March 17 was a special day in the life of Tom Cuccias, and it had nothing to do with St. Patrick’s Day.
After spending 22 years in the same location, the owner of moved his store to Lynbrook. Nestled in A & J Plaza on Merrick Road, Lynbrook now has a destination for bike enthusiasts of any age.
The move came at the perfect time for Cuccias. He said his previous location had become rundown, barely offering enough heat or air conditioning to make staying worthwhile. The parking situation was even worse. When customers began to complain about a lack of parking options, the owner knew it was time for a change.
Once a Lynbrook location became available, Cuccias jumped at the chance.
“I have a lot of customers from Lynbrook that come into my store,” he said. “When this store opened up, the opportunity was too hard to resist.”
Bikers of all ages can find something in the store. Cuccias sells BMX bikes, mountain bikes, road bikes, and comfort bikes.
Of course, like any bike shop, Valley Stream Bike Center also carries a variety of accessories.
“We sell winter and summer clothing for cyclists,” Cuccias said. “I also sell locks, bags, lights, water bottles, and cages.”
In addition to the bicycle portion of the store, Cuccias also has a large selection of hockey equipment, adding to the customer base.
“I supply a lot of the residents in the Lynbrook Roller Hockey League [with equipment],” he said. “I sell skates, sticks, and wheels.”
The store also sells scooters and does screen printing.
Selling a customer a bike is only half of Cuccias’ goal. He wants to make sure that patrons leave with the exact tools they need for their individual biking experience.
“I never mislead them,” Cuccias said. “I don’t sell a bicycle to them just to sell a bicycle. When they come in here, I’m going to find out what kind of riding they want to do and we’ll work out what the best bike for them is.”
The owner enhances the overall biking experience by hosting community rides for whoever wishes to join him on two wheeled jaunts around Long Island.
“Most of the customers end up becoming friends,” Cuccias said. “We do a lot a group rides. I ride from here to Sagamore Hill, Oyster Bay, or do shorter rides where we’ll go through the harbor or go to the beach. It depends on the level of the rider. We make them feel comfortable. I’ll only ride as fast as the slowest person.”
The business may only be in its fourth full week in Lynbrook, but it’s already catching on. This has come as a pleasant surprise to Cuccias.
“When you move, you think that you might be here for six months and not one person is going to come in,” he said. “As soon as I opened my door, I had all my regulars start coming in. I’ve already had some new customers too. I couldn’t be happier here. Everyone has been great.”