Formerly located beside the Wild Bean in downtown Lewisburg and open since April, 2011, Hill & Holler Bike Shop is South East West Virginia’s primary source for street and mountain bicycles, bike repair, skateboards, and accessories. They have now been in their current location across from City Hall, on W. Washington Street, since July 2013. Owner Merrick Tracy and his team love the new space as it’s much larger than the first spot. They now host events and have more room for bike repair and product selection.
When asked how got started in the bike business, Merrick says, “I used to teach middle school here and in my summers off I would repair bikes in my car port on Church St. I noticed as the word spread I became more and more busy and more and more bikes showed up at my house, so much so that a few neighbors complained to the city. It was clear enough at that point that a bike shop was needed in the community.”
Merrick’s favorite part about bike shop life is getting people excited about riding. He once sold a bike to an 84 year-old man that hadn’t ridden a bike in decades. Merrick and his team set the man up and drove him down to the Greenbrier River Trail. “The man immediately took off on the bike and the look on his face was the same as a child’s face when they get their first real bike, ” says Merrick. This type of gratification is the fuel behind the Hill & Holler operation and The Greenbrier River Trail is an amazing local resource where people of all ages travel hundreds of miles to ride.
If you’re not a bike rider but would like to try it, you are encouraged to rent one. Locals are welcome to try out before purchasing and the rental fee is applied to the purchase of a new bike. This is a nice way for people to try out a bike before buying it.
In addition to getting folk started with bike riding, Hill & Holler donates to and supports the Greenbrier Valley Bicycle Clubs’ annual event Wheels of Hope ride. They also run bicycle support for the MS Ride. Now branching out with their own event, they had their very first Cyclocross Race, Mountain State Mudder n October of last year. It was held at the WV State Fair Grounds and was open to both adults and children. Merrick tells us “It was a blast and we had around 60 races and plenty of spectators. It is definitely a race I can see growing here in Lewisburg.” This event, scheduled again for October 2014, is a lap race lasting from 30-45 minutes through the woods, grass, and over a few obstacles.
If you’re interested in camping, Hill & Holler recently introduced more camping and hiking gear to meet your needs. Their stock includes hammocks, tents, and sleeping bags. This gear is perfect for a long late Summer/Fall weekend of bike camping or backpacking in the Cranberry Wilderness or Greenbrier River Trail.
Save the dates for more H&H upcoming events! They are hosting a Dance Party in the shop on Friday, September 5th. They will also have regular group rides in the Greenbrier State Forest every Thursday at 5:30pm. If you’re interested in Saturday volunteer work, please reach out to them with developing new trails in the Greenbrier State Forest. The trails are aimed at beginner and intermediate level riders. More event and shop updates can be found on facebook or website at hillandhollerbikes.com.
Next time you’re looking for the right gear, ride into the holler and tell ‘em LBSPY sent ya!
– LBSPY 57 (August 25-September 29, 2014)