By Joe Tash
On any Saturday morning, hundreds of bicyclists whiz along San Dieguito Road in Rancho Santa Fe, pedaling to and from the many cycling routes in the area.
“This is a cycling mecca,” said Chris Evertsen, who has worked in the bicycle industry and raced bicycles for a combined 25 years.
In spite of Rancho Santa Fe’s popularity with cyclists, the community has never had its own bicycle shop. That will change tomorrow (Friday, March 25) when Ranch Cycles opens its doors.
The new shop in the Del Rayo Village shopping center on San Dieguito Road is co-owned by Evertsen, Casey Rice and William Petrie, and is located in the space formerly occupied by Timmons Galleries, which moved to the Rancho Santa Fe Village.
“We’re totally stoked, very excited about getting started,” said Petrie, a Realtor and businessman who lives in Del Mar.
Ranch Cycles will carry a number of high performance brands, including BMC of Switzerland, Pinarello of Italy, Lite Speed of the USA and Eddy Merckx of Belgium. Most of the stock will be road bikes, said Rice, although the shop will also carry mountain bikes and hybrids.
The bikes will range in price from $1,750 to $30,000, depending on the make and model, said Rice.
On a recent morning, the partners readied the shop for its opening. Some of the stock was already in place, including a BMC model called the “Time Machine,” which included high-tech wheels from a German manufacturer and retails for about $21,000.
“This would be the ultimate weapon if you really want to fly,” said Rice of the stylish, black-and-white road bike. “You would have a lot of interested people at stop signs if they ever caught up to you.”
Rice took a circuitous route from his upbringing in Kansas City to part ownership of a Rancho Santa Fe bike shop. In between, he spent a season racing with a professional team in Italy, attended law school at Toulane University in New Orleans, and then worked in the fields of law and finance for 16 years.
But he has always maintained his passion for cycling, even after injuries ended his professional racing career.
Evertsen has also raced professionally, coached a women’s racing team, and managed bike shops, including a small cycling studio which he ran for 10 years from the garage of his Encinitas home. During a reporter’s visit to Ranch Cycles, Evertsen turned up in his cycling togs after a ride. He said he was trying to get in as many rides as possible, figuring his time would be limited once the shop opens.
“I like to call (cycling) my addiction of choice,” he said.
Rice said the shop will offer personalized service for bicyclists of all skill levels, from beginners to experts. One important facet of the service will be taking numerous measurements and gathering information about a customer’s cycling experience, so their new bicycle will fit them well and reduce the chance of discomfort or injury.
“With all these variables we can design a bicycle to fit the person, rather than having the person fit the bike,” Rice said.