By Terry Rogers
Ben Jones says that he has been repairing bicycles at his home for about two years. When Country Florist decided to merge with Milford Plant and Garden in the old Gooden’s Florist building, he felt the building at 10 Northeast Front Street was perfect for his first location.
“I was a Marine for five years and while in the Corps, I used a bicycle for transportation,” Mr. Jones said. “When something went wrong with the bike, it was up to me to fix it and I just developed a knack for it. When I left the Marines, I was attending Del-Tech and ended up getting a job at a bike shop in Delmar. I managed that shop for two years before branching out on my own.” Mr. Jones says that he operates the business with his wife, Jenn Rowan, who does all the marketing and social outreach for the business.
The business has a tentative opening date of February 4, 2017, Mr. Jones said. Once it is open, they will sell new and used bicycles as well as recumbent bikes and bicycle supplies like helmets. They will offer a full-service repair shop and also plan to stock bicycle rentals. Eventually, Mr. Jones said he would like to have several bicycle rental stations throughout town so that residents and visitors can rent a bicycle at one location and return it at another.
“Bikes are a great way to get around,” Mr. Jones said. “When people come to visit, they may not be able to bring their own bicycle. This way, they can grab a bike, ride through town to see everything Milford has to offer from a different perspective. I firmly believe in the power of bicycles for both physical and mental health. We need to get out of our climate-controlled cars and see the world from a different angle. On a bicycle, the world opens up more.” Mr. Jones said that although walking and hiking are excellent ways to stay fit, bicycling works different muscles and allows you to run errands that may be impossible on foot, such as the grocery store or to grab something to eat.
Although they are still deciding permanent hours, Mr. Jones says that they plan to be open Monday through Saturday. Wednesdays, they are hoping to stay open later, possibly until around 7 PM. They also want to have Sunday hours as there seems to be a push for businesses in downtown Milford to be open on Sunday.
According to a study conducted by Harvard Health, bicycling offers many benefits. Bicycling is easier on the joints as, unlike walking, you put more pressure on bones in the pelvis. Pushing pedals also provides an aerobic workout, beneficial because it releases endorphins that make you feel younger. Cycling helps strengthen muscles in the buttocks, thighs, calves, hamstrings and hips as well as abdominal and shoulder muscles. It can also help strengthen bones and improve balance.
“Doctors are now prescribing low-impact exercise like cycling instead of anti-depressants,” Mr. Jones said. “They have found that this type of exercise actually improves your mood and makes you feel better. There is a quote by Ernest Hemingway that talks about how you learn the country better on a bicycle. Walking and hiking are great, but if you walk five minutes, you may go a block. If you cycle five minutes, you will go much further.”
Mr. Jones said that Lifecycle will hold a soft opening in February and that the company is planning a grand opening in the spring when it is better “cycling weather.”
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