June 29, 2020
TRT Bicycles supplies the vehicle, and the Wallkill Valley Land Trust supplies the venue. It is a mutually beneficial relationship that goes back as far as 1988 when TRT Bicycles first opened, just one year after the founding of the WVLT.
Biking is a great way for people to access the trails and preserves WVLT works to protect. The bike store helps to make Wallkill Valley an even more special place to experience the outdoors.
Christian Favata, the bike shop’s current owner, was one of the first employees of TRT Bicycles when it opened more than 30 years ago. He was also a professional mountain bike racer and says that biking was “all he knew.” In 2008, when the store’s previous owner was looking to get out of the business, Favata gladly took over.
Favata’s shop is a proud business sponsor of the Wallkill Valley Land Trust. He says sponsorship of WLVT is a “no-brainer” for his store, whose location in Rosendale puts it less than a mile from the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail. The rail-trail is an important contribution to the connectivity of the trail network in the surrounding region that makes it “a unique place and a really nice place to ride” says Favata.
When asked what his personal favorite place to bike is in the area, Favata doesn’t have a solid answer, but not for lack of options. “That’s a really tough question,” He says, “There are so many good places to ride … the possibilities are endless.”
On the subject of what he loves most about his job, Favata is more decisive. He notes that a huge part of his joy for the business is getting people into the outdoors. “I like getting people on bikes and getting them outside and spreading the joy of cycling.”
In the wake of COVID-19, more and more people have been looking to do just that. As the TRT Bicycles website says, “There is no better way to get some fresh air while distancing yourself from others than on a bike.”
It seems that tons of people could not agree more. Since March, the demand for bikes has skyrocketed and resulted in a nationwide bike shortage felt by shops everywhere. Favata says that as soon as people began staying home, he began to sell out. It will be another month before he can restock his inventory.
“I probably turned 7 people away just today,” he says, the disappointment in his voice evident. Favata recognizes this also means more people are out exercising and experiencing the trails. “It has definitely driven people outside. We use the rail trail here a lot and it’s much busier lately.”
If you are lucky enough to have a bike, TRT Bicycles is dedicated to keeping you rolling. The shop has moved to a reduced schedule, open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. During these times you can arrange to drop off and pick up your bike at the store, located off of Route 32, for repair services which Favata says have been “through the roof.”
The last thing Favata shares is his number one reason non-bikers should give it a try. “People drive by really cool stuff all the time without seeing it … biking is a great way to explore and get far and be able to really see things.” This is a passion TRT Bicycles and the WVLT have in common: helping people to explore the cool stuff.
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