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Thanks to the recent openings of Silk Road Cycles on Franklin Street and Landmark Bicycles on Bedford, Williamsburg now has eight bike shops, taking the title from Park Slope for the Brooklyn neighborhood with the most cycle stores. But the debate really seems to be over who is the more legitimate rider. Silk Road owner Brendon Nicholas told the Brooklyn Paper that Park Slope has a lot of “club riders," which he describes as those who only ride around Prospect Park or train for races. Bicycle Habitat owner Charlie McCorkell attests, on the other hand, that commuting is the top reason Park Slopers are buying bikes.
Regardless on who actually bikes more and for what reasons, it's obvious that the clientele is drastically different depending on neighborhood. Bicycle Habitat naturally sells more child seats in its Park Slope location than it does at its Soho store, and though McCorkell admits that "Williamsburg is a committed biking community," he adds this zinger: "but it tends to be single people."
But here are some numbers: According to city transportation studies, 6,200 people cross over the Williamsburg Bridge daily on bikes, which just about equals the number of people who cross the Manhattan Bridge or Brooklyn Bridge combined on a given day. Williamsburg also has bike lanes, and Nicholas of Silk Road points out, "The Franklin-Kent bike lane is very popular with commuters. Having an actual lane that's painted green is pretty safe." That, and it looks cool.
· Williamsburg on a roll! Two new bike shops put Billyburg ahead of the Slope [Brooklyn Paper]