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Q & A with Tolland Bicycle's David Barrow

Barrow talks about the popularity of biking in Tolland.

So just how popular is biking in town?

DB: "In town, there's a very large following of not just road bikers, but families. Families have been doing it more and more. People can go to Crandall Park. Gehring Road and Weigold are also very quiet during the day. It's a huge recreation."

"I have to give a shout out to Nerac, too. Nerac has a large bicycle contingent up there. They have a club, called Nerac Earth, which is a bicycle advocacy club and not a racing club. They did a lot of the rides out of there to figure out which roads are appropriate for family riding."

Why do you think biking is big in Tolland?

DB: "The shop in Vernon (Vernon Cycle) had a lot of the bicycle community going there and when Jeff left, it left a void. We filled in that void. More people are getting involved in the charity tours. The other thing that's happening is the mini-triathlon series is getting more and more popular. Once people are on bikes they figure out it's not the same pounding as running."

How did you decide to open ?

DB: "We opened this store in October 2005. Nancy and I had owned a shop previously in Willington that we sold when we began a family. Later, Nancy and a friend of hers said that we should open up another bike shop... and I said no. But she got a position that allowed us to do what we do now. Now we're in it because we're enthusiasts, not racers."

What does Tolland Bicycle offer to all of the biking enthusiasts in the area?

DB: "We've got bicycles, clothing lines, service advice, and you can always come in and just talk. We consider ourselves more of a barber shop than just a bicycling shop."

And a thank you from Dave: "The community at large, we have to thank them because they've been truly wonderfully supportive of the shop. Without the community and the surrounding communities we wouldn't be here, and that goes for the town offices and the other businesses in town."

is located at 252 Merrow Road.

cora February 25, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Tolland Bicycle is not just any place to but a bicycle. It's THE place. We are so fortunate to have a small store with good inventory, personal service, and concern and support for the community as well as the customer. What a gem in our community!
Tony Rodriguez June 29, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Tolland Bike Has A Problem I don't usually write reviews but after stupidly ignoring the bad reviews for Tolland Bicycle 252 Merrow Rd Tolland, CT 06084, 860- 872-8248, I was so frustrated so here I am. I brought my 8 yr old's bike in to have the rear derailleur replaced on Monday the 24th. They had the part in stock and I was told it would take 2 days and cost $35. The person I dealt with (small, bald male with glasses) was adamant that I not call them and that he would call me when it was ready. So we waited............. No calls after 6 days so I went over to Tolland Bike to hopefully pick it up. After a few minutes, the lady helping me (pretty, short brown hair, French? accent) couldn't find the bike and brings me to the same guy who checked me in on Monday. He say's 3 words "not ready yet" and stares at me (they had actually not even started yet). I decided to just take the bike instead of waiting any longer. Here's the real kicker! I took the bike to Pedal Power 520 Hartford Turnpike Vernon, CT 06066, 860.347.3776, and they fixed it in approximately 30 minutes for $15 on a busy Saterday! I of course spent another $25 on accessories just to say thanks. Here are my thoughts: Maybe the job was too small to warrant completion as they were very busy with more expensive repairs on other bikes. Totally understandable but a courtesy call would have went a long way in this situation. Thought 2: I am also a retailer with 20 years experience. I know how hard it is to build and maintain a business. Why didn't they at least offer some kind of explanation? My 8 yr old was literally crying because she didn't have a bike to ride. Thought 3: They didn't even try to sell me the derailleur so I could install it myself. I likely would not have bought it. But if they had given some kind of explanation and an offer to buy the part, I would likely have purchased it and installed it myself just to make my little girl happy. Thought 4: No matter how much, or how little, Tolland Bike will make on a job should not dictate the order of the repairs. If you are busy, hire more help, become more efficient etc. Thought 5: Don't make an 8 yr old wait in the dark about when their bike will be ready. Make a quick courtesy call. It would caused less frustration for all those involved. The moral of the story is take internet reviews seriously. I would not have wasted a week waiting for Tolland Bike 252 Merrow Rd Tolland, CT 06084, 860- 872-8248, to do pretty much nothing if I had. Also, if Tolland Bike happens to read this, you really need to up your game a little. If a competitor can do the same job in 30 minutes, why does it take you over a week to not even start the job? Again, I must give a big thumbs up to the guys at Pedal Power who made me a hero in my little girls eyes!

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