For Galaxy Bicycles owner Andy Howard, bike riding has always been a constant in his life.

“It's just one of my life passions,” Howard said.

The full story

Howard opened The Hub Cyclery, a full-service bicycle shop, on the square in downtown San Marcos in 2008 while he was still an undergraduate student at Texas State University. In March 2020, the bike shop was renamed Galaxy Bicycles and relocated to 500 S. Guadalupe St.—right before the throes of COVID-19.

He decided to move for a number of reasons, which included parking and lack of running water. He also said test rides were "sketchy" with the amount of cars and beer trucks in the area.

"Parking was a real issue there the last few years, and my customers really struggled to access my business. I was also paying rent. Although my landlord was fantastic, I wanted the opportunity to be a community stakeholder and purchase some commercial real estate and build a spot to suit my needs," Howard said.

During the pandemic, many businesses saw a decline in customers, had to adjust their hours or even close, temporarily or indefinitely. But that was not an issue for Galaxy Bicycles, which was met with a lot of demand, and lucky for Howard, he had the inventory.

“I was really fortunate because I had moved to this spot and opened right when [COVID-19] started, so I had a lot of inventory. I was able to sell all that stuff, and I also had a bunch of inventory I had already ordered before [COVID-19] started so I had stuff coming in when a lot of people didn’t. Where other shops had to close when they didn’t have stuff to sell, I never had to,” he said.

Galaxy Bicycles sells bicycle accessories, such as gloves, seats, bar tape, cycling shoes and more. The bike shop also sells all types of bikes from different brands, including Giant, Pivot, Moots, All-City and Salsa.

The bike shop offers two rides each week. The first ride, known as The Boogie Ride, is every Monday at 7 p.m. and caters to entry to intermediate level riders who will be cycling around San Marcos and through light trails. Galaxy Bicycles also holds a trail ride each Wednesday, which leaves the shop at 6 p.m.

Each ride ends with a trip to the river and then a return to the bike shop for watermelon.

Howard said he does not plan on expanding to more business locations.

“I could expand into surrounding towns, but for me it’s much more important to do one shop really well. So, this is what I want and what I’m [going to] stick with,” Howard said.

What’s special about it?

Galaxy Bicycles does wheel building, which according to Howard, is not as common anymore. Howard will pick out the hub and rim, cut the spokes to the right length, and lace them up.

The bicycle shop also has a niche for higher-end, more difficult repairs.