It stands to reason that the most bike-friendly business in Georgia would be a bike shop.
Ride On Bikes in downtown Columbus has been awarded the prestigious Bike Friendly Business platinum designation by the League of American Bicyclists, it was announced this week.
“There are a bunch of bicycle-friendly businesses in Columbus and Georgia, but what is so special about this one is we got the highest level of recognition: platinum,” said Ride On co-owner Jason McKenzie. “What that means is we are the only one in Georgia to receive the platinum level, and one of 43 in the country.”
Ride On Bikes was established 15 years ago by Columbus businessman Buddy Nelms as the city’s first downtown bike shop in decades.
Columbus is one of 11 Bicycle Friendly Communities in Georgia, as recognized by the League of American Bicyclists. The others include Roswell, Tybee Island, Athens-Clarke County, Decatur, Jekyll Island, Savannah, Peachtree City, Carrollton and Milledgeville.
There are four other Columbus organizations or businesses recognized by the League of American Bicyclists: Nonic Bar and Kitchen (bronze), Piedmont Columbus Regional (bronze), the Columbus Civic Center and Ice Rink (silver) and the River Valley Regional Commission (silver).
The recognition comes in four levels: bronze, silver, gold and platinum.
The honor is a big deal, said Pat McHenry, president of Bicycle Columbus, a local cycling advocacy organization.
“This is an incredible national recognition,” McHenry said. “Through this bike shop, it shows there is a very healthy and active cycling culture in Columbus and it’s recognized on the national level.”
Ride On has nine employees and eight of them regularly ride their bikes to work, McKenzie said.
“It is not just selling it, they actually live it,” McKenzie said. “Most of the people on my staff ride their bicycles to work every day, unless it’s bad weather or they have to carry something to work.”
Ride On submitted an application for the recognition, McKenzie said. One of the factors was what the business does to incentivize its workers to ride bikes. Ride On, located in the 1000 block of Broadway, has showers, lockers and other amenities for its employees, McKenzie said.