Seven years ago, John Vondra discovered he had a passion for cycling, which led to him opening Tailwind Bicycles of Kingwood on W. Lake Houston Parkway last November.
Vondra—a former morning radio program producer—said in the midst of quitting his job and recovering from a divorce, cycling helped him clear his head, meet new friends and lose weight.
“A lot of the enjoyment is from the social aspect, meeting people from all walks of life and learning from them,” Vondra said. “It also keeps me in shape, and it’s fun.”
Vondra said the lifestyle change inspired him to attend bike mechanic school in 2012. Afterward, he became an apprentice and assistant manager at a bike shop before he was eventually introduced to an investor who offered to help finance Vondra’s own shop.
The shop offers a selection of bicycles in various styles, such as mountain, road and hybrid bikes, ranging from $360 to $10,000. However, Vondra said the average price range of a bike for most people who ride recreationally is about $400 to $700.
Vondra and co-owner Ben McQuade, who he met while working at a bike shop, said they promote camaraderie within the growing cycling community by assisting with charity rides and hosting weekly rides and monthly events at the store.
The owners said they do everything they can to satisfy their customers, who range in age from 16 months to 95 years old, and include cyclists with special needs. The owners also said they replace the inflatable tubes inside the bike tires of homeless individuals for free if they cannot afford to pay for the service.
“When someone comes through our doors, it’s usually to change something in their life, and we give them a tool,” Vondra said. “I’ve seen people a year after they start cycling, at half the size and off their blood pressure medication.”
Types of bikes sold
Tailwind Bicycles sells a variety of different bikes:
- Road: These bikes usually have smooth and skinny tires and are used for long-distance rides on pavement.
- Mountain: These bikes usually have wider tires with thicker tread. They are primarily for off-road rides but are versatile and work as all-around bikes.
- Hybrid: These bikes have characteristics of both road and mountain bikes and consist of a variety of subcategories.
2714 W. Lake Houston Parkway, Ste. 120, Kingwood
Hours: Tue.–Fri. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon to 5 p.m., closed Mondays