Rebecca Locke and Paul Kelly leading the bunchride
The passion comes from my father, an Ex Pro
Shop owner Robert Gigliotti's father Umberto Gigliotti was an Ex Pro in the 1950s and 60s, so cycling was something that he grew up with and now, with his son Alex, who is competing at a junior level. A similar passion is shared by the head mechanic and store manager, Paul Kelly.
To build something together
For Paul, bikes played a big part in his life having worked after school in a bike shop as a kid, racing bikes, helping out his mates that owned bikes shops and for the past four years working in bike shops. So, when the opportunity came about to work with Rob in his new shop, it was ‘Full gas’ to get involved and share their passions.
With both Rob and Paul being in the same place in life, sharing similar values and thinking, it was the perfect time to share their passions as each person would hold their line and keep motivated.
Just honest & straight forward people
It’s about keeping it simple and being about people, Paul "you don't have to know Rob for long to get a feel for his family values and that shines through in the shop".
"That's a really important thing as North City Cycles, like most bike shops, has access to plenty of brands and cool stuff but this is secondary to all of the people who are in and around the shop, that's what they concentrate and focus on". (Ed I experienced this in spades).
The people coming to the shop are the community
Robert, "We want it to be a community based shop, to build that community and make them feel like family; whether they are kids, teenagers, first time or expert riders, we want them to be part of what Paul and I are building, this is optimised in the hashtag #ComeAndRideBikesWithUs.
So it's not only for us to be part of them but for them to be part of us.”
Bring someone further into bikes
“Whether it's someone who doesn't have a bike and they want to commute or a commuter who may like to ride road or perhaps race or a road tier to start riding Cross (CX - Cross Country) to ride bikes a little more and try something a little bit different.
And like we do; just live around bikes.” (Ed - well I can 100% agree)
Sharing the love of riding a bike
“Whether you're on a balance bike, or a road bike, come and ride with us and share the experience on being on a bike. It’s probably one of the most fun things that you can do.”
The shop ride starts at week 2
Paul started the shop ride after only two weeks of the opening and again is wanting to make this part of the local community and drawing those people in.
Starting to feel like one big family of riders
Robert Gigliotti in the background
Those people who didn't know each other now look forward to catching up, seeing one another, sitting around the table and having a coffee after the ride. Rob "I think it's great, I think it's awesome".
Roderick, a Canadian who has only been in Australia for eight weeks, came to the shop in his first week, made friends and one afternoon wanted to go for a ride so met his new mate at the shop. Paul "this is the perfect dream and for us that's what we wanted the shop to be about.”
Being a long standing local
For Robert, who has been living in Northcote all of his life, he felt it lacked that sense of community and is incredibly proud of what they have achieved so far but, there is still such a long way to go.
The locals have been very positive with everything that they have presented to them, the friendly nature of the whole team, Paul, Emma, Mason and everyone who is part of the shop.
National CX Champion Rebecca Locke
The basis of the shop is being authentic and being an extension of who they are and what they are about. There has always been a strong community of riders in the area, a rich history of local cycling clubs including Northcote, Brunswick, Preston and Coburg with older members in their 70s still riding bikes.
My Dad is humbled
For Rob, his dad Umberto Gigliotti has never been a shrinking violet, has never been shy of people taking photos of him so to have his face adorned on the front windows, he was stoked; finally it was some recognition of his achievements.
“The local pharmacist said I have been serving your dad for 25 years and never knew how good a bike rider he was as he never said anything.”
Umberto's career spanned the 1950s and 60s with many prestigious wins including the Melbourne to Warrnambool, stage wins in the Sun (Herald Sun) Tour, Midlands Tour, The Tour of Tasmania and even qualification for the Melbourne 1956 Olympics.
Saturday's shop ride
More ride info
To find out more www.northcitycycles.cc