Weaverville’s ‘Penny Farthing’ Grand Opening is Saturday, Oct. 15

While you’re making plans for Saturday, the new hot spot on the Weaverville hub is the Penny Farthing Cyclery & Cafe, which celebrates its Grand Opening from 8:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

The motto, “Roll in for a Unique Experience,” suits this place perfectly.

Katrina Chenevert with the original Penny Farthing

The Penny Farthing takes its name not from the #1 over its Main Street front door (in the old Fire Station Building), but from the antique Victorian period bicycle with the curiously large front wheel and plate-sized rear wheel, with the rider seated at the top of a tall bar to steer. It’s a fabulous sight to see this classic silhouette spin its way around town during festivals and events.

I won’t lie, I went in for the coffee, which is amazing. Can we say “crema?” An expert pour. But the coffee is really the sidenote for most people, which seek out the full service bicycle shop for other reasons: repairs to a favorite ride, to purchase or restore a vintage or classic bike, and the athletic performance and testing lab.

Owner Katrina Chenevert, owner, clearly knows her rides. I don’t. But I asked a lot of questions, and left considerably more educated – and at complete ease. There’s no mistaking her passion for bikes.

The Cyclery portion of the Penny Farthing offers everything from repairs to tune-ups. They have a bicycle mechanic on staff. When I was there, the Vintage and Semi-restored bikes from the ’60s, ’70s, and early ’80s really caught my eye. Several of the bikes were beautifully custom painted with flames, black-and-white cow markings, or other distinctive features by the reknowned pro, Mark Peters, whose talent, says Katrina, has not yet been challenged by the intricate work.

Folding bicycles are also available, along with cycle apparel, bike accessories and rentals for those who’d like to enjoy an invigorating day on two wheels, or perhaps take a turn about Lake Louise.

The Lab at Penny Farthing offers sports-specific scientific testing and evaluation on all state of the art equipment, including the VO2 Max, Lactate Threshold, the Wingage Power Test, a Tiemyer Bikefit/Spin Scan (one of only three in the U.S.), Running Economy, Glucose Uptake, Sweat Test, individual program design and more. The Lab’s Simon Bartlett, Ph.D., CSCS, ATC, an exercise physiologist who provides athletes of all levels with an opportunity to reach their optimal athletic performance, will be present for the Saturday opening, making this a great chance to connect.

You could potentially walk into this bike shop and get fitted for a bike frame built precisely for you AND receive the testing, training, and nutritional support you need for absolute peak performance.

A full line of specialty coffee drinks and teas, protein shakes, assorted baked goods (fresh from City Bakery in Asheville), and Gelato are served in a coffeehouse atmosphere that would feel just as good in a big city center. (Oh, and the super duper deal maker for me? They have WiFi. Between that and the coffee, I almost decided to move in.)

Sherri L. McLendon is a freelance writer and marketing public relations practioner in Weaverville, N.C., who is a serious fan of anyone who knows how to make an espresso machine sit up and take notice.

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