Just shy of 39 years in the business, Bicycle Works owner Bob Hillhouse is riding into the sunset — if that’s what you call retiring and moving to Portland, Ore. to be near his new granddaughter.
“I’m very much looking forward to making the move,” he said.
Hillhouse recently sold his business to his longtime friend and neighbor across the Redwood Plaza parking lot, Damé Rahal, current owner of Athletic Feat.
“He’s been doing this for over 38 years,” said Rahal.
“That’s amazing. The number of people he’s worked with and helped in the bicycling community is phenomenal.”
“My first business here was in Bob’s former shop,” Rahal stated. She’s referring to Hillhouse’s original store – Pedal and Jog.
“Now he has the bicycle shop and I’ve got a running store, bringing the two together made a lot of sense.”
Although no major changes are in store for the moment, Rahal said she is planning at some point to join the two businesses under one roof, possibly with a new name.
“Right now I’m running back and forth across the parking lot so it’s really important I bring them together,” she said with a laugh.
“For a lot of reasons, this was a good time to move on for me,” Hillhouse said. “I wanted the business to go to someone with great energy and a good reputation around town, so I feel good about passing the store on to someone who I believe will do well. Everywhere I go in town, people say great things about Damé.”
“I really feel quite honored to take over this business,” Rahal said, “because the team here, some of whom have been here 25 years, are the best mechanics in town. And it’s because of what Bob built here.”
“Over the years, we’ve developed an outstanding reputation for the quality of the repair work that we do in town, said Hillhouse.
“We’ve built and overhauled suspensions, worked on wheels, including disc brakes and all the new stuff, and everyone has the latest training. I’m very proud of the quality of the work that comes out of here, and the good news is they’re all staying,” he said, “so the shop will continue to offer that.”
Rahal, who is a big proponent and supporter of the Vine Trail, chuckled when reminded she would now be helping put runners and bikers on the trail.
“I couldn’t be more excited about. Actually, this is going to be an amazing combination,” she said.
She said the only change she has in mind is some “freshening” of the bicycle store’s interior. As Hillhouse gazed down upon the 20-plus-year-old carpet in his former store, he acknowledged that the interior needs a facelift.
“Maybe a major facelift,” he laughed. Rahal said all the good things about the business, including the store’s relationship with the Eagle Cycling Club, would continue.
Bicycle works is located at 3335 Solano Ave.