New bicycle shop opens in Sutton
By Manfried Helmuth Starhemberg
"Every bicycle is worth fixing", states Joel Jobin (36), the owner of "La Vie Dehors", a bicycle shop which opened this week in Sutton. The shop is situated on main street right next to the Sutton river, but will move to another location directly across the street this fall. Four avid bicyclists had purchased a dilapidated building which was recently torn down and construction is about to begin at what will be an architectturally pleasing bicycle mecka. Other than Joel's bicycle shop, there will be a bar and lounge and eight rooms upstairs which can be rented by cyclists on a nightly basis. There will also be free outside showers, a great idea and a novel concept.
Even in the current shop, a road weary biker may avail him or herself of a shower. The cyclists who are creating the new facility had known about Joel's ambitions to start a shop in Sutton and they all got together to make this happen. Joels partner is his life partner and mother of their son, Catherine Gaulin, who has business management experience.
Joel Jobin holds a professional degree in industrial mechanics but has worked most of his life with bicycles, more then five years in Vancouver where he also was a bicycle and motorcycle courier. "Like all courier jobs it ended with that big crash that sent me to the hospiral and afterwards to three months of rehab. This was the end of my courier career", muses the jovial Joel.
"After that it was work as a mechanic, first out of my own small shop, then as a manager of a bicycle shop in Victoria. I met my partner in B.C. and we have been together ever since. Eventually, the Montreal born Joel decided they would move "back East" and he has worked in a number of upscale bicycle shops in Montreal, Brossard and Ste. Hyacynthe, where he was shop manager until the family moved to Sutton to begin "The Great Adventure" of owning their own place.
La Vie Dehors features three highly esteemed lines of bicycles "Pinarello", "Kona" and "Kuota" , and the shop carries a line of helmets, cycle clothing and of course all the tubes, tires, parts and accessories today's sophisticated cycling crowd demands.
Joel is passionate about bicycles and eventually wishes to establish a Sutton cycling club, get involved in teaching children mechanics and speaks of his desire to get involved in the community. "We just opened and I have to focus on the business but we are already formulating ways in which we can get young people involved in cycling".
Sutton is an obvious choice for such a shop as approximately 40 percent of the summer and fall tourist trade is hikers and bikers and the city is doing its utmost to maintain clean and safe bike paths and a bicycle friendly environment with ample parking behind the post office and other spots for tourist to leave their vehicles and enjoy the ride. And every year there is the big international bicycle race in July and numerous other small events to attract the two wheeled crowd.
Pricing at "La Vie Dehors" is also consumer friendly with tune-up's starting at $ 50.- and a complete re-build from the bare frame up is about $ 135.- This is about half the price I have been quoted today by three prominent shops in Montreal and should entice tourist to have their mounts maintained in Sutton.
Joel's favourite bicycle? "My 1945 large wheeled C.C.M single speed". If this is not passion for bicycles I don't know what is....