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Our Story

John Robinson didn’t invent the bike, but he’s reinventing the bike shop experience. 

Before he was a bike shop owner, John was a suit-wearing, traveling, corporate banking consultant and bicycle enthusiast who was unimpressed by the standard bike shop customer experience. When the company he worked for started downsizing, John started fantasizing. 

What if there was a bike shop where everyone was “cool” enough to feel at home? What if you could walk into a shop knowing nothing about bikes and get your questions answered? What if he could spend less time flying across the country to schmooze customers and more time with his own family? What if his “office” included a refrigerator filled with his favorite beer? 

With these big questions in mind, John set out to learn about the cycling industry and the ins and outs of running a bike shop. He worked in a shop. He visited shops across the country. He talked to industry experts and manufacturers. And then he was ready. And when John Robinson decides he’s ready, it’s go time.

Within seven weeks he wrote a business plan, emptied out the couch cushions, and raided his retirement fund. Nine contractors, 112 bike builds, and one nervous breakdown later, John threw open the doors of Johnny Velo Bikes with a dance party and a disco ball.

Johnny Velo Bikes store window looking into the store interior.

Why Johnny Velo Bikes is different

There are two kinds of bike shops: Johnny Velo Bikes and everyone else. Our reason for being is simple: we want you to Enjoy Your Ride™, and we know you’ll enjoy it more on a bike you love. We’re here to help you find the right ride for the ride you want to ride. Confused? All you need to know is our arms are open to riders of all types, all ages, and all skill levels, including you.

Check out our Why buy your bike from us page to learn more.

Are you feeling lucky?

Meet The Team

Photograph of John Robinson, the owner of Johnny Velo Bikes

John Robinson, Owner

Nickname: The Blond Gorilla

Motto: I don’t walk up hills. 

Special skills: Stretching the legs of his pants with his bulging calf muscles, loosening stubborn bolts no one else can, climbing hills with the tenacity of a mountain goat, and chugging a tallboy in one swig. 

Ride style: A roadie at heart, John is happiest when mashing the pedals for long distances, although these days you’re more likely to see him heading to work with Raffa the Shop dog on the back of his cargo e-bike or enjoying the newfound freedom of mountain biking

Bikes: 1976 Huffy Boy’s Stars and Stripes Edition, 1976 Huffy Girls Stars and Stripes Edition, Giant Defy 1 Advanced road bike with Mavic wheelset, Kona Libre gravel bike, Kona Cinder Cone mountain bike, Kona e-Ute cargo bike, Pabst Blue Ribbon special edition BMX bike, and a Felt V100 Gravel bike that was stolen.

Photograph of John Robinson, the owner of Johnny Velo Bikes

Jason Dul, Service Manager

Nickname: Sasquatch

Motto: You gonna eat that? 

Special skills: Rack and fender installations on just about any bike. Generator wheel builds and lighting setups. Picking up heavy things and putting them back down again.

Ride style:  A bit of this and that.  He's been a randonneur, a triathlete, raced cyclocross and enduro.  Car-free, so many of the miles he puts in these days are transportation and utility miles, and he's often seen with a full set of panniers or one of his trailers.  He still enjoys getting out to the trails or getting in a century ride, but everything these days is party-pace.

Bikes:  2020 Surly ECR custom build, 2017 All City Cosmic Stallion with custom wheels,  2008 Redline Monocog 29er,  2018 Electra Cruiser-7 custom chopper,  2017 Verde Spectrum 22" BMX, Burley Flatbed trailer,  Surly Bill trailer
Photograph of Eric Iven; young bike mechanic at Johnny Velo Bikes.

Eric Iven, Build Manager

Nickname: Expired Intern

Motto: “Seems easy enough.”

Special skills: Perfect brake bleeds, bird identification, growing facial hair, track stands, coaxing the whole shop into getting mountain bikes.

Ride style: While he can't decide on a single discipline you had better believe he has a bike in his stable to tackle whatever kind of ride you want to go on. However, he has been known to choose the wrong bike for the job, just for kicks, even so he can be found waiting at the top of hills.

Bikes: Kona Jake the Snake, Honzo CR, Bianchi Volpe 58cm (He’s really a 54cm) and a Souped up Sutra.
Photograph of Steph Waite; sales lead and bike ambassador

Mark Sheahan, Service Lead

Nickname: Pops

Motto: Gears are good! Any day I ride a bike instead of driving a car is a good day. 

Special skills: Making something useful out of things that look useless, woodworking, Irish diplomacy (telling someone to go to hell in a way that they enjoy the trip). 

Ride style: Mark has been a bike commuter and recreational tourist for 40+ years. He has a crazy fast spin and enjoys 'going somewhere' on a bike. 

Bikes: Homemade wood bike No. 1, homemade wood bike No. 2, Litespeed Classic Titanium, Surly Cross-Check; Breezer Doppler Pro
Photograph of Mark Sheahan; seasoned mechanic and artisan

Heidi Coulter, Sales Lead and Mtn Biking Coach

Nickname: Shortyfire

Motto: Be like water 

Special skills: Performing magical feats like becoming ONE on mountain bike trails, making mind blowing plant-based meals and desserts and just recently learning how to fly on a bike. I’m also a certified mountain bike coach and community ride leader. Other skills include making dog sweaters, painting, drawing and graphic arts.

Ride style: Mountain biking is my passion but I do spend a good deal of time on gravel and exploring the city. I race xc and ultra-endurance mountain biking.

Bikes: Kona Process, Cannondale FSI, Pivot Mach 4, 1995 Saturn Team Trek Lemond, and my beloved SS beater bike.
Photograph of Maddie Thompson; mechanic and ride leader for Johnny Velo Bikes

Maddie Thompson, Service Lead and Ride Leader

Nickname: Chopper

Motto: Why not use the bolt cutters?

Special skills: Getting grease on every shirt she owns, hydrating solely with coffee, and choosing the best funk playlists for the shop speaker.

Ride style: Maddie started as a commuter and bikepacker on my lovely gravel bike, but started to dabble in the dark arts of mountain biking. Currently re-building a 15 year old aluminum cross country bike to ride in the spring.

Bikes: Kona Rove, with plenty more to come
Photograph of Mark Sheahan; seasoned mechanic and artisan

Emily de Jong, Service Lead

Nickname: Ed

Motto: Eat your veggies!

Special skills: Naming bikes, extensive beater-bike surgery, reading for fun, repacking bearings, dehydrating trip food, and most importantly, youthful naivety.

Ride style: Everything but the kitchen sink-esque. Emily likes to pass her time in the saddle riding with friends, first and foremost, but other than that she is willing to try anything, from commuting to gravel riding to touring/bikepacking and even mountain biking. Her preferred style is definitely dependent on her mood-- bikepacking if she’s looking for that tasty slow calf-burn and mountain biking if she’s feeling particularly impulsive.

Bikes: 2021 Kona Sutra (dubbed “Tanklin D. Roosevelt”), State Bicycle Co. 4130 (dubbed “My Hub-sband”), and an ancient Schwinn Traveler (dubbed “Marge the Barge”) that Emily is too sentimental to get rid of even though she has no bike storage left.
Photograph of Maddie Thompson; mechanic and ride leader for Johnny Velo Bikes

Just "Craig", Sales Lead

Nickname: PeePaw

Motto: Inside every car is a cyclist waiting to be let out

Special skills: I have the ability to dodge COTA buses while hauling a trailer full of cookies and muffins through the streets of Columbus.

Ride style: Long time Roadie, use to love long distances and country roads but now you’ll mostly find me delivering Pattycake bakery goodies via my Kona up and down High St. Also enjoy discovering various Rails to Trails around all parts of Ohio.

Bikes: Kona Sutra, Mid 90s Cannondale R300 and a Gary Fisher single speed commuter.

Photograph of Raffa, the dog. Store mascot and longest running employee of the month

Raffa, The Shop Dog

Nickname: Employee of the month

Motto: Bark bark bark! Bark! Bark bark!

Special skills: Barking at passing dogs, chasing his tail, distracting kids, waiting at the door for the employees to come back from lunch, eating your dropped French fries

Ride style: Tongue out, sweater on, cruising in his doggie basket on the back of John’s Kona Electric Ute.

Bikes: John’s bikes are Raffa’s bikes 

Browse Our Bike Selection

Find your dream bike today and visit us for a test ride. We'll ensure that you're on the right bike to meet your needs and the right frame size for a comfortable, safe cycling experience.