Used and refurbished bike shop opens: Travel Light Cycles and Systems

Mikial Denker, the owner of the new Travel Light Cycles and Systems shop believes he is doing what his life experience in bikes, his degree in education and his work in transportation has all been leading him to with his used and refurbished bike shop on Orcas Road.

“I have been working on bikes my whole life,” Denker said. “They create jobs, they get people healthy and they reduce the carbon footprint. Used bikes are the ultimate in recycling, both literally and figuratively. I saw the need for sustainable and affordable transportation in the community and I want to be part of the solution. ”

He says he used to sell new bikes at a bike and ski shop he owned in Shelton, Washington, but every time he opened the box and saw all the trash created by the box and the individual wrapping of the parts he thought there had to be a better way.

Last year, in Haines, Alaska he found it by opening a shop to sell used bikes, refurbished bikes and bike parts. This year, he decided to move the business to Orcas where he lived before when he operated the Orcas bus company the Orcas Tortoise.

Travel Light Cycles and Systems not only sell used bikes for children and adults, but sells electric bikes and does bike repair. The brands Denker works with are BMX, Road Bikes, Mountain Bikes and Cross.

He said the reconditioned bikes are in great shape except for scratches before he works on them. He strips them down, paints all the parts, put the bike back together with both new and used parts, and is able to sell it for half the price of a new bike.

“It looks and works like a new bike,” Denker said. “The used parts are in really good shape.”

Denker would like to see what he calls, “a little TLC or Travel Light Cycles in every community and town in the country.”

“I want to manage and oversee the whole concept,” he said. “My little niche in this world is to do bikes.”

All but three of the 30 bikes he currently has in his shop came from the community. He finds them at garage sales, police auctions and people just give him bikes. He was able to start his business on very little capital.

“People have a warm and fuzzy feeling about giving me bikes,” Denker said. “I am a bike magnet and what would potentially be going into the waste stream, is back on the road.”