I’ve just returned from a trip out to Nebraska to visit family, and during my stay in the “Gateway to the West” I made a point of meeting up with Sarah Johnson – bike shop manager, soon-to-be bikeshop owner (again), and a passionate member of the bike/transportation/ planning community in Omaha. You may remember her from a post I wrote almost two years ago about Greenstreet Cycles – the bikeshop she was managing at that time. She’s got even more on her plate these days!
I met up with Sarah at Krug Park – a great beer pub in the historic Benson neighborhood of Omaha, with 50 beers on tap, and named after an 1895 amusement park once located nearby. Benson was once a small town outside of Omaha (my Dad grew up there) but it has long been surrounded and absorbed by the city. It was a busy small town, then became a quieter neighborhood area, but now, while not being quite gentrified, has become home to a few notable restaurants, bars, music clubs, theatre spaces, and bike routes. Dare I say a few hipsters have been spotted there too? It is in this interesting neighborhood that Sarah is planning to open her next creation – the Omaha Bicycle Co.
The Omaha Bicycle Co. will be a bikeshop focused on service, clinics and classes, as well as selling great commuter bikes for the Omaha cycling community. Oh yeah- and they’ll have a coffee shop too with beans from local roaster BeanSmith. Sounds like a perfect combination that we’re seeing around the country; bikes + coffee. Count me in.
In the meantime, Sarah will continue her work with Omaha Bikes and Mode Shift Omaha, as well as keep up with her weekly women’s Saturday bike Ride, Wednesday night Wine & Wheels ride, her blog Girl Commute, and of course the facebook page and website for the new shop, all while stopping to take in things like a 150-mile gravel road bike race outside of Omaha. Yeah- she has a lot of energy.
For now though, she’s going to be focusing most of her energy on the ‘soft-opening’ of the new bike shop around October -November. They’re going to focus on clinics and and service this winter, and host a grand opening with new bikes in the Spring. They’ll use the time to get the shop ready for Spring as well as paint a new mural over the current odd one that exists on the side of their building.
Luckily though, once the coffee runs out, they’ve got a great pizza shop across the street that stocks the other liquid sustenance that cyclists rely on, and from a very bike-friendly source.
I’m working to try to get Sarah to come out to Chicago for a visit, so she can meet up with all the great cycling women in our fair city. I’ll keep everyone posted if/when that visit occurs! In the meantime, you can follow the progress of Sarah and Omaha Bicycle Co, in these places online: