Jeff and Leslie Latimer own Gus’ Bike Shop in North Hampton, NH. We caught up with Leslie at a recent event for “Gus’ Gals” at their shop and asked her a few questions.
Tell us a bit about Gus’ Bike Shop:
“When my husband and I bought the shop there was no bike shop in New Hampshire that had a women’s department or worked to make women feel at home. We created a welcoming atmosphere, a weekly shop ride just for women, monthly pot luck suppers and minute clinics before each weekly ride” – Today you’ll typically find 40 -50 women joining our Thursday evening ride during the summer.
One of my favorite descriptions of our shop was written by a customer – it’s right here on our website: “Gus’ has been a purple institution (literally, purple) on the New Hampshire seacoast for many years, but only recently has the shop has been transformed into the community cycling epicenter. This change has occurred thanks to the Latimer family who purchased the store several years ago and have single-handedly recruited more women into cycling than I think even they could have imagined. Although the shop is known for its striking women’s cycling fashions, the slick women-specific bikes and the always friendly and helpful advice, it’s the palpable feel of family and community that attracts women who quickly become loyal customers. Before you even get out of your car, you are enthusiastically greeted by the couple’s teenage sons (and dog!). Outside the shop, local cyclists relax in chairs under big umbrellas and wave hi as you walk by like you’ve known each other for years. Inside, the crew gives you a big hello and asks you about your family. Where else do you get this type of welcome?” This summer Gus’ will be celebrating our 45th year of serving Seacoast cyclists and we’re looking forward to another great season with Gus’ Gals – the name affectionately chosen by the ladies for their Thursday evening ride.
Why do you think women choose to shop at your store?
Women are made to feel welcome here at Gus’ Bike Shop. Every customer here get’s the “Gus’ love”
Why do you sell Terry?
“Love Terry fit and Terry style. This past summer we did a tour in Quebec. The Terry tops are stylish enough to wear out to dinner paired with the Metro Crop pants. The top I wore to dinner, became the next days jersey. Each day I wore the Bella shorts and they have become a favorite of mine. I’ve actually worn some of my Terry jerseys and sweaters to work and never fail to get compliments on them.”
When a new-to-cycling female customer comes in, what’s the first thing you tell her about cycling?
“That it’s fun and that there’s a place for her on a Gus’ ride. Our rides feature a fast, medium, social or really social pace, no one’s left out. It’s all about community. “