Cycling Shop Brings Health to Downtown Tulsa
By EMILY RAMSEY
CITY BIKE SHOP: Adam Vanderburg, owner of Lee’s Bicycles, stands in front of his store entrance at 2nd Street and Frankfort Avenue. Vanderburg moved his business to the Blue Dome District in 2010. Besides street parking, a parking lot sits behind his shop offering free parking for customers.
EMILY RAMSEY for GTR Newspapers
Take away the many restaurants and bars that call the Blue Dome District home, and what’s left is a smattering of retail shops and what Adam Vanderburg, owner of Lee’s Bicycles, terms his “Blue Dome hub.”
Vanderburg, whose father bought Lee’s Bicycles in 1972, moved the bike shop from 36th Street and Peoria Avenue, where the store had operated for 30 years, to 420 E. 2nd St. in 2010.
“Brookside is a great neighborhood,” Vanderburg says, but “all roads lead to downtown.”
Vanderburg saw the revitalization that downtown Tulsa was, and continues to be, experiencing. He wanted to be a part of it and invest in its growth, he says. But he also had another motive. “I wanted to show the rest of the city that retail can thrive downtown.”
Six months later, Tim and Lori Dreiling decided to bring their running shop, Fleet Feet Sports, to the storefront next to Lee’s. The Dreilings opened 52 Fitness next to Fleet Feet last year.
For Vanderburg, the new tenants were the fit for which he was looking.
“Tim and Lori’s commitment to join Fleet Feet and 52 Fitness with Lee’s Bicycles helps drive home a message that retail can thrive downtown beyond bars, restaurants, entertainment and big business,” he notes.
Vanderburg had already created a similar fitness model when he opened Trek Bicycle Store at 9708 S. Riverside Parkway in 2005. He soon leased out his adjoining storefronts to Tulsa Runner and Fitness Together. “We want to be good ambassadors for those who want to use bikes, go running, do aerobics,” he says.
Lee’s Bicycles sponsors a number of rides throughout the year to benefit charities and to raise awareness of diseases such as muscular sclerosis and breast cancer. Registration is currently underway for its American Diabetes Tour de Cure team. The ride is May 29.
For those looking for an easier ride or to get started in cycling, he suggests participating in a Saturday morning ride hosted by Lee’s Bicycle’s, the Flower Power Ride in Muskogee on April 15, the Tour de Tulsa with the Tulsa Bicycle Club on May 3 or the Townie Ride held during Tulsa Tough—to name a few options.
“Cycling offers enjoyment, social opportunities, a healthier lifestyle, a sense of freedom, independence and adventure; you see more things than if you’re driving in a car,” says Vanderburg, who, when he was 16 years old, spent two weeks cycling from Tulsa to Taos, N.M., to Colorado Springs, Colo.
For individuals at the beginning of their cycling journey or who are just contemplating the idea, the step of making the decision to be more active is just as important as the steps that follow, he says.
“You have to make the choice to do it, and then come visit the bike shop and let us help guide you through that, then choose an event to work for.”
With Tulsa’s thriving health community and resources, ample bike trails, and cycling events, the opportunities for fitness success are clearly ready and waiting.