Cyclist sales and service markets quality of life

Courier and Comet given Halifax corporate list
January 3, 2012
Leroy Martin’s last ‘Hoo-Rah’
January 3, 2012
Courier and Comet given Halifax corporate list
January 3, 2012
Leroy Martin’s last ‘Hoo-Rah’
January 3, 2012


Name: BG Bicycles

Owner: Rod Russell

Est.: August 2010

Address: 6860 Park Ave., Houma

Telephone: (985) 327-8709

Hours: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Product: Bicycles, equipment and service

Employees: Two


Fourteen months after opening his business, Rod Russell, owner of BG Bicycles, said that having moved more than 200 units of high-quality bikes and developing a network of supply and maintenance business, has convinced him that bicycling needs to be taken seriously as a quality of life opportunity in Terrebonne Parish.

“I find more people are interested in commuting and riding around town on some single speed bikes,” Russell said. “Kids seem to be interested, but there are a lot of adults that want to get into shape that are interested and that segment seems to be growing.”

Russell said that a “lack of vision and leadership in the parish” has held back what could be a boom of bicycle usage in an area where the year-round climate makes this an economical and healthy alternative to automobile use for commuting, or simply as an exercise opportunity.

This bicycling proponent said that road construction and enhancement should include the addition of bike lanes or usage of wide shoulders to make two-wheel usage more practical.

“I think if the parish government focused on quality of life and included cleaning the streets and building better roads and access with bike lanes would think of people in the future,” Russell said. “I think the problem is it needs to shift that way. If you look at it, most areas that are growing are doing it with bike lanes and trail lanes. Just look at it for the well-being of the people here. People want to be healthy, but they can’t if there is no place to ride.”

“We totally agree with the idea of increasing the number and usage of bike trails and paths in Terrebonne Parish,” Terrebonne Parish President Michel Claudet said in response to Russell’s concern. “Whenever feasible, we are including such enhancements to new road projects. The recently opened Westside Boulevard is a great example of that commitment.”

Claudet said that limited dollars and pressing needs including drainage and hurricane protection have often placed the idea of bicycle accessible areas to the back burner. “Going forward, my goal is to refocus our efforts on increasing quality-of-life opportunities, including bike paths, for the residents of our parish,” he said.

A native of New Orleans, Russell rode and raced bicycles and worked in a bike shop before entering a career as a government and banking consultant. He moved to Houma when his wife relocated because of her work and decided this was an opportunity to make a job change as well. “You might as well do what you enjoy,” he said.

As Louisiana’s only USA Cycling preferred dealer, BG Bicycles stocks bikes for serious riders – experienced or beginner – has the only Shimano Tec certified mechanic shop in the Tri-parish region and offers repairs and maintenance on all brands of bikes.

Russell said that selecting a bicycle should be individualized to fit the skills, physical requirements and intended use of the rider. Custom work can be done to modify bikes for people with physical limitations. Russell said he has had orthopedists and physical therapists send him customers and patients who take up riding for health benefits. “Many times, swimming or cycling is good for people [recovering from injury or with physical restrictions],” he said. “It allows them to exercise without damage.”

“We offer bicycles from the least expensive ($189) up to $12,000 to $15,000,” Russell said. “We learn what customers need and don’t try to sell them on what they don’t. We also build bikes from the frame up to customize to work with needs and budgets.”

Russell said his business is more professional, operating with the intention to offer any rider what will fit them and their needs. It sets his shop apart from big box stores. BG Bicycles’ selection of bikes are not based on an order placed by corporate purchasing agents who may have never been in the community where the product will be sold.

“The big difference between the shop and the stuff in a big box store is the quality,” Russell said. “Most of the stuff is made in Asia, but there is a difference between being made in Taiwan or made in China. All the stuff in the big box stores is manufactured in mainland China.”

Russell said that more people in the area are buying serious bicycles, particularly with youngsters entering triathlons and other competitive activities, and older residents finding it to be a preferred method of exercise.

“There are only about five manufacturers that make bikes for a 6- to 12-year-old and we have four of the manufacturers’ [products available],” Russell said. “We’ve sold eight to 10 road bikes for kids in the past couple of months alone.”

This entrepreneur said he likes being an independent shop owner because he can carry a line of products that offer selections at various prices to match his market. “We can see the trend of what people like and don’t like and make adjustments.”

Russell said as part of his marketing plan he intends to begin hosting bicycle safety courses in conjunction with area schools.

“It doesn’t do us any good if we don’t try to help the customer get what they need to get the right bike,” Russell said. From low impact exercise to high-speed racing, Russell said the right bike matched to the right person enhances quality of life for both the individual and community.


BG Bicycles owner Rod Russell says that proper maintenance of a
two-wheel vehicle is as important as automotive care to insure
safety and value to a quality of life tool. BG Bicycles’ selection
reaches all ages and riding abilities, and ranges in price from
$189 to $15,000.