You won’t see Tarik Horani pedaling a unicycle, penny farthing or recumbent bike down Walnut Street anytime soon, but you might catch the business owner cruising safely down the road on his 1980s Panasonic bike. .
Horani, a town native who recently opened The Roasted Spoke, decorated his bike shop in orange and black — the colors of his alma mater, Newton North.
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The name of the business reflects Horani and his wife’s love of coffee, and one day they hope to expand and open a bike shop/coffee shop.
The Grafton resident offered more details about his new venture.
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When did you start getting interested in cycling and working on bikes and why?
I started working on bikes professionally in 2007. At first it was a part-time gig to earn a few extra bucks, but I quickly transitioned into full-time work after realizing how much I amused.
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You ran a mobile bike service before opening the physical store, the Roasted Spoke. Why did you decide to open a bike shop and why in Newton?
I used the same name [for the mobile business] like our current shop from the very beginning. I wanted to open our shop here in Newton and Newton only since this is where I was born and raised and it felt right to go back to my roots.
Were you concerned about opening during the pandemic? Why or why not?
The pandemic motivated us to open. I was laid off during the pandemic and decided it was time to start something on our end.
You mentioned that during the pandemic people seemed interested in buying used bikes. Why do you think that’s the case and do you think it’s a trend that will continue?
Used bikes became popular because bike shops ran out of new bikes to sell. People have started digging up their old bikes to bring them back to life and I don’t see the end of it anytime soon. The new bikes are out of stock until 2022.
There can be tensions between drivers and cyclists around the safe sharing of roads. What do you think cyclists can and should do to be safer on the street?
Riders can be better prepared on the road by wearing helmets, installing bells, and using front and rear LED lights. Cyclists should also avoid riding in the opposite direction.
How do you think Newton is doing to make the city bike-friendly?
Newton has made progress over the years when it comes to bike safety. The introduction of cycle lanes and bike share has created a sense of awareness for both cyclists and drivers, but Newton must sustain this progress with continued support from higher levels of local government.
The Roasted Spoke is located at 260 Walnut St. For more information, visit https://www.theroastedspoke.com/