Why A Rat?
What does a rat have to do with cycling?
Great question, and one we get often. Years ago when Matthew was growing up, he had an uncle with whom he spent a lot of time. That uncle had a local business called Rats Gym. Matt loved his uncle and the time he spent there, so he called his bike shop Rats Cycles to honor of his uncle ("He's not dead!", Matt's yelling at me. LOL.)
The name also embodies how the shop began. Rats are smart, scrapy, fierce survivors, and while you may not want to cuddle one, they are no pushovers like mice. Rats Cycles started with a pre-owned bike, some tools, and a tent and we have worked hard every day with a fierce determination, much like a rat, to bring the best experience, service, and bikes to our customers.
We are not a typical bike shop.
Yes, we offer all the repairs and service of “normal” bike shops, but we do it quickly and for reasonable prices, AND we believe you deserve expert level service for your pride and joy, whether it comes from a big box retailer, is 40 years old, or has been painstakingly built part by part to save weight and improve performance. It’s yours and we will care for it with the respect it deserves.
We believe in individuality and that everyone, EVERYONE, should be able to order a customized bike at every budget. We don’t want to force our inventory on you. Every one of us is different, and we want your bike to embody you. We do this by offering you a variety of bike sizes and styles to explore in our stores, and once we narrow the size and style that fits you best, we order a new bike customized to your specifications. In 2 to 5 days you’ll be riding out of our store on a bike that is as individual as you are.
We love a great deal! Who doesn’t?! Some of the best deals are pre-owned bikes, especially for kids who outgrow them so quickly. Whether donated or hunted down on Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace, we love to take bikes that need a little love, repair them, tune them up, and provide them to riders looking for quality rides at a bargain. It’s like providing you a certified pre-owned super deal! You’re happy. We’re happy. Everybody wins!
And now we answer – who’s “we”?
Matthew (the Owner) was a sponsored mountain bike racer who used to drink soda from a bottle with his face on the label. You’ve probably even seen this soda brand in the grocery store Jones Soda. So yeah, he’s kind of a big deal. From age 5 Matthew was OBSESSED with bikes – racing them, crashing them, repairing them, building them – you name it. As he advanced in his racing career and became of legal working age, he also put his obsess…let’s call it passion…and meticulous attention to detail to work in bike shops everywhere.
As Matthew matured and “settled” down, this rebellious dad created Rats Cycles to escape his garage once in a while, have a few minutes of peace from his kids, and repair and restore other people’s bikes. He loves bikes, riding, Miller Lite, and making people happy. His simple start repairing bikes at a local farmer’s market led to the growth that got us to 2 locations in the greater Washington, DC area.
Christian is like Matt’s alter ego. Christian grew up building ramps, jumping as many of his friends as possible (sorry Jake), and dismantling bikes, but the similarities end there. In his youth, he never put a bike back together and only competed in neighborhood bike races, winning and losing his fair share. He was a collegiate athlete and, upon graduation, he assumed the look and resume of a desk-bound professional.
After becoming despondent with sedentary desk life and worthless long-winded meetings, Matthew encouraged Christian to join Rats Cycles, to represent the casual riding “I wish I had more time to pursue biking seriously and I like pretty things so I’ll buy one” dad, and apply his love of and experience in business, athletics and fitness, and boundless curiosity to the bike industry. He loves learning, gravel bikes, problem solving, making people happy, and cold windy mornings at his kids' soccer games. Oh! And sarcasm…Christian does not like the cold unless a snowboard is involved.
Why Should You Choose Rats Cycles?
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