CycleXtreme owner Tom Brinker’s interest in cycling started at a young age. Growing up in Washington, Missouri, Tom got his first job at a bike shop (called “The Bike Shop”) at age 13. He became successful in competitive bike racing and rode for the U.S. National team for 5 years. Tom opened CycleX in Columbia in 1993. We visited with Tom to get his thoughts on active transportation.
Why are you interested in active transportation?
Commuting to work by bike is a great, easy way to get your day started. You can get your exercise in while you’re commuting. It’s way cheaper than a gym membership, and it’s the most fun you can have on your way to work. The Columbia community is embracing active transportation, and hopefully that will influence others to start.
What made you decide to become a PedNet Business Member?
PedNet fits perfectly with my thought process on living an active lifestyle.
What does your business do to encourage active transportation?
Every day my staff and I are advocates for living an active lifestyle through biking. We provide commuter-specific products that make the experience more enjoyable. We are also excited to sell electric bikes to help commuters overcome hills.
What are the challenges of active transportation to your customers?
The biggest challenge is getting people to a point that they feel like they can do it. They need to know that there are ways around town that are convenient and fun, and understand the ways around and the equipment they need.
Do you have any advice to encourage others to use active transportation?
Partner for a week with a friend who is already involved in active transportation or is interested in starting the same lifestyle. Over a week you will see how manageable and easy it is to incorporate it into your life.
How do you think we could make our community more walkable, bikeable and public transit-friendly?
I’d like to see more of our city leaders continuing to embrace an active lifestyle for themselves. By leading an active lifestyle in their own personal lives, they will recognize the return on investment with a happier, healthier, less congested community, and understand the dollars needed to build the infrastructure.
CycleXtreme is in downtown Columbia at 19 S. 6th Street.