gary, tell us a little about your business?
We are a full-service bike shop, offering a variety of new and used bikes. We just celebrated our fifth anniversary and we feel fortunate to have the support of our great community.
What are a few of the current trends related to biking?
We have seen a growing interest in E-bikes, for people wanting to lessen their carbon footprint, and for
greater flexibility to handle bigger hills when exploring new areas. We have also noticed more riders
wanting to capture and study stats like pedaling in the Tour De France. That can include distance traveled, speed, cadence, heart rate, and power metrics to help them become more efficient with their training.
Where are you and Melody from and what can you share about the rest of your family?
We are both Florida natives. My family arrived in Englewood in the late 1940’s, and we are now raising our kids here. Reagan (17) and Gavin (11) have attended the same schools I went to and Reagan has had a few of my former teachers.
What are group rides, and what other social opportunities are available for local bikers?
Biking, although an individual sport, is also enjoyed in groups. You can always find organized charity rides with SAG (Support and Gear) from late September thru May. These fun outings usually include a meal after the ride. We also have several local bike clubs that give you a chance to meet like-minded people, learn about new routes and ride in larger groups to enhance safety.
What are some of the health benefits of biking?
Biking is a low impact form of exercise that’s good for your heart, blood vessels, lungs, joints, knees, and your mental well-being. Nothing can turn a frown upside down faster than Pedal Therapy.
Gary, what do you enjoy about your work and how do you and Melody work together?
Melody is the official greeter and that’s good for sales. I work on the service side, which gives me good insights about our bikes and accessories. Getting a new bike is like opening a gift on Christmas Day even if it’s in the middle of July. We love being part of the excitement.
If you could take a two or three-day bike ride anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
Ireland or France mostly because of the beautiful countryside, history and food.