Along with some 10,000 cyclists, Geoff Perrill spent last week riding his bike across the state of Iowa during RAGBRAI.
But unlike most riders, perhaps, Perrill’s week away from his day job wasn’t much different from a week at work.
As owner — and head enthusiast — at Geoff’s Bike and Ski in Iowa City, he’s surrounded daily with bikes and people who love to ride them.
This year’s RAGBRAI — Perrill’s 28th ride — took a course right past his shop,
“We take a long brush stroke over every style of cycling, from fitness enthusiast and cyclo-cross racers to your average bike commuter or a family that is just beginning to ride together,” Perrill said. “We have bikes and all the equipment needed to support those riders.”
The shop now also offers a mobile repair service.
“The logistics of getting your bike in for repairs can be hard, so now with our mobile bike repair shop we can go on-site to your house or office and do the repairs,” he explained.
“One way or another, I’ve always been working around bikes,” he said.
Perrill’s first job at 14 was in a bike shop in his hometown of Storm Lake.
He opened Geoff’s Bike and Ski in Iowa City in the spring 2006.
“It’s interesting to watch how cycling has evolved even since we opened,” he said. “It’s become so much more social. I’ve heard people say it’s the new golf. And you probably need one more bike than you have,” he said with a smile.
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Perrill tries to get in a bike ride in the mornings or on the weekends. Otherwise, customers can find him on the sales floor, doing bike repairs — in the shop or with the mobile truck — or handling the day-to-day business operations.
“Summer is our busiest season, especially when everyone is ramping up for RAGBRAI,” he said, noting that he has about a dozen staff members during peak months.
“But oddly enough, March and April are also very busy as the spring weather starts to crack. The worst is the winter, the more eager people are to get back out there and ride.”
But starting in late October, the staff transitions a portion of the sales floor over to gear for Nordic and downhill skiing. That helps keep the staff busy year round, Perrill said.
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At a glance
l Owner: Geoff Perrill
l Company: Geoff’s Bike and Ski
l Address: 816 S. Gilbert St., Iowa City
l Phone: (319) 338-7202
l Website: www.geoffsbikeandski.com