BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Bicycles were introduced in the 19th century and now exist as approximately one billion units worldwide. They are the principal means of transportation in many parts of the world and are widely regarded as an effective and efficient mode of transportation, optimal for traveling short to moderate distances.
Identical twins Rick and Robby Din, bicycle enthusiasts, emigrated to Canada from Guyana in 1991. At an early age, Rick and Robby were fascinated about fixing bicycles, seeing how they work, taking them apart, and putting them back together again. While living in Guyana they would race bikes for sport, developing a love and passion for cycling which they brought with them when they settled in Toronto.
“When we arrived, we didn’t really have much of a plan, we had relatives living here who encouraged our parents to bring us here as most West Indian parents hope their children can have a better life.” Robby shared. “We didn’t have any hopes, dreams or aspirations, but we did have a passion for doing what we love.”
Landing in a new country they took a little time to settle themselves and find their bearings landing jobs as bike mechanics in a bike store. Over the years their interest in the bicycle business grew and trusting that they had skills, knowledge, experience and expertise they made the decision to branch out and establish their bike retail shop. Two years prior to opening the shop both Rick and Robby attended Humber College; Robby graduating with a diploma in Business Administration while Rick took advantage of their Business Marketing program. Together they were an unstoppable force fuelled by their passion for cycling and helping others.
Rick and Robby opened the Bicycle Depot in Etobicoke in 1997. Since that time, they have managed to make a double impact in the community working to help fulfill the needs of anyone who comes through their doors. The Bicycle Depot is a full-service retail bike shop that sells and services bikes. They are equipped to sell bikes to anybody whether they are a small child or professional cyclist customers are sure to find something that will fit their needs.
“The bulk of our market is the average family who is looking for a littler better quality than department store retail Robby explained. “At the department store the only option they have is one size fits all, but at the Bicycle Depot you have the ability to customize the bike to fit your specifications.”
People come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s unfair of us to think that everyone could comfortably fit on the same frame of bike. The Bicycle Depot has lots of different sizes and variations to choose from so that you can purchase a long lasting, and durable mode of transportation to cover those long distances through the scenic backcountry.
Bicycle Depot is highly recognized as one of Etobicoke’s top-ranked independent retail bicycle stores. They are known for providing outstanding customer service and quality products at competitive prices. They have been family owned and operated since 1997, and these identical twin brothers are willing to do whatever it takes to help a customer with their bicycle needs.
Rick and Robby’s mechanical expertise, knowledge and customer service has enabled their customers to enjoy all level of cycling activities, which has translated into a broad base of loyal customers. Since their start, they have been deeply rooted in our local community, lending their time, knowledge and expertise to various charitable organizations and schools.
“Our mantra is that we are very community driven, and we are strong believers in giving back to the local community that supports us,” Robby said.
“We are strong advocates of giving back to our community which has embraced us over the years. Our good business practice and community involvement, and loyal customers have attributed to our reputation and success.”
At the Bicycle Depot, they have taken on many co-op students as another way of giving back to the community by taking on student mechanics, helping to mentor them.
While they have never gotten into professional cycling themselves they still take advantage of the great outdoors partaking in recreational biking in their spare time riding their racing bikes in the summer traveling over almost 3,000km in a season.
Working together for over twenty years Rick and Robby work to complement each other’s strengths and have established an easy to manage relationship at the Bicycle Depot.
“Our bond is different from most siblings, and obviously, there are days when we have our disagreements,” Robby explained.
“He’s a little strong headed, and I’m a little bit more reserved, but he trusts me to take care of the administrative and business side of things with regards to the bookkeeping and day to day management of the store, while he chose to take care of the mechanical aspect of the service department designating our responsibilities to be able to work easily together.
“Trust is a major factor especially in business, and because we’re family our dynamic is understood,” Robby said. “This is our calling.”
The owners of the Bicycle Depot are a quintessential success story in the sense that they demonstrate how hard work, focus passion dedication have paid off. They love interacting with people and helping young people by providing guidance and mentorship whenever the opportunity arises.
“If you choose to run with an idea, don’t just do it for the financial gain,” Robby said.
“If you love what you do it will automatically pay off, everything will fall into place, don’t just get a job to make money because if you’re not passionate about what you’re doing the job is going to be a drag.”
Today the Bicycle Depot is one of the most recognized bicycle stores in Toronto, and in 2011 they were presented a Bronze award by the Toronto Sun reader’s choice.
If you’re searching for the perfect bike the Bicycle Depot will do what they can to service your needs. Located at 835 Albion Road in Etobicoke, they are open Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 7 PM, Saturday from 10 AM to 6 PM and closed on Sunday. Visit the Bicycle Depot today, they are passionate about making your cycling experience unforgettable!