If your knowledge of cycles is limited, walking into some Marin bike shops can be downright intimidating. There are fancy pedals, expensive padded shorts and bike shoes that climb into the hundreds of dollars.
Even more off-putting is the attitude towards customers who are less than proficient in all things cycling.
None could be further from the truth at Old Town Sports. Ask a dumb questions and you’re greeted with a smile and a patient answer. Break your scooter or need a bell for your ride? Manager and business partner Colby Larson and his crew are here to help.
“A lot of stores these days are more boutique and we’re not like that,” said Larson. “Roger (Goodwin, the owner) has always wanted this to be a family and youth oriented shop, a place where the community can get what it needs.”
Old Town Sports has been a part of Novato since 1978, although it initially focused on wind surfing, running and ski gear. Generations of Novatoans have grown up here, their ski boot sizes recorded and stored in a simple card catalog that rests on a counter.
“Relationships that have been established have been crucial for us,” said Larson, who has worked at the shop for more than a decade. “Novato residents are very loyal.”
In the ‘90s, the store began selling bicycles and associated gear, although the specialty appears to be mountain bikes. (The store is happy to order anything it doesn’t have on the shop floor.) It also sells snowboards, skis and a wide assortment of gear.
Another thing that has helped keep the shop in business over the years is the longer operating hours. Unlike many stores on Grant Avenue, Old Town is open until 8pm Monday through Friday.
“If your doors aren’t open, you’re not going to be able to do business,” Larson said.
Old Town Sports is located at 871 Grant Ave. in downtown Novato. For more information, visit oldtownsportsnovato.com