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Ridgefield Bicycle Company Brings a Community Together

With new owners and excited customers, cyclists of all levels find themselves meeting their neighbors and making connections.

Those who have ran, biked or walked on , may often find themselves on . Those who have wandered down the side street have likely seen the , which now has two new owners.  Jacqui and Sean Dowd, a husband and wife team, highly involved in the Ridgefield , took over the shop at the beginning of 2011.

“We took over the shop in January,” Dowd said. “Frank and Draha Strnad were the original owners.”

After two months of renovations, four dumpsters of old rugs and a revamp of the shop, thequickly became a community hot spot for the athletic and those just discovering their physical capabilities.

“We basically gutted it from inside out,” she said. “We took down a bunch of walls, stripped old carpet off of the floors and put new shutters and doors on the building.”

The shop which sells bicycles, helmets, cycling gloves, informational books, and supplements, and clothing is open to all level of customers, according to Dowd. The customer who is looking to ride their first bike to those who are advanced  can stop in and expect to find the services and products they need for a good ride.

“We are so busy,” Dowd said. “We have people coming in and out all week.”

The Dowds have a goal of bringing a community of together. They encourage those who are interested in the world of cycling to stop in and find others who have a passion for the sport. The Dowds have a website for the shop where people can find weekly bike rides and information on the products in the store. They also have a Facebook page where cyclists can connect with each other.

“We want people to use our shop to find other cyclists,” Dowd said.

That goal has already been met, according to three ladies who met by chance and became teammates for CAM’s Girls, a team. The Connecticut Challenge is a cancer survivorship network that raises funds for the support of survivors and the fight against .

Diane Malinowski, Carol Ann Malinowski and Sue Bellion are three out of five of the women who make up CAM’s Girls. One evening when the Dowds kept their shop open after hours, for a Connecticut Challenge informational session, the three women met, according to Bellion.

“When Jacqui found out that we were doing the Connecticut Challenge, she was so supportive,” Bellion said.

“She’s really promoting the community,” Malinowski stated. “You get the feel that they really want to be a part of the community.”

 When the women are in the shop, they often see bikes flying out the door, according to Bellion. The women feel that the expansion of the shop has given customers availability to more products and services. The Ridgefield Bicycle Company is stocked with three fulltime bicycle techs, according to Dowd. The full service shop will help any cyclist of any ability with anything they might need to make their ride the most comfortable and effective.

“We have all walks of life coming in here,” Dowd said. “We have everyone from the itiest-bitiest customer to the advanced racers.”

To learn more about the weekly rides that the Dowds put together, or to see the products and services available in the shop, go to www.ridgefieldbicycle.com.

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