The name says it all: G&O Family Cyclery. With tons of toys to keep the kiddos occupied while you find the right bike or gear, comfortable chairs for breast- or bottle-feeding, a library stocked with books about everything from cycling to feminism, and tons of bikes to meet the needs of all family types, this Family Cyclery is a bike shop built to cater to the needs of just that: you and your family. Whether you’re looking to test ride an Xtracycle, add some accessories to your current set up or ask questions about family biking in general, their staff has your back.
Recently I spoke with Davey Oil — the O in G&O (that’s him on the left). The “G” would be Tyler Gillies, Davey’s best friend and co-owner). His enthusiasm for cycling and life in general is infectious and shines through whether it’s over the phone, walking through the shop door, or reading his responses to our dealer survey. Give it a peek and hop on over to 8558 Greenwood Ave. N. in Seattle to meet G&O in person!
Why did you get into the bicycle business?
Because I want to kill all cars. I want to help people live lives free of cars. I got into the bike business to get people on cargo bikes. I started as an educator to teach people how to ride and fix bikes. There wasn’t enough access to cargo bikes when I started and so I created a space for people to get family and cargo bikes.
Why do you carry Xtracycle?
Xtracycle is the original quality long tail cargo bike. Xtracycles are the most universally useful cargo bikes. Xtracycle is the epitome of the North American profile of a cargo bike. Above all other long tails, Xtracycles offer the most flexibility for passenger and cargo hauling. They are the cargo bikes that grow with your family. They are built to the highest quality. Seattle has typography that eliminates options for certain cargo bikes. Xtracycles are built with safety and reliability that work in Seattle better than any other brand, and they are built by the nicest people too!
Tell a story about someone who’s bought an Xtracycle from you, how they use it, and how it’s changed their life.
I have 10 stories like that a week. All the time, constantly, we are visited by people who are seeking out a cargo bike. When they come to G&O, they usually say they are interested in changing one part of their commute, or using it sparingly. Those are the customers who realize they can change their whole life. When we had an explosion [more on that in this article], people made us realize that we are more of a mid-wife than a salesman of sporting equipment. We were there with people holding their hand in making a lifestyle transition that was better. We guide people to make the right choice. Deciding to change your life by biking rather than driving is a big deal. Do you want to replace this thing that you do by habit that you really don’t like with something that makes you happy? It takes what otherwise would have been boring or painful or frustrating about having children, living in the city, living in the suburbs and it transforms it into an everyday adventure, and people appreciate that. We aren’t just selling things to people, we are supplying something that is fundamental to a cycling lifestyle movement.
Do you ride bikes, carry stuff?
I do that every day.
What are your thoughts about the state of bike industry?
It is in serious disarray from the threats to retail from online sellers. There are a lot of unscrupulous businesses that sell not the highest quality items, which leads customers to doubt that any companies are selling them a quality product. Many brands in the non-cargo bike space are making short-term decisions that are effecting the overall health of the industry as well. We are trying to make a change to people’s lives and they make it hard for everyone to do business.
What’s your favorite piece of SWAG you’ve ever received?
I usually give it away. I got a button from Xtracycle that said “I sell shit tons of cargo bikes”.
Describe your bathroom decor.
All sorts of cargo bike posters. Changing table for diapers and diaper related items. A huge lending library with books related to feminism, bicycles, and cars. Breast and bottle-feeding chair.
What’s your favorite way to entertain kids while their parents are shopping/test riding?
Gigantic Lego collection, bristle blocks, play kitchen, trains, it’s just a whole playground in here!
What is your favorite book/magazine/blog?
The 3rd Policeman – Flann O’Brien, Misses Armitage on Wheels – Quentin Blake
What’s the most humorous thing overheard at your shop?
Probably would have something to do with breast milk leakage and saddle choice. Generally, in our bike shop, most of the customers are asking about bed times, diapers, wet beds, or how to wash poop out of Magic Carpet.
Who is the first person you think of when you hear the word “successful”?
An urban planner named Jane Jacobs.
If you could ask Ross (Xtracycle’s founder) one question, what would it be?
When are you going to take a vacation, man? And how’s the baby doing?!
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