“You don’t know this city until you explore it by bicycle,” says Anna Maria Wolf, co-owner of Sun And Air bike shop in Williamsburg, New York.
It’s a lesson the Miami native can personally attest to, having lived in the Big Apple for several years as a fashion stylist before embarking on that first fateful spin around town. Fast forward to 2017 and Anna Maria now runs an online magazine geared towards women’s cycling, as well as owning two of Brooklyn’s most unique bike shops with her husband Shawn Wolf.
It’s amazing what a little ride around the neighborhood can do, isn’t it?
As it turns out, that same spirit of exploration and authenticity is what makes Sun And Air’s fleet of rental bikes so appealing to visitors, who venture across the East River in droves in search of something a little less contrived than the high rises of neighboring Manhattan.
“We find that there are a lot of tourists coming here to stay in Airbnb’s,” says Anna. “They’re really looking for that Brooklyn experience – they want to live the way people here live, and get around the way people here get around. And that’s on bikes.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Sun And Air is located at the intersection of two of the borough’s best bike lanes: Driggs Ave and South 4th Street. Ride a stone’s throw to the east and you’ll find the bike-friendly Williamsburg Bridge: to the west and you’ll be pedaling the beautiful Brooklyn Greenway. Naturally, the location was a no brainer. All that was needed was the right rental software to pull it all together.
Enter Spinlister Pro.
“It’s great to have a kiosk that’s so sleek and intuitive,” says Anna Maria, in reference to Spinlister’s front end iPads. “It really streamlines the process. We have our kiosks set up next to our city bike maps, and it takes longer for me to talk about all the cool routes around here than it does to rent out our bikes. That’s amazing.”
And it’s not just tourists who are benefitting from Sun And Air’s seamless rental process. When space is limited, Williamsburg locals looking to fill short-term cycling needs have a trusted shop they can turn to.
“The biggest challenge about living in New York is there’s just not a lot of room,” says Anna Maria, describing a reality most Brooklyn residents know all too well. “Shops are really, really tiny. People don’t have a lot of space in their apartments. As a shop owner, you have to be incredibly judicious about what you have on your floor, and offer only high quality products and services to your customers.”
Which is exactly what Sun And Air aims to do. As opposed to their King Kog shop which specializes in vintage track and road bikes, this sunny corner location is perfectly suited for commuters and out-of-towners. There’s hot coffee brewing daily, and always a friendly face to talk to when you stop in. And that’s exactly the point.
“I think we’re honestly one of the friendliest bike shops out there,” says Anna Maria. “You can come in for coffee and a look around, or rent a high quality bike for the afternoon. We’re a shop that caters to all types of cyclists, from seasoned professionals to people who are just thinking about getting back on the saddle.” And with Spinlister Pro powering their fleet, there’s no telling how many incredible New York memories they’re creating along the way.
“The best part about having a bike is that it unlocks the city for you,” says Anna Maria, a hint of nostalgia creeping into her voice. It’s a sentiment we here at Spinlister couldn’t agree with more.