When Woody Patrick moved to Columbus 22 years ago, he jumped into the local bicycling culture with both feet.
“I did TOSRV right away,” he says, referring to the 210-mile weekend ride to Portsmouth and back. “I just looked up people to ride with.”
He found plenty of fellow cyclists by joining Columbus Outdoor Pursuits (COP) for their schedule of group rides. Pretty soon, he was regularly logging 300 miles a week.
With a little bit of understatement, he added, “I got pretty fit from all that riding.”
In February 2020, Woody jumped into a new cycling adventure when he joined Bikes for All People (B4AP) as its new executive director. He took the reins of an organization that has grown a solid reputation for providing affordable, high-quality sales, service and programming to South Side residents. Located at 934 Parsons Ave. on the northeast corner of Parsons and Whittier, B4AP also works to help people in need by offering labor on a sliding-scale and providing free bikes and helmets to children. This past fall, B4AP gave away its 1,000 free bicycle to a neighborhood child.
Woody’s tenure has gotten off to a great start.
“It’s a really good fit for me,” he says.
The spirit of the South Side reminds him of the down-to-earth, hard-working vibe of the blue-collar Cleveland neighborhoods where he grew up.
“People here are really cool. This matches my own demeanor. People work hard, they are very positive.”
He has enjoyed getting to know the variety of people who come into the shop. That variety provides for interesting days with a stream of challenging and rewarding work.
He adds, “I never thought I’d be working somewhere like this. I love it.”
In addition to a history of logging lots of miles, Woody comes with some impressive riding and wrenching credibility. He has completed a couple of long tours riding in Europe along with his usual local riding. Woody spent several years as a successful local racer on the once-ubiquitous Savage Hill Cycling squad. He even dabbles in the off-road disciplines of mountain biking and Cyclo-cross. Previously, he worked for 10 years as the service manager at the old Lane Ave. Trek Store. He can fix just about anything that comes his way. And all of it seems to have prepared him for this new moment.
The changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic have swamped bike shops everywhere including B4AP. As people look for affordable ways to exercise and maintain social distance, they seem to be rediscovering cycling. The B4AP staff sold 71 bikes in April, a new shop record for one month. They have also been helping people dust off and tune up their old bikes from storage. The shop has been able to maintain regular full-time hours during the pandemic.
The increases in sales and service have been a great opportunity. But there have been struggles as well. By mid-May, high sales combined with manufacturing and supply chain disruptions made new bikes almost impossible to find.
“Our main new bike distributor is out of almost everything,” he says. “You go to their website and the inventory is gone.”
B4AP also put classes, clinics and the Thursday Slow Roll Social Rides on hold due to social distancing practices.
“Really, there just isn’t a safe way to do those things right now. But we’ll get back to it eventually,” he says.
“Customers have been really cooperative,” says Woody. “People have adjusted. They understand that we’re on a mission.”
This story was originally featured in the August 2020 HNHF Newsletter. Click here to download the full newsletter.
Learn more about supporting the mission of B4AP at bikes4allpeople.com, by following them on Facebook or Instagram, or by calling (614) 670-8685. Through HNHF, Nationwide Children’s Hospital is a founding partner in Bikes for All People, a social enterprise business owned by Community Development for All People (CD4AP).