What are the bike facilities at Via6? Exactly, how did Matt Griffin’s vision play out? As learned in the previous article, New2Seattle held one of its social get-togethers at Via6, or more specifically, at Velo Bike Shop. While the biking-in-Seattle-curious feasted on Tom Douglas Pizza and quaffed Peddler beer, Sales and Service Manager, Mike Juguilon led this examiner through the facilities that comprise Via6’s Via Bike Club and Velo Bike Shop.
Clearly, Griffin knew what bicyclists wanted in a facility. The basement at Via6 includes bike storage, showers and lockers enough for 150 cyclists. There is space for both Via6 tenants and bike commuters. Offering two levels of membership, Juguilon explained, members can join for bike storage and showers at $30 a month, or for an additional $30 per month, have a personal locker. To boot, there’s a private entrance. No need to go through the shop or the apartments’ main lobby. Members have an access keycard to an alley entrance displaying the Via Bike Club logo, between 5th and 6th Avenues connecting Lenora and Blanchard.
There is still room for members to enroll in Via Bike Club according to Juguilon. Velo Bike Shop will even wash your towels. Not all members choose the locker packet. Even without there is plenty of room in the secure storage facility to leave those biking togs behind when continuing on one’s way to work. It’s hard to imagine a better deal--bike storage and showers, and a bike shop in case you need repairs.
As described previously, Velo is a well-established Seattle bike shop, a family business. Before moving to the Via6 location, Lloyd and Larry Tamura had operated Velo on Capitol Hill for 28 years. Bike stock is well-displayed. Velo carries four brands including Giant, Masi, Bianchi and Redline. With 50% of their inventory dedicated to Giant, Juguilon explained, a prospective buyer can find the entire line at Velo.
Later, while the author was gazing at the Eddy Merckx on display overhead, Carol Chow, Office Manager and sister of the Tamura brothers, explained “That’s my brother’s.” Don’t get hopeful to purchase that red and green circa 1980’s 7-Eleven team bike. That Eddy Merckx is Lloyd Tamura’s. One statement in particular by Carol Chow, reflects the family’s love of bicycling and Seattle’s bicycling infrastructure. In discussing recent improvements, she stated, “It’s exciting to drive up Dexter and see all those bicyclists. They’re from all walks of life.” Via6 and Velo Bike Shop are perfect ingredients in the Seattle bicycle-friendly community.