Editor’s note: Throughout the summer, the Courier’s sports section will highlight fun family activities that are in Liberty County or a short drive away. Today’s feature is on pedal power on St. Simons Island.
St. Simons Island visitors who want to get in shape for summer while checking out all the attractions the tropical vacation destination has to offer should consider renting bicycles.
A bike offers pedal pushers a great and affordable way to see the island. It’s also a good way to get in some exercise before slipping on a swimsuit to relax on the beach.
One place on the island to get a bike is Two Brothers’ Bike Shop. Nestled in the heart of Mallory Street’s restaurant-and-shopping area, the shop formerly was operated as Benji’s Bikes for 26 years. Sharon Clark, who also owns St. Simons Sweets, said her son Max started working at Benji’s Bike when he was 15 years old.
“And when Benji decided to retire we decided to buy the shop,” she said, adding that Max and his brother Jake run the business, but she definitely added some of her own inspiration when they updated the store. “Benji was more old-school, I guess, and when we bought it we added some color … I own the sweet shop and I’m a whimsical person, so we added some color and that’s really the only difference … I added a bit of a women’s touch.”
The inside of the shop is lined with colorful bicycles, some of which have been customized to fit a beach theme. They are adorned with flowered baskets, pastel trim and colorful wheels.
In addition to bike rentals, the bicycles are for sale, and the shop provides onsite repair service by technician Aaron Mannheim. There are beach cruisers, adult tricycles and even a few tandems for rent. The fee for a two-hour rental is $10. The longer the rental, the lower the fee, and weekly rates are available. Someone looking to rent a bike for a three-day weekend can get a rate of $37.50 for 72 hours.
“Much like their own cars, people tend to have a connection to their own bike and would much rather tow their bike here,” Clark said. “But renting is really a lot more reasonable than what people think.”
The island has a bike path that encompasses all the scenic and historical sites on SSI.
Finding a spot to park one’s bicycle can be easier than getting a spot for a car, scooter or golf cart, and the rentals come equipped with locks and keys.
“What I like to tell people is that our bikes are not quite tamed yet, and they might wander off if not locked,” Mannheim said. “We don’t necessarily have a bike-theft problem, but people might borrow your bike and not return it. So we always tell people to make sure they lock their bike so it doesn’t wander off on you.”
Mannheim said they emphasize following all the bicycle-safety rules, such as observing all the traffic signals, riding with the flow of traffic, not towing anyone and yielding to pedestrians.
“Georgia state law requires those under the age of 16 to wear a helmet,” he added. “And we try to encourage people to wear a helmet all the time.”
Clark said the shop is open seven days a week and the staff is considering extending hours of operation to 8 p.m.
Mannheim said anyone with questions about their bicycles or repair issue can stop in and talk with him. Clark said the shop also provides delivery and pick-up on rentals if needed.
Two Brothers Bike Shop
227 Mallory Street