Six years ago, I found a beat-up 1970’s Japanese ten-speed in a dumpster and was determined to rebuild the bike from the frame up. When I brought the bike in to the Nauss Bike Shop, Jack Nauss was sitting behind the counter tinkering away on a calculator. He laughed when he saw me and pointed out back to a man with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. More than once that winter, I left a case of Oland’s on the Nauss doorstep as thanks for their cheap (or free) service and advice. By the following spring, the bike was painted neon orange and spun like a top, delivering me across Halifax and beyond. That project couldn’t have happened without them and I know I’m not alone.
The Nauss Bicycle Shop has been helping cyclists enjoy their rides for over 40 years. It’s truly a “ma and pa shop”, except, in this case, it’s father and son. Started in 1968 by Jack, his son Dave followed in his father’s footsteps soon thereafter. His knowledge and expertise in almost any bicycle style or make has made the shop a staple in Halifax’s cycling community.
Today, if you enter the shop, you’ll probably find Mitch or Brent behind the counter, wearing a dinosaur sweatshirt or vintage jean-jacket. But don’t let their scruffy young faces fool you, these guys know their stuff. Mitch has been with the shop for almost four years now and has a range of bikes in his quiver that take him around town and far away; namely, his newest acquisition, a shiny upgraded Italian roadie. Brent’s been with Nauss going on five years and prefers a fleet of sweet fixie bikes, allowing him to push things when pulling stunts in the park.
Their mission is simple: you want to be happy, riding a bicycle will make you happy, ride a bicycle, we can help. Although the shop has traditionally catered to commuting and recreational cyclists around town, they’re taking bold steps to expand their areas of involvement. They’ve aligned themselves with Opus Cycles, a Canadian company with a huge range of bikes who are just as committed as the Nauss crew to finding a bike to match your needs.
And matching needs is just what they’re doing. Dave and the boys have been working with the I.W.K. and Canadian Tire Jumpstart program for years now, helping kids and families with physical, mental or economic barriers. They provide modified bikes so that almost anyone can ride safely and experience the thrill of cruising on two wheels. And, most recently, they’ve partnered up with the Java Blend Racing Team to help get young, promising athletes the bikes and gear they need to succeed.
Although the shop is new to the world of racing, they couldn’t be more stoked about being involved with the Java Blend team. They’re keen to support the team’s young racers in the hopes that the sport and the positive image of cycling will continue to grow. By making cycling more accessible to the younger generation, the physical, environmental and social benefits for the future seem endless. Not to mention the fun!
It’s easy to see how excited Mitch, Brent and Dave are about the 2012 season. They’re looking forward to attending the races and showing their support for the team however they can. Brent is hinting that he may even take his stunt riding a step further and give cyclo-cross a go! With winter upon us, we’ll retreat to our basement trainers and dreams of the warm spring days that wait. Until then, if you need new gear, sound advice or great service for your steed, the experts will be waiting for you in the little house at 2533 Agricola street. If you don’t believe me, check out “Agent Orange” after our first snowfall a few weeks back, still kickin’, beautiful as ever.
See the article online here.