Snapshot: Joy in Motion Lives up to Its Name
David J. Glenn
When Volodymyr Gelias emigrated to the U.S. from Ukraine, it was several years before the Covid virus hit and Russia invaded his home country.
But now, 11 years after he stepped onto American soil, he's the successful owner of a popular bicycle store in Boro Park, maintaining his customer base. "I like bicycles," Gelia said – a good attitude if you're fixing bikes and selling new and used ones. "I started riding a bike when I was five years old."
The previous owner of the shop, Joy in Motion at 5305 18th Ave., taught Gelia, a former Uber driver, about the nuts and bolts of bicycles, and now Gelia daily helps his clientele— mainly boys from the surrounding three yeshivas — fix their bikes or buy used or new ones.
That's not to say older males don't ride them. "I have an 83-year-old man who rides weekly," Gelia said. "He's a regular customer."
Among his most popular bicycles are the "hybrid" bikes — a cross between mountain and road bikes. They sell for about $350, and "they're much lighter and faster" than mountain bikes alone, Gelia said.
New bikes at the shop range from about $200 to $850 for the Giant brand.
He also has a line of used bikes, which are less expensive. He has to keep tight records for buying and selling these, since there's the danger of someone trying to sell him a stolen bike. The city Department of Consumer Affairs regularly checks his receipts of used bikes, Gelia said.
He offers some electric bikes, but he said he only carries e-bikes with small, low-power batteries, not prone to catching fire as has been the case with higher-capacity batteries.
Of course, a bike shop would only be complete with offering helmets, seats, baskets, and other accessories.