Leonard Garland wanted to open a bicycle store that catered to families of The Woodlands, those riding for leisure and for children needing to get to school. He chose a location that, at the time, was nestled deep in the community, rather than other options, such as one along I-45.
So far, his plan has been a success. Bike Resource has been in the Cochran’s Crossing Village Center for more than 17 years.
“We’re the only bike store located in The Woodlands and have been for some time,” he said. “That helps a lot. People don’t have to go out there on the highway to get what they want and they don’t have to pay a premium to come to us either. We are very competitive.”
In addition to the hundreds of bicycles in Bike Resource’s showroom, the store also sells clothing, shoes, a large selection of helmets, child carriers and bike accessories, such as water bottles, gloves and baskets.
“We wanted to be more of a community-focused, easy-to-get-to bicycle store,” Garland said. “People told me the concept wouldn’t work. The rents are higher [in The Woodlands]. But we wanted to be more community friendly.”
Garland previously owned two other bicycle stores in the Houston area, one off FM 1960 and one in Kingwood. With the more than 300 miles of trails throughout The Woodlands, he saw there was a need for a store such as his. Garland has since closed the location on FM 1960 and sold his Kingwood store.
“There’s not much between here and Huntsville—no bike shops in Magnolia and Tomball—so we get a wide range of customers, but the majority are inside The Woodlands,” said manager Wayne Hays.
Bike Resource carries bicycle brands and quality bikes that big box stores do not, while also offering repairs of all brands, Garland said.
“We offer comfortable bikes to ride on the bike trials,” Garland said. “We are not just oriented to high performance bikes flying through the air, jumping off ramps. We have bikes that can do that, too, but that’s not our primary focus—it’s the family. We want to make sure the kid can get back and forth to school because maybe their mom and dad can’t drive him.”
And, at Bike Resource, employees can help fit the cyclist to the right size bike, Garland said.
“We have skilled mechanics that build our bikes, as opposed to being slapped together as fast as they can,” Garland said. “Each one of our bikes are a precision, craftsmen-type product. They are lighter weight bikes, an enjoyable riding experience rather than an uncomfortable one.”
In addition to the hundreds of bikes in the store’s showroom, Bike Resource also has extra inventory in the back of the store and at a local warehouse. The top selling bicycles at the store are comfort-oriented bikes, cruisers and mountain bikes.
Garland, who is retired from Tenneco Inc. oil and energy company, began to learn about cycling more than two decades ago when his son was performing in triathlons.
“When I left Tenneco, there was a bike store that came available to purchase and I just went in and bought the whole thing and learned the business there for a couple years and opened up back into the community in Kingwood, and that worked out very well,” he said. “It was a success from day one. I knew with The Woodlands, the concept would carry over there since it’s a similar type community.”
Bike Resource is an official store for the BP MS 150 bicycle ride from Houston to Austin each spring. The store performs inspections for bikes before the ride and repairs during the event.
Bicycle brands carried at the store:
- Gary Fisher Collection
Bike Resource, 4747 Research Forest Drive, Ste. 455, The Woodlands, 281-367-9495, www.bikeresourcetexas.com, Mon.—Fri.: 10 a.m.—7 p.m., Sat.: 9 a.m.—6 p.m., Sun.: Noon—5 p.m.