For over 30 years East Orange has not had a bike shop, but in April 2017 that changed with the opening of Urban Cyclery Bicycle Shop. In its short time in existence it has taken over social media by storm with entertaining videos of the regular “rideout” rides that it hosts and photos of kids posing with their brand new bikes.
VELO rode its bicycle down to East Orange where we saw through the window. a well stocked shop with not just BMXs, but ten-speeds, cruisers, and even a few electric bicycles.
Urban Cyclery Bicycle Shop is owned by East Orange native, Osceola Hansen.
“I opened up this bike shop, because I noticed there were no bike shops in predominantly Black neighborhoods. That was the primary reason for me to open up the shop,” said Hansen.
Complete Streets are streets that are accessible and comfortable to everyone of all genders, races, and ages whether they are walking, riding a bicycle or have a disability.
In order for us to have Complete Streets in Essex one of the things that the community needs is options. Options of ways to travel without a car, infrastructure to support walking and cycling, and a close places to get bicycles maintained.
“If you ride, it’s easier to have a bike shop by your house,” stated Hansen.
East Orange, South Bloomfield, and Newark are filled with bicyclists, but those communities are also challenged by a lack of diverse and independently owned retail, which is important in the implementation of Complete Streets.
Complete Streets should be for everyone and a community being predominantly of color or working class shouldn’t preclude a community of safe and comfortable streets and diverse retail selections.
Hansen stated, “I wanted to start a business that had a positive impact on the city that I live in.”
Urban Cyclery Bike Shop sells bicycles, hosts bicycles rides, fixes bicycles, but most importantly it builds community.
“I love to ride bike and I enjoy working on bikes,” said Hansen.
The City of East Orange has been amazingly supportive of Hansen and his shop and his efforts to support the children and teenagers in the East Orange and surrounding community.
“I’m so pleased at all the support I have received,” said Hansen.
The next ride out is Saturday, January 27. Meet at the shop at 11:00 a.m.