This past week I’ve been on location in Knoxville, Tennessee. It’s been mostly work, but as soon as I had a break I asked the hotel clerk where I might find a local bike shop that leaned more toward the touring and utility cyclist.
The clerk helpfully pointed me in the direction of Tennesseey Valley Bicycles. I sprinted off, crossed my fingers that the shop wasn’t too far away, and hoped that the exertion to find it would be worth it.
The shop feels like it is located just off the beaten path in Knoxville, on the fringe of the Old City area. The building is pretty nondescript from the outside, although the subtle signage gives the place a nice aesthetic.
The hotel clerk was right. As I approached the shop, I saw that a group ride was just getting going (or ending, I couldn’t tell). When I walked inside, the first thing I noticed was that the bike mechanic was a WOMAN. Yes!
Tennessee Valley Bicycles stocked a lot of Konas, several mountain bikes (which, I must admit, are pretty foreign to me) a few Salsas, and a couple of IROs.
The shop carried some interesting accessories, too. They had some wicker baskets, basic rear racks, funky panniers, and some durable-looking (although dirt-prone-looking) linen bags for sale, and I was most taken with the Octopus wool cycling caps, which are handmade in Ohio. I said Ohio, not Iowa! (As an Iowan, I had to insert that.)
I wasn’t able to linger at the shop as long as I would have liked, but it was fun to have the opportunity to run over after work, check out the stock, and get a feel for their space. If you are ever in Knoxville and have a little extra time, Tennessee Valley Bicycles is worth a visit.
50 States Ride, anyone? If so, I’ll see you there!