First Advisor

Richard L. White

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Community Development and University Honors


Community Development


Bicycle stores -- Public relations, Neighborhoods -- Social aspects




The local bicycle shop (LBS) has long served its neighborhood as a retail establishment and service center, but little has been done to analyze its influence on the greater community. After examining the categories of people who cycle and frequent bike shops, a rough typology of the different kinds of bike shops often found in a city was synthesized. This paper examines the different roles or assets that a given shop can be in a neighborhood. From a third place or anchoring institution to advocate for and even component of cycling infrastructure, the LBS fulfills one or several of these responsibilities to its community. The definitions of these four community assets will provide insight into how the average bicycle shop might act as such. Specific shops in the city of Portland are then carefully examined through observation and staff interviews to determine the extent to which these roles are actually performed. This paper suggests that a community that wishes to establish or maintain itself as friendly towards cycling should recognize the LBS as a crucial part of that image by providing a unique place for all people to gather, socialize, and exchange knowledge.


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