Jon Kokus, co-owner of Gretna Bikes, has been in the business for a relatively short amount of time. But in his year and a half he has established himself as a trustworthy, forward looking purveyor of bikes, parts, and service.
As one would expect from someone who entered the game relatively late in their professional lives, he did so after a stint at a large corporation, looking to simplify his life and get perhaps a little more enjoyment in what he does.
Gretna Bikes offers “every possible thing you could want for your bicycle,” according to Kokus, who’s gentle personality and even tone might make you miss the fact that he’s speaking in hyperbole. That isn’t to say that Gretna Bikes doesn’t offer an enormous range of services. Road bikes, mountain bikes, city bikes, and kid’s bikes can all be found in the cozy shop.
“Typically we sell more high end road and mountain bikes, currently. A big part of our customer base are bike racers,” Kokus explains.
Bikes are something I’ve always been really into. I’ve really gotten even more into bikes cycling around 1999-2000 or so, and then started getting into the whole transportation aspect of the bicycle, too. It’s one of the things I care about the most, so being able to offer that to people around here is pretty cool.
Kokus finds Lancaster unique in its population’s acceptance of biking, but also thinks that the comfortable road size, relative flatness and closeness of residential areas to business areas promotes biking in the city and thereby interest in his offerings. The higher demand of gas prices certainly helps, too.
Gretna Bikes takes the most pride in being absolutely honest and up-front with people, and create a sense of community which is comfortable with hanging out and talking about what is best for them and their bikes. Kokus explained that he wants to make sure people know that nobody at the shop will force them into buying something they won’t need.
I asked Kokus why he was interested in sponsoring Lancaster United and what made him interested in picking up the sport for himself. Without stopping to think, he explained how playing bike polo was a mix of Lumberjack, Darby and Yeager bugging him about playing. He went once and was hooked.
Somehow, he thinks we’re a good group of guys as far as polo players go.
As far as sponsoring went, it seemed like there was a whole that could use a fix.
Kokus is aiming to ultimately become a resource for bike polo in the Lancaster area, not only in bike parts but also to act as distributor for bike polo companies like Fixcraft or Northern Standard. Currently Gretna Bikes acts as the sole distributor of Lupine Lighting Systems for bikes, and he’d love to expand that sort of distribution relationship with bike polo companies as they find the need to expand.
“Really, I’m just buying friendships from people. I’m trying to buy the friendships of Lancaster United,” Kokus said–again, straight-faced and without any sign of sarcasm.
Walking through the shop it was apparent that Gretna Bikes runs a clean, friendly, and welcoming shop. Prices were clearly labeled, the folks working there happy to help, and I didn’t feel the sometimes-present pressure of other bike shops. If you’re looking to learn more, visit the Gretna Bikes website: https://gretnabikes.com/