Mark Kennedy started Saturday Cycles in 2005 in West Bountiful, Utah. When the shop first opened, Mark was working full time as an engineer at Northrop Grumman and could only keep the shop open on Saturdays, hence the name. His philosophy is a bit different than most other shops, and we wanted to share his story with you.
An Interview with owner Mark Kennedy
Cycling West: Mark, what led you to start Saturday Cycles?
Mark Kennedy: I had too many bikes and parts laying around in my garage and was looking at a storage unit to put all in. Instead I rented a low budget storefront in West Bountiful, and got a business license and decided to see if anyone on the Wasatch Front would be interested in buying any commuting or touring bikes.
CW: Tell us about the philosophy of Saturday Cycles as a bike shop.
MK: Saturday Cycles is a shop for “life-long” cyclists. We want the bike you get from us to be something you can enjoy for a long time, and something that serves you in your everyday life: commuting to work, running errands or shopping, or going on a bike tour.
I should just throw out that I latched onto Rivendell Cycles business as an inspiration. We want to sell you a bike that you should be able to ride till you croak. 😉 By Y2K most bikes on the market were directed at racers. All the quality bikes you could buy tended to be either carbon road race bikes or MTBs oriented towards racing or gravity. My personal bike philosophy is that when you lay down big bucks for a bike, that you should expect it to last for a long time, and the prevailing market trends were aimed at ‘disposable’ bikes, and by that I mean the planned obsolescence and yearly model ‘upgrades’ all aimed at the big bike companies selling you a new bike every year. I like bikes that are a bit more comfortable, but still capable of long distance. Can carry a load. Can work in all conditions.
CW: What types of bikes and brands do you sell? How does this fit in with your philosophy?
MK: We started out only selling Rivendell bikes, but now we carry Salsa, Surly, Bianchi, Masi and Haro. We also do a pile of niche brands Brompton, All City, Advocate, Soma, Rawland, Pashley. Bike geeks might pick out the common thread of all these brands is that they all have a lot of steel bikes in their lines, and also that these companies are supporters of commuting or touring. Our shop today is interested in bikepacking, touring and commuting. We carry lots of these kind of bikes, as well as lots of racks and bags.
CW: You have been an advocate for cycling locally in your spare time. As a bike shop owner, why is this so important?
MK: I think that as communities build infrastructure for cycling it enables more people to get on their bikes and reduces anxieties that lots of people carry relative to the dangers of cycling on the road (whether valid or not). I personally believe that cycling builds communities and that traveling by bicycle is the best way to experience the outdoors.
CW: What is the role of the bicycle shop in the community?
MK: Hopefully it is a place that is supportive, inclusive, educational and fun.
CW: What do you like most about riding?
MK: When I am riding, most of my worries fade away. It’s a great way to clear your mind. When you are riding your bike you are part of the environment, and it awakens your senses. I feel good about not being part of pollution or traffic congestion. Being on your bike humbles you, you are vulnerable, it makes you more in tune with everything you are passing by.
CW: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MK: I would like to challenge everyone out there to make an effort to get out of your car, and use your bike to ride to work or wherever you may be going just a little bit more. Even once a month or once a week makes you feel better and takes one more vehicle off the road. Small steps. Happy Cycling!
605 N. 300 W.
Salt Lake City, UT 84103