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Bicycle peddler

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By John Barnhart

Tim Deaton and his friend, Matt Shaw, both bicycle enthusiasts, got tired of having to go to Lynchburg to buy bicycle parts. Deaton talked to other bike enthusiasts in the area that had the same problem.

This looked like a business opportunity to Deaton and he decided to open a bicycle shop here. As a result, Liberty Bikes and Boards will open for business on May 29.

It will be open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and on Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Located in Bell's Treasures, on East Depot street, the shop will feature new and used bicycles and skateboards along with helmets and elbow and knee pads. The shop will also offer repairs, with Shaw doing the repair work.

Deaton, now 40, has been into bicycles since childhood. He used to race 10-speed bikes in events ranging from 10 to 25 miles. H said that he could average a speed of 20 mph in a 25 mile race.

Shaw, now 38, also still indulges his childhood interest in bikes. He used to compete in BMX races. These were bicycle races done off road using bicycles with heavier frames and wheels. Participants rode over small hills and did small jumps. He said that BMX races have been replaced by mountain bike races and X-games.

Along with the drive to Lynchburg, the two men found the offerings there rather expensive. Deaton said that they wanted Liberty Bikes to offer an affordable avenue for customers.

"That's why we focus on used also," Deaton said.

There will also be variety; 10-speed bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes and cruisers. Deaton said that the 10-speed bikes are basically racing bikes, with very light frames and wheels. The idea is to minimize weight.

"Mountain bikes are more durable," Deaton said. "You can get off road."

He said that the difference between mountain bikes and BMX bikes is that mountain bikes usually have gears and BMX bikes don't. Cruisers don't have gears, either. Deaton said that the gears make hills easier. A bike without gears is a simpler bike, but takes more leg-work. Deaton notes that it all depends on what you want.

The bike shop will offer a wide price range, but will avoid the higher end. Deaton said he knows bike quality and will be able to get quality bicycles and make them affordable.

"Matt knows bike mechanics, so he can make it safe," Deaton said.

On the skateboard side, they've hired Jonathan Williamson to work as a youth adviser.