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Meet Cam McDonald of Bike Gallery in Camberwell

Meet Cam McDonald of Bike Gallery in Camberwell

Bike Gallery is much more than a high-end bicycle store in Camberwell, it’s a welcoming space for a community of cycling enthusiasts.

The store, located on Auburn Parade, offers premium bicycles, riding apparel and accessories, as well as maintenance and repair services from its in-store workshop.

But the shop is best known for its custom-built road bicycles, creating bespoke bikes tailored to individual riding styles with quality brands like Cervelo, Mosaic and Parlee.

Business partners and keen cyclists Cam McDonald and Lincoln Brown opened the store in November 2010 after spotting a gap in the market.

“We’ve tried to create a community bike store to really embrace our customers and get to know them,” Mr McDonald said.

Building a cycling community

Community is at the centre of Bike Gallery and the team has worked hard to foster an inviting space for amateur and experienced cyclists alike.

The Bike Gallery team leads group rides across Melbourne on Saturday mornings, as well as gravel rides during the week for those who want to go off-road.

Cyclists then enjoy a post-ride coffee or beer together at the store, where members can catch up on the week.

“Bike riding is a very social sport, where you can have a conversation while exercising,” Mr McDonald said.

“Cycling has a bit of a stigma of middle-aged men in Lycra, but you’re not going to understand the benefits unless you’re out there doing it.

“It’s really good for mental health — we have often joked that Bike Gallery is the Hawthorn East Men’s Mental Health [space].”

Cycling gains traction

Cycling has grown in popularity over the years, helped along by milestones like Cadel Evans’ Tour de France win in 2011.

Mr McDonald said Australia had a strong presence in the road cycling scene in terms of international racing, but the sport had become more popular with workers in the corporate sector.

Road cycling has become the new golf in some circles, with many in the corporate scene taking up cycling for its health and social aspects.

While Bike Gallery has specialised in road bikes, gravel riding has emerged as a popular alternative as more and more cyclists go off the beaten track.

“Road cycling has been so popular for so long, but there’s been a real push in the gravel sector due to more cars being on the road and people wanting to explore more,” he said.

He said their most popular gravel bike, the Cervelo Aspero, had been a huge success and was so sought-after that they couldn’t keep up with customer demand.

The next leg

Mr McDonald said Bike Gallery rarely felt like work since he was surrounded by close friends, and even visited the store on his days off to grab a coffee.

“There have been a lot of friendships that have grown from the bike shop and not just between us and the customers, but between the customers themselves,” he said.

The store, which is located across the road from the Camberwell train station, often attracts visitors who swing by for a pit stop before making their way home.

As the team prepares to celebrate the store’s 10th birthday next year, Mr McDonald said they would continue to focus on making the store feel like a home away from home.

Visit the store

Bike Gallery

74 Auburn Parade, Camberwell

(03) 9882 2031.

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