Manhattan bike shop owner in danger of losing business amid pandemic

LOWER MANHATTAN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A specialty bike shop in Lower Manhattan has been around for more than a decade, but it's now in danger of closing like many businesses impacted by the pandemic.

"Riding bikes never gets old. You'll get older -- but this will never get old," Tyrone Williams said.

For more than a decade, Williams has owned 'Dah Shop.'

"It was just something we'd just say -- 'yo where you at, I'm at the shop'," Williams said.

He's been spreading his love and passion for BMX bikes.

"BMX bikes are pretty expensive, super fun to do and kinda dangerous," Williams said.

"The BMX culture -- it's a community of brothers who come together," customer Chad Douglas said.

This neighborhood bicycle shop sells bikes, parts and clothing, and is developing quite the reputation.

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"People come from all over the world," Williams said.

He has a wall filled with paper currency from other countries. He calls it the "money tree," and it sits next to a photo of him and Regis Philbin.

"We are riding down the hallway and he's like 'how do you stop this thing?' No breaks -- use your foot!" Williams said.

They are memories of a less challenging time.

"Once COVID hit -- it really kind of put a shift on everything as far as being able to get products to the store," he said.

And the cycle has continued up to now as the industry, according to Williams, faces low inventory.

"You have people coming into the store looking to buy things -- looking to support -- get a bike or whatever it may be, but they can't get it because I can't get it," Williams said.

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The community has raised $14,000 for Williams through a GoFundMe account since last year, but he's still in a tight spot.

"Every money that I make goes into paying rent. I'm probably $4,000 on debt," he said.

Williams hopes to pump the brakes on the idea of closing the 13-year-old business.

"When he opened the shop in 2008, kids came in at 12 years old. Now 13 years later and they are 25, and they're coming back," customer Joey Piazza said.

A cycle the community hopes will continue for years to come.


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