Skip to main content

Our Vision:

East Coasters will grow and prosper in order to ensure a thriving cycling lifestyle, enriching our communities.

We opened our doors in Blacksburg in 1974 and in Roanoke in 1993 but we came up with that vision back in 2004ish. It came about because we were really good at bikes but not as good at business. We needed to meld the two into something that we could believe in like we believe in the power of bikes to change peoples' lives. At that time we were really the driving force behind most things that happened around cycling in both the Roanoke and Blacksburg areas. We had accomplished much:

  • We were instrumental in bringing the Tour DuPont to Southwest Virginia
  • We had put on races such as the Mountain Magic race up Mountain Lake and we had supported countless others
  • We were at the first meeting to plan the first trails at Explore Park and we led many work days building those first trails
  • We had two employees on the seven person committee to decide whether the trails at Carvins Cove should be open. At the time, they were technically illegal and the City wasn't sure they wanted them open. Through our efforts (and those of many others!) we changed the minds of the other five people on that committee and the Cove became legally open
  • We lobbied the Mill Mountain Advisory Committee to get them to open trails on Mill Mountain to mountain bikes and when there was hesitation, we paid an employee to lead trail days there to create goodwill
  • We started the first junior cycling program in the region back in 2008 with the East Coasters Junior Team. What started with a handful of kids grew to more than 50 and is now Star City Cycling
  • We were instrumental in getting the Huckleberry Trail built and we have supported it in countless ways over the years
  • We helped start both trail organizations in both Roanoke and Blacksburg: the Blue Ridge Off-road Cyclists and the Poverty Creek Trails Coalition respectively
  • We've attended and help publicize countless meetings of all kinds to advocate for better bike opportunities for all

In short (but not really!) we felt that for cycling to thrive in our area it was important that we kept doing what we did. Those are big dreams, and it's a bold statement, but we believe we lived up to it. Now we had to figure out how to be a better business so that we could keep doing all that and take better care of the folks that work for us, for it's them that are the key to all that we do.

And that's where that vision came from. It's a way of saying that to keep helping people discover how ABSOLUTELY AWESOME riding bikes is, we needed to stick around.
Things are a little different now. There's a lot of energy in our communities around cycling and it's not just us beating the drum. However, we still believe that we bring something special to the table and that with the passion we have and have had for almost 50 years we are in a unique position to help our customers thrive in their love of the bike.       

 

We believe:

-That our customers deserve our 100% efforts
-That personal, professional service is the cornerstone of our business
-That getting more people on bikes contributes to active, healthy, vibrant communities

-That our employees are the key to all we do and they deserve the best we can provide



Our History:  

 March 1974
The birth of East Coasters Bike Shop. Four former Hokies, Jim Ayres, Brock Green, Mike Matzuk and Jim Vitt decided top open a bike shop.  The store took up less than 1,000 square feet. That first year defined 'meager'. When October came Mike left, as the shop couldn’t cover payroll for two over the winter.

 Late 1977 
The store moves to its second location on College Avenue where it stayed until 1981. 

1981
On a Friday in June a contract was signed to move the store to it’s longtime home at 1001 North Main Street, now occupied by Abby's Restaurant. 

1988
Chris Betz starts working at the East Coasters in Blacksburg after several years in the bike industry.

1990's
East Coasters plays a pivotal role in bringing the Tour DuPont stage race to southwest Virginia, showcasing to the world the quality of riding the area has to offer. (In 1995 a young Texan named Lance Armstrong wins his first of two Tour DuPonts. He's nice enough to donate a signed yellow leader's jersey to East Coasters.)

1992
The Roanoke East Coasters location opens on Starkey Road in Roanoke County.

1996
Wesley Best, the other current co-owner, takes on the manager’s position at East Coasters in Roanoke after the guys working in the Blacksburg store tired of having him as a customer hanging around all the time and begged Mike to hire him and ship him off to Roanoke. 

2006
Wes and Chris take over as the co-owners of East Coasters Bike Shop, Inc. with a goal to continue the East Coasters mission of building and serving the cycling community. Let us know how we're doing!