Bicycle Culture

Velo Van Delivers Mobile Bicycle Service to Phoenix

Erik Nicewarner wants your bike -- if it needs fixing, that is.

Nicewarner owns Velo Van, a mobile bicycle repair shop, and although the idea's been in the making for months, it's only been officially in business for a few weeks.

He says the concept is easy: Call or e-mail Nicewarner for an appointment, he'll come to you and fix your bike on the spot. He'll even do custom work, but he suspects the most common call will be for a tune-up.

"It's a good place to start for both ends of the spectrum," he says - those that cycle every day and want to maintain their machine, or those that haven't touched their bike in years, but want to start riding again."

"I've been a cyclist for most of my life," he says. "I know what a hassle it can be trying to get your bike fixed."

His bright burgundy van is incredibly well organized; two tool boxes right next to the back doors, a bunch of tires and inner tubes, a shelf along the whole side with spare parts, grease and chains, a bucket with often-used tools that can easily be moved around and a fold-up table. It's basically everything one would need to make repairs.

Nicewarner is literally certified to know everything that's needed to fix a bike. He graduated from a two-week United Bicycle Institute technician course in Portland. "It was eight plus hours a day working on bikes," he says. "I was casual mechanic for years, but I thought if I'm really going to do this, I should be serious and professional."

Permeating a bike culture that's neither centralized (little pockets of popularity occur all over the Valley) nor fluid (there are kids on BMX bikes, hipsters on beach cruisers, athletes on mountain bikes, commuters on 10-speeds), could prove to be difficult, but Nicewarner remains optimistic. He estimates he needs about 1,000 service calls this year to be really successful, and he has quite a few plans to make that happen. But, really, his mission is about getting people to ride.

"I'm offering this service in the hopes that it will encourage someone to get back on their bike. Anyone you can get out on a bike is, to me, a good thing," Nicewarner says.

To schedule an appointment, see prices or find out more visit Velo Van.