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Bicycle: Shop Name Says It All


The shop name – Bicycle – on a store front at 6411 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL, reflects its minimalist owner, Wayne. No embellishment, just the basics.


Wayne is one of those one-name people like Cher or Paris. I’ve been taking my bikes into Wayne for almost a decade, and I didn’t know his last name, Veelenturf, (it’s Dutch, he says) until I talked with him this week.

Escaping New Jersey

Wayne was working as a general automotive mechanic at a gas station in New Jersey about 16 years ago, when he decided that it was time for a change of career and scenery. “I realized that there were things that were greater than the area I was from, so I wanted to take some chances and find some other things to do.”

While he was pumping gas at the Mobil gas station, he noticed that a lot of the cars had Florida tags, and he was “thinking about a weather change,” so he headed south, ending up in the Daytona area for about three years.

His first few jobs in the West Palm Beach area “were problematic with getting paid,” he commented dryly. He ended up working as a bike mechanic for someone else, until customers convinced him that he should open up his own shop, just a few blocks north of his present establishment.

It looks like a real bike

He kept an old beater bike in front of the store as a kind of subtle advertisement. When he moved to the new shop, he added an iconic silhouette of a cruiser to the white wall. From a distance, it looks like a real bike.

“It’s hard to draw a picture of my average customer. It pretty much covers the whole spectrum of anybody who rides a bike. And they all have pretty much the same problems.

You can have a flat tire. Ten other people can have a flat tire. But they’ll tell you ten different stories about how they got that flat tire,” he said.

Snowbirds ship bikes to him

Most of his customers come from right around the area, generally commuters from Miami to Tequesta, although he has some customers from the Keys. Snowbirds, who want to ship their bikes down for the season, will call him to ask if they can send their bikes directly to the shop for assembly.

He stocks all of the normal bicycle accessories: saddles, lights, pedals, grips, horns, gloves, kid carriers, bells, reflectors, tires, tubes, tools, locks, components, lubes, water bottles, baskets and other pieces parts. His inventory is heavy on cruisers, but he has some high-end bikes, too.

His prices are more than reasonable. A couple of times I’ve complained, because the bill came to way less than I thought he deserved. He’s done almost all the normal maintenance on my bikes, and he’s built two wheels for me, including one with a SON generator hub. Even bikes that come in for something else get a good cleaning.

He has a soft spot for old bikes

He seems to be happiest when he’s restoring an old bike, like the 1965 BF Goodrich built by Schwinn that has chrome skulls on the front fender. He rode it until he swapped it out for a more “modern” 1986 Schwinn Supreme cruiser that he uses today.

A yellow Stingray hangs from the ceiling.

“Every shop has some kind of show piece like that old Stingray that’s hanging from the ceiling. Remember that old Hercules I had? The red one? I wish I had never sold it. Once you sell it, it’s gone.” he laments. “I know that, sooner or later, I have to sell ‘em…” he trails off.

He’s selling memories

“People come in here, and all this time, they dream about what they remember. They wake up and suddenly 25 or 30 years have gone by. They look up and they see the bike they rode as a kid.”

There’s nothing he can’t fix

Wayne’s one of those guys who can fix anything, even if it takes binder’s twine or duct tape. I wanted to swap out my front cranks for something lower, because I rarely find that I spin out in the high range, but I have, frequently, wished I had something to make climbing hills easier. Instead of automatically ordering all new stuff, he managed to make some of the original parts work.

Lots of beaters

Because of the demographics of the area, a lot of his customers are third-world immigrants who depend on old beaters for transportation. I suspect that a lot of them are getting around on bikes that Wayne cobbled together from a bunch of old parts salvaged from throwaways.

Bike don’t change much, he points out. “You can go back 20 years, 30 years and things on a bicycle are still compatible. Indexed shifting going back to 1989 is interchangeable. The changing of grips, installing a new saddle, putting on new pedals or putting on new tires is all the same procedure on an inexpensive bike or a very expensive bike.”

His bike is his transportation

Wayne’s primary mode of transportation is his 1986 Schwinn. “I’m a commuter. It (the bike) does everything: it does exercise, transportation and recreation all at the same time.”

“I live within about a mile from the shop and the grocery stores, convenience stores and restaurants are all within about the same one-mile cruising radius,” he said.

Some bike owners are former racers or go-fast riders, but not Wayne.

“I’ll go up to the Winn-Dixie up on Belvedere Rd. or to the auto parts store or hardware store for parts. To go for a 20-mile ride? Nah!”

Rides about 14 miles a week

“By the time it takes me to put new tires on my bicycle, I’m probably into a new bicycle, because I’ll experiment with new parts and compatibility comparisons, so I’ll have experience with other types of repairs.

He tries to ride early and late to stay out of the heat.

“The first couple of years down here I didn’t have air conditioning. I knew something was wrong. When I finally did get acquainted with air conditioning, I hardly ever get outside anymore.”

Works on motorcycle wheels, too

He found out there’s a shortage of mechanics who know how to respoke motorcycle wheels, something that comes as second nature to a guy who spends hours a week truing bicycle wheels, so he put a one-line ad in the phone book for Motorcycle Wheel Respoke and has gotten a lot of response.

So, if you’re looking for a new bike, have a  broken old bike, want to see if you can find a bike like you rode as a kid or have a broken spoke on your motorcycle wheel, stop in to see Wayne.

  • Bicycle
  • 6411 S. Dixie Highway
  • West Palm Beach, FL 33405
  • 561-588-2040

Or, drive down Dixie until you see an orange roof and the silhouette of a bike on the front of a white building.

—Ken

19 comments to Bicycle: Shop Name Says It All

  • Are you sure that’s not Yehuda Moon and that he used to work for the Kickstand Cyclery?

  • kls

    He’s the nearest thing to it. He rides this heavy old Schwinn with a big basket in the front and a generator hub.

    He doesn’t log a lot of miles, but it’s because he’s simplified his lifestyle so he doesn’t need to cover long distances to get to everything he needs.

    He likes to stay out of the sun, so wears a big hat and long sleeves. I saw him going down the street with his shirt flapping the other day and thought of the Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz.

    He’s different from most bike shop people who are go-fast Joes. Wayne looks as a bike as a form of transportation and as a highly efficient tool to be tinkered with.

    He’s also one of the few LBS owners who’ll try to talk you out of buying something or will steer you towards something cheaper.

    It’s great having a guy like that less than a mile from my house.

  • kls

    I guess I should clear one thing up. Spokesrider and I are talking about Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery comic strip at http://www.yehudamoon.com

    Rick Smith does a great job of drawing an interesting strip with fascinating story lines.

    He allows interactive comments that show that his readers follow the stories closely and are very attentive to the details that Rick puts into his drawings. (OK, SOME people need to get a life, but it keeps them off the street.)

    It’s one of the first three sites I check when I get up in the morning.

  • L.S.
    As president of our familyfoundation “Van Vuijlturv tot Ve(e)lenturf” I would prefer having contact with Wayne Veelenturf.
    Would you be so kind to ask Wayne to contact me.
    Thank you very much and regards
    Yours sincerely
    Jan Veelenturf

  • Ken Steinhoff

    Jan,

    Wayne doesn’t, as far as I know, have email. You could reach him at his shop address,
    6411 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL 33405.

    His shop number is 561-588-2040.

  • nice collections..you don’t have to sell your old Stingray, it keeps historical values I guess

  • Ken Steinhoff

    If you liked the Stingray, you’ll appreciate my brother’s old Spyder here and here.

  • no thanks

    I was in tears’ when i left this wayne guy’s store. he let me test ride two bikes, and after i rode the second one, i was really excited about buying it. then for no apparent reason he REFUSED TO SELL IT TO ME.

    i love old bikes too, and even though i don’t know a lot about bikes (so maybe he thought i was too stupid to get one of his bikes?) i assured him i would take care of it and had a place indoors for it. i was 100% polite and i practically pleaded with him to sell it to me, but he said that one wasn’t for sale but i could have the first one i rode.

    So i decided i would buy that one, and the he inexplicable refused to sell that one too!! i was completely amazed and insulted. i got around by bikes for 5 years doing my undergrad in Gainesville- I’m totally a bike person, I can’t fathom why he would refuse to sell me a bike at full price. I was in tears when i left, but your wayne friend just kept staring at the ground. he refused to tell me why. what a waste of time and an insulting experience.

  • no thanks

    oh, and it was like pulling teeth just to get him to let me test-ride the bikes. maybe he is a misogynist who doesn’t like completely polite, unoffensive women. i’m racking my brain to figure out what i did to get such shoddy treatment… it definitely ruined my day.

  • No Thanks,

    I can’t speak for him. He’s always been good to me.

    On the other hand, I’ve had him try to convince me NOT to buy something on some occasions.

    Sorry for your bad experience. If you haven’t found a bike yet, let me know and I’ll give you a couple of shops where the owner isn’t quite so eccentric.

  • Dogdona Veelenturf

    As Wayne former fadder and cage fighting mentor, I must warn people, Wayne is not to trifle with. He kill many large and small men with old banana seat. Once, I go to Wayne Bicycle and he lock doors and fart. I could not breath. Come home Wayne. Come back to home! It smell real nice here! Like before!

  • Anthony Roldan

    How can I start by saying the Wayne is one of the best person that I have ever met, back in 97 went I purchased a beautiful mountain bike from him, we because friend because for his love for bikes, since then I would only bring my bikes to him, back in 2008 I brought over my 1990 Falcon made in England for an overhaul and he upgraded everything like new, at the time I lost my job and wasn’t able to pay the full repair bill, so I told him if I may pay it slowly until I would pay it off, bill was 300 for everything he did so I paid 115 and still until today 3-14-2010 owe him 185 in order to get my bike back…period of story is that Wayne still has my bike at his shop and refuse to sell it to many customer’s that want to by this beautiful bike …..I’m so sorry Wayne because you know how much I love that bike I builted back in 1990…and I know person begged him to sell that bike to them….I still owe him 185 which I going to pay….I still unemployed, but going back to school at the age of 50, but Wayne is truly one special person….if anyone can help me please my number is 646-542-6856 in N Y due to my father’s health problems.. Thank You for reading this…Anthony Roldan…Thank You Wayne…God Bless

  • I will definitely stop by the shop sometime and say hello!

  • Joanne, james

    I bought a mountain bike from Wayne, brand new. The tires showed cracks from dry rot after riding it only a few times. He would not do anything but SELL me new tires, full price. I contacted the manufacturer, and found out that the seat, seat post, and tires had been swapped out for cheaper items. Iron Horse was nice enough to make my bike like it was supposed to be, and then pulled their bikes out of his store.
    I also had to beg and argue to test ride a bike. After I bought it, he refused to even help me load it in my truck (I am 56 yr old woman) He may be nice if you a re on his good side, but I wouldn’t buy a valve cap from him.

  • GWEN

    Sounds like this Wayne is in the wrong business, he should be an accountant or something where he doesnt have to deal with the public…as for the guy with the bike in his shop cause he still owes money! I’d pay the guy and get the bike back if he still has it….he sounds a bit shady and should be reported to the better business bureau.. a warning to anyone else who might enter his shady premises

  • I really do like the bike shop name but the comments about a shady business I have no opinion

  • Anthony J. Roldan

    Back on Dec. 26, 2010, I wrote on this page but was not printed, here we go again. Merry Christmas day after..Well here goes after 2 years in the bike shop, Wayne sold my bike that I have had since 1990, when the last time I spoke to time in early spring of 2010, I asked him what is my total up to date price to get my bike out, Wayne told me 525.00 to get it shipped to The Bronx, N.Y., that’s 100.00 for U.P.S. alone. He told me he upgrade the bike with new rims and tires to a grand total of 424.00. I started owning him 295.00 for a complete tune up only, no rims or tires, I started paying him to a total of 165.00, which he kept a log, which means at the time I only owe him a real balance of 130.00 or 150.00 in order to get my bike back, yes the bike was at his shop for 2 years, but I also kept in touch with him and he also had my phone number to keep in touch, letting him know my where about in order to get my bike back, and NOT to LOSE MY BIKE, guess what he SOLD MY BIKE and I DIDN’T GET A PENNY FOR MY BIKE! I have purchase more than one bike from Mr.Wayne, plus repairs in the past, He knew me, I was not a stranger of the streets. Wayne I lost Valve in people, I don’t TRUST nobody now….God does not like UGLY….I’m still in The Bronx taking care of my senior dad, but when I go back to Palm Beach County someday soon…..We are going talk about this….It’s not about the money, but about why you sold my bike that I had since 1990….Thank You for reading…Anthony J. Roldan….Cell 610-441-3030, Home 646-542-6856…By the way I’m 50 years old….

    • Anthony,

      The reason your comment didn’t appear was that I put it in the pending stack until I had a chance to talk with Wayne so I could publish both sides of the story at the same time. (Or, decide that this was between you and him and didn’t need to be discussed publicly.)

      Wayne is a low-tech kind of guy who doesn’t have an Internet connection nor email, so you have to deal with him in person, on the phone or snail mail.

      Since I haven’t had a chance to stop by to talk with him, I’ll publish your version of the story, reserving the right to take it down.

      Gut reaction: two years is a LONG time to expect a small LBS to hold onto a bike.

      Second gut reaction: I’m 63 years old. What does age have to do with it?

      To be continued

  • Anthony J. Roldan

    First my age 50 means I’m not a kid or a push over, second I kept in touch with Mr. Wayne, and third if you sold my bike what happen to the money I already paid, so now I’m losing all the way, no bike , no money given back, I don’t know how much he sold the bike for, my point it’s not fare, I guess long time or not I still kept in touch, I still have his shop number in my cell phone….So Mr. Ken Steinoff I know you are trying to help but please understand that in that time that my bike was in the shop I KEPT IN TOUCH, letting him know where, when, what I was doing and How I’m trying to get my bike back, also how it jumped from one price to a greater price, so I wrong in this matter, I lose, Mr. Wayne gain’s….Is this fare?????? Thank You, I want what’s right, no problem’s….Please understand my point of view…

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