Seven-time Tour de France winner and Austin native Lance Armstrong is adding another project to his busy schedule: Mellow Johnny’s, a new bike shop in downtown Austin, with a grand opening scheduled for May 10.
The historic brick warehouse at 400 Nueces (adjacent to the soon-to-be-opened cross town bike path) is intended to catalyze Austin’s urban revival and encourage people to look at cycling as a means of both transportation and fitness.
”It’s more than a place to buy a bike,” Armstrong said. “I want it to be a place where cyclists of all levels come in and are encouraged, inspired, and motivated to make cycling a daily part of life. And of course—a place where racers and enthusiasts can get the best equipment, service, and know-how to go faster—or farther—on their bikes.”
The shop is envisioned as a one-of-a-kind concept facility, featuring a complete retail offering with bikes, equipment, apparel, and a professional service center. In addition, visitors will find Juan Pelota’s, an indoor/outdoor coffee house with healthy grab-and-go food, and a soon to be introduced power-based indoor training facility. With hours of operation from 8 am to 7pm, the shop is awake and ready for those riding into downtown early, or dropping off bikes for same day service. The shop is equipped with shower and changing facilities and free bike storage for commuters.
“It’s pretty simple – we all love riding bikes, and want everyone from the beginner to the most experienced cyclist to find something here that puts a smile on their face, and gets them out on two wheels,” Armstrong added. “You don’t have to be training for the Tour de France. If you ride your bike, you’re healthier; there is less car traffic, less dirty air. So, just get out there, on the trail, on the road, on the way to school or work, wherever, and ride your bike.”
Customers will find a wide array of products—from vendors key to Lance’s Tour de France victories such as Trek, Oakley, Giro, Bontrager and Nike—to niche bike builders and apparel lines that are not often seen inside bicycle retailers.
“We’ve consciously followed Lance’s interests into the history of bike racing, as well as into new and emerging products from the US and abroad,” said Craig Staley, general manager of Mellow Johnny’s. “We have really concentrated on putting together a unique variety of product that fully captures the lifestyle and culture of cycling – from urban to mountain, to road— we wanted to take a ‘surf shop’ approach to bikes.”
The shop will host a day of activities on Saturday May 10 to announce its Grand Opening with appearances by Oakley’s R&D demo trailer, Trek’s complete line of demonstration bikes, and book signings and appearances throughout the day by Chris Carmichael, Michael Ward, Gary Fisher, and Armstrong himself. The big question is: will Lance run a shop as tight as he ran his Tour de France teams? This video may shed some light.
The festivities will conclude with a private party that night. BikeRadar will be there, so stay tuned for photos and more.