Welcome to College Station, population just under 107,000. Though you might not know it yet, you’re going to feel right at home here.
What started as a quiet community built around the oldest public university in Texas has, like many such towns, slowly grown to accommodate a swell of alumni looking to lay down roots near their alma mater. And with ample sunshine, plenty of flat country roads and access to a handful of surrounding MTB trails, well, the need for a trusted local bike shop quickly became apparent.
So begins the story of Aggieland Cycling, founded in 1982 in an old Schwinn shop near University Drive. Throughout decades of success, tragedy, new ownership, relocation and the opening of their Valley View store in 2014, the team at Aggieland Cycling has kept two principles at the forefront of their practice: provide exceptional service, and stay true to your neighbors.
“They’re the people who support us,” says manager Micah Bingaman, referring to College Station’s strong network of local cyclists. “We have the opportunity here to give back by providing support for local events, being involved on campus, as well as donating our time and services. The most important thing is that we’re a local business, so we like to promote local activities and organizations.”
Whether that support constitutes sponsoring the Texas A&M Cycling Team for over 30 years, providing assistance for the BP MS 150 training rides, or simply donating children’s bikes to local charity auctions, Aggieland Cycling takes the approach that biking is an inclusive and essential part of the College Station community.
“We want to be approachable to everyone,” says Micah, “from hardcore mountain bikers and professional road cyclists to college commuters. Even if there’s someone a little older, who still wants to ride but might be looking for a more comfortable way to do it; our main focus is being there for all your cycling needs, any level and any style.”
Perhaps that’s why every bike sold at Aggieland Cycling includes free lifetime tuneups and a host of other product discounts, alongside complementary discounts for military members, collegiate riders, and members of the BVC and BVMBA riding clubs. It’s just another way of demonstrating the kind of exceptional customer service and dedication to local riding that helps them stand out from larger chains.
So when Micah and her team noticed that there were no resources available for visitors looking to saddle up in College Station, of course they made it a point to step in.
“We saw there was an opportunity in the market,” says Micah. “There had been an attempt at a local bike share, but that didn’t work out too well. So there was really no way to rent a bike around here.” And with a university of nearly 60,000 students and a nationally ranked college football program, not having a bike rental solution didn’t seem like a particularly hospitable (or profitable) option.
Luckily, they weren’t alone. Together with Spinlister Pro’s integrated rental software, Aggieland Cycling has been able to offer a fleet of over 20 bikes and accessories to both travelers and local riders throughout the city. These include expertly maintained mountain and road bikes, as well as sleek city hybrids and even tow-behind child carriers.
“It gives people the opportunity to explore,” says Micah cheerfully, referencing everything from the singletrack around Lake Bryan to the wide-open plains of Brazos Valley. Though it might come as a surprise to some, that telltale pride and hospitality so characteristic of Texans extends well into the cycling community around College Station, where even newcomers are encouraged to hop on a bike and discover the storied skies of the Lone Star State.
Combined with Aggieland Cycling’s two convenient locations, knowledgeable staff, renowned service and commitment to local riding, it turns out that’s a hard invitation to pass up.