Cyclists rejoice: A second, much bigger location of popular Bushwick bike shop Harvest Cyclery is about to open at 1158 Myrtle Ave!
Harvest Cyclery’s owner AJ Nichols started to look for new space last fall at the beginning of a slew of legal issues with their old building’s management company. However, Harvest was overdue for a move anyway as it had quickly outgrown its tiny, 400 square feet storefront over at 606 Bushwick Ave.
New location has a back office that doubles as a repair shop and a basement with plenty of storage room. As soon as their (very long) lease for the new place was secured, Nichols started spending every day at the new shop working on getting it ready for an opening day.
Harvest’s original location will likely remain open through the busy season while the new shop starts up and their clientele becomes aware of the relocation.
New Harvest Cyclery space used to be a dance hall. The Harvest crew renovated the space themselves; they tore out a drop ceiling to expose the space’s beautiful original tin ceiling and passed the floor-to-ceiling dance hall mirroring that covered one of the walls on to a salon a few blocks away on Broadway. An accent wall behind the hand-built bike racks is made of hardwood flooring salvaged from a house in Queens. Repair operations and valuable bikes have already been transferred to the new shop, and they’re in the process of building out the shop’s storage space.
The new shop will present free evening bike maintenance classes starting next month, and possibly an additional class coaching first time bike wheel builders through the process.
Additionally, once the new shop is open, it will be hosting meetings, at which local cyclists can fill out a survey about their neighborhood cycling routes to help the DOT develop its heat map of Bushwick’s best bike routes (pro-tip from Nichols for tech-savvy cyclists: if you have a hard time recounting your routes, check out running and cycling app Strava). Harvest is working with the Department Of Transportation and Community Board 4 on the process of planning bike lanes for Bushwick; Nichols notes that he’s been part of the effort to involve Bushwick’s longest-tenured cyclist institutions such as the Puerto Rico Schwinn Club in the bike lane planning process.
Bushwick bike lovers should also stay tuned for news about Harvest’s upcoming collaboration with bike historian and New York Bike Jumble founder Harry Schwartzman on an in-shop exhibit about the history of bike racing in NYC.
Nichols, a mustachioed and forthright husband and father, is in his late twenties. He got his start in the business building bikes in the back of a used bike shop in Asheville as a cycling-crazy undergrad. In 2011, he arrived in NYC on a Sunday and went to work as a bicycle messenger the following Monday. After a broken foot took him off the road, he was offered a gig at B’s Bikes in North Williamsburg, where he learned how a good bike shop responds to the needs of the community it serves; he applied those principles when he started Harvest, recognizing that Bushwick needed its own one-stop shop for bikes, bike essentials and repairs. The shop now has five full-time employees and will soon have six, and it turns over most repairs within 24 hours; Nichols estimates the shop has sold around 3,000 bikes since it first opened.
Business has been booming since Harvest first opened its doors two and a half years ago: bike commuting is only becoming more popular among NYC transplants and natives alike, and the shop has both among its patrons and, as an indie shop selling cheap bikes to casual cyclists, attracts a citywide crowd.