Bike curious

Tod Sherman

Photo By D. Brian Burghart

This could be the year of the bicycle. Economy trashed, gas prices at all-time highs (thank goodness they’ve dropped for the election), global warming temps up—it’s the perfect storm for bicycles (perfect) and for automobiles (storm). Enter Tod and Bill Sherman, a father and son team who opened a new bicycle shop in the shopping center at the corner of Mt. Rose and South Virginia streets. For more information about High Desert Bicycles, call 322-5588.

Did you have something particular in mind when you opened High Desert Bicycles?

We were the previous owners of Reno Bicycle Center for 16 years, from 1981-1997. In the recent year, when prices of gasoline have gone up substantially, we thought we’d get into a transportation orientation. We found a great place next to Sports West—a very healthy neighborhood in the heart of downtown Reno, which is close to where we used to be. We’ve had a great response from our customers coming back to see us.

And you are focusing on transportation. Does that mean commuter bikes?

Yeah, commuter bikes. We’re also looking into and getting involved with a group for battery-assist bicycles. Nowadays, you can buy a bicycle that has the battery unit with it, and you can get up to 20 miles with the battery alone, or up to 40 miles if you pedal with it. It’s good for commuting in downtown and areas like that. It’s pretty rough if you’re going to be up in the hills. They now make them light enough and affordable enough that they come on some bicycles as affordable equipment, and now they make adapter kits and accessory kits where you can also put them on bicycles, as well.


Yeah, we’re trying to do things that are new and exciting.

With the Christmas season coming on, what should someone know before they buy a bicycle? Particularly if they’re buyingfor someone else.

First of all, what we do, is if there’s a bicycle bought for somebody else, we’ll always trade it in for any bicycle that the customer wants if they’re not happy with the one they get as a gift. That’s the first thing. We want people to be happy and ride the bicycle they get because if they buy a bike, and it sits in the garage, it does nobody any good. When they’re looking to buy a bike, price is the No. 1 concern in the economy. No. 2, comfort. It’s got to be comfortable. What type of riding are they looking to do? How often are they going to use it? We have purchased a lot of new bikes at the bike show this year for our grand opening specifically that we’re able to sell at even below costs or at costs. So we’ve got some great deals for people.

Have you already done the grand opening?

We did the official grand opening Saturday, but we’re holding the grand opening prices through the Christmas holidays.

What do you think about riding a bike in Reno? Do you think it’s as safe as it could be?

It absolutely could be a lot safer. I used to commute many years ago when I had the original bike shop—360 days a year. Even back then, when there was a lot less traffic, it was troublesome to commute. The roads are not as good as they should be, and the drivers are not as educated as they should be. A lot more could be done to enhance it.

What, specifically?

A lot of the roadways need better marking, and there needs to be more roadways available in the downtown core area. With gas prices and the economy the way it is and also for the environment, it’s a good thing. Not to mention the health and fitness aspect, as well.