Rockford bike shop hopes for increased foot traffic with new bike parking awning, exterior facelift

Speed Merchants Bike Shop has been at 106 E. Bridge Street in Rockford for a long time now, but when construction on an exterior facelift and bike parking awning addition wrap up at the end of this month, Speed Merchants Bike Shop’s George Swanzy says anybody who didn’t notice the bike shop before most definitely will now. 

“It’ll definitely have a positive effect on walk-in traffic,” Swanzy says. “It’ll be pretty impressive when it’s done. We’re looking forward to it.”

Thornapple Timber Frame began construction in September to build the new awning that will offer shelter for bike parking when winter and spring bring harsher weather conditions for cyclists, extending about 20 feet from the side of the building to wrap around the entirety of the building’s front. 

“That’s going to be an overhang for bike parking, so instead of having tarps on bikes in the spring time when it’s raining, we’ll have a much more protected area,” Swanzy says. 

Corrugated steel siding will also be installed on the side of Speed Merchant Bike Shop's exterior to create an updated look that Swanzy thinks is more consistent with Rockford’s overall aesthetic. 

“It was just that time. We haven’t done anything to the facade in quite a while and so we wanted to give (the building) an updated look to fit in with the Rockford community a little better,” Swanzy says.

To see more pictures of construction progress, visit Speed Merchants Bike Shop on Facebook. 

Written by Anya Zentmeyer, Development News Editor
Images courtesy of Speed Merchants Bike Shop 
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