Our Story

Gear Up Velo is nestled in the historic downtown center of Indepence, Ohio. Located less than 1 mile from the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Towpath Trail, Lock 39, and the brand new Hemlock Trail. The West Creek Reservation is 3.3 miles away and the Ohio Erie Canal is about 5 miles away. The location has been a bike shop since the 1970s and has passed through many hands since that time. Now, the bike shop has had a facelift and a new name to bring it into 2020.

Owner, Brian Rybak, has always had a curiosity for mechanics and tools. As a child, he could be found tinkering in his father's tool box and assembling his new toys without any instructions. As he grew from assembling toys to riding bikes around the neighborhood, he realized that he had developed an additional passion....cycling. By the age of 13 he was riding his BMX bike daily. Around the age of 15, Brian discovered a more artisitic form of biking known as "flatland" BMX. He viewed flatland as both a fascination and a challenge. Brian began competing in local BMX flatland competitions the very same year he started riding his flatland BMX bike. 

Riding flatland bikes in the mid-1980s, riders were developing new tricks that were never seen before. The BMX bikes weren't built in a manner to facilitate the tricks that were being created. Therefore, each rider had to also become a bike mechanic. Brian excelled in both bike mechanics as well as developing & executing new flatland tricks. That remained Brian's passion for over 2 decades. Everything he did related to flatland somehow. Among other BMX adventures, he assisted his friends in the planning and construction of Chenga World 1. Brian has also been featured in BMX magazines such as Ride BMX and Props Video Magazine. He has traveled the country competing in various flatland competitions, even achieving 4th place in the pro-class at an X Games qualifying competition in Woodward, PA. 

Years later, Brian has expanded his cycling preferences. Now, he enjoys riding road bikes, mountain bikes, and competes in local cyclocross races. Though he has not given up BMX flatland, as he rides his flatland bike a few times every year and enjoys his annual "flatland reunions" at Chenga World.

For the last 21 years, Brian has worked at 3 local bike shops. It has been his lifelong career. It only made sense that the next chapter in his life would lead him to opening his own bike shop. When Brian saw that the owner of Independence Bike Shoppe was looking to retire, he and his wife, Kate, jumped at the chance to be a part of Independence history...which is where his wife grew up. 

Rest assured that you are leaving your bike in expert hands. You can trust that your new bike purchase will be handled in an individualized and professional manner. Gear Up Velo is eager to provide Independence and the surrounding communities with a wide selection of bicycles, bicycle accessories, as well as quality bicycle repairwork. Welcome to Gear Up Velo, where your service is tailored to fit your unique style.


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