My husband, Brandon, discovered Transit Bicycle Company as soon as we decided to go away to New York and go back to Dallas. “I think I just found my new first-rate buddy,” he stated after his first go to. The generously tattooed and pierced owner, Fran Badgett, becomes an excellent listener. Brandon determined each excuse to journey down to the Lower Greenville save for Lord is aware of what. Handlebar tape. A bike was mild—different colored handlebar tape. I knew nicely enough that those were things he didn’t really need. I also knew it didn’t take hours to buy a bike component.
When we noticed the Instagram post saying Transit’s permanent closure, we sat stunned and examined the feedback. Several said it was the most effective bike save wherein they felt secure. Others touched on Fran’s generosity (“He sold me a hip pouch off his own ship,” stated one). Some said the store changed their lives or helped them thru tough instances. “That’s the factor,” my husband stated, “I’m certain anyone who walked in felt like they simply discovered their new quality buddy.”
The store changed into a hub for all varieties of riders: day-by-day motorcycle commuters and scrappy explorers, freaks and geeks, teens and Boomers, straight and queer. Fran, himself a transgender, homosexual guy, welcomed all. The shop hosted weekly social rides, normal campouts, occasional alley-cat races, and trends like cyclocross competitions. Often, exercise turned into an introduced benefit—the pleasure of seeing the world on wheels became the main point.
Like many small groups, the store has fallen prey to online retailers. (Fran says people might often come into the shop with a part they sold online and ask for recommendations on the way to repair it themselves.) Retail income will prevent this Saturday, June 29. An all-day goodbye birthday celebration begins at noon on Sunday. Some community components, such as social rides, will live on, but the come-one-come-all clubhouse may be gone.
I spoke with Fran and others in the Transit orbit to accumulate some of the shop’s history and reminiscences.
My first motorbike was a red Huffy something with schooling wheels and a bit basket with flowers. And even at 4 years vintage, I was like, ‘Ew; I don’t want this.’ I suppose I by accident were given it stolen—by chance, as in air charges. I wanted a brand new bike, and I got a red GT Vertigo ST, a 20-inch BMX with pegs on it, and it turned into a badass. And I might trip that each one over the neighborhood till the lights got here on.
The motorbike after that changed into a Peugeot mountain bike from a [North Dallas] store called Cycle Spectrum that I grew up around the corner from. That’s what I rode to high school. That’s what I took to Chicago. That’s kind of where I was given into riding motorcycles due to the fact there’s no factor in bringing a vehicle living in downtown Chicago; storing a automobile might be like renting a rental. So I dropped in and out of school even as I become up there, but I got a job as a bike messenger and fell into the subculture.
I ended up shifting back to Dallas completely in 2007 and working for Borders Group, the bookstall chain. Yeah. Obviously, it became circling the drain, but it turned round the corner to the bike shop, Wheels in Motion. It changed into very performance-oriented, with lots of avenue bikes and stuff. I’d hold obtainable a chunk, but there wasn’t that Chicago motorcycle subculture sense. So that changed into the onus and the impetus to begin Transit.
I determined a bit shop that becomes doing something familiar. It becomes known as West Village Bikes at the time, over at Blackburn and McKinney. Every time I could pass in and communicate to the man who was going for walks, he becomes clearly a form of burnt-out because it changed into a one-person display, and his jogging shaggy dog story was, ‘Hey, do you want to buy a bike save?’ After 9 months of that, I become like, ‘Yeah, sure, yes I do.’
I actually have usually constantly prided myself on inclusivity and accessibility, proper? So once I moved back to town and rode a motorcycle around, there were most effective pair stores. I don’t recognize if it’s searching the way I did or the motorcycles that I become driving or that I wasn’t displaying up in spandex or a automobile with a motorcycle at the back. Still, I might get both outright unnoticed or mansplain. There had been this type of haughty, closed-door attitude. You don’t recognize if the man or woman carrying something they’re wearing has the money on them to shop for you and sell you. You can’t make assumptions primarily based on what human beings seem like.
That changed into the biggest motive I concept that I have to do this, to open that door, cause it’s a bicycle. Like, it’s a toy. Everyone has one as a kid. I suppose that’s the largest barrier to quite a few human beings. It’s a form of like strolling right into a file save with like the guy from the Simpsons running there. There’s this kind of mindset, ‘What are you doing in my clubhouse?’ I wanted a bigger membership residence. Everyone has to begin someplace, and you need to type of like fall in love with the consumer being there. So I wanted a 3rd vicinity, like something apart from domestic or paintings or a bar for humans to collect in and socialize.
People observed us. However, it turned into a bit greater of a vacation spot. We weren’t drawing quite a few site visitors from the West Village, Uptown neighborhood. I suppose that the tradition doesn’t quite sit down there the same way. So we stayed for 4 years.