Ashmont Cycle sets up shop as springtime waits in wings

Jack Pelletier: Click to expand.Jack Pelletier: Click to expand.A newly opened bicycle shop is hoping to become a hub of activity for bicycling enthusiasts in the Ashmont neighborhood.

“I think the time is right for a shop in the area, and with the changes in Peabody Square,” it’s a great location, said Jack Pelletier, who moved into Dorchester ten years ago and earlier this month opened up Ashmont Cycle.

“I can get bicycles that can fit any need,” Pelletier, 44, said in a recent interview in the bike shop, located at 551-A Talbot Ave., right beside Ashmont Grill and across the street from the Ashmont MBTA station.

The grand opening, scheduled for Sat., April 16, will include a ribbon-cutting, a race for charity, and workshops on bicycle maintenance put together by the Boston Cyclists Union.

Pelletier, a real estate attorney who worked in bike shops while he was in college, said Dorchester is underserved on the bike front, pointing to a survey sent out last September to various listserv in the Dorchester that received a positive response.

That spurred him to turn a hobby into a full-scale small business.

“Frequently, over the past few years, when I’ve needed a bike shop, I’ve thought on more than one occasion, why don’t we have a bike shop here?” said Pelletier, who is from Maine and moved to Boston to go to law school, where he met his wife Mary, a Dorchester native.

He was booked for repairs all of last week. “There’s been a lot of excitement in the neighborhood,” he said. “Spring’s coming, people are getting their bikes ready.”

Pelletier hopes to organize group rides into the Blue Hills on Wednesday evenings “I’d like the shop to be a center for that kind of activity,” he said.

Dan Larner, executive director of the St. Mark’s Area Main Streets, a nonprofit focused on revitalizing the neighborhood, said Pelletier is in a good location. “Dorchester Avenue is good but you also have the Blue Hills down the street.”

Pete Stidman, head of the bicyclists’ union, which has advocated for bike lanes on Talbot Avenue, Columbia Road, and Blue Hill Avenue, met Pelletier through DotBike, a group of local riders in Dorchester. “It seems like Ashmont is going to become an epicenter for cycling in Dorchester,” said Stidman, whose group has also pushed for bike lanes on Dorchester Avenue.

The Ashmont MBTA station, still under construction, will feature a bike cage, which is considered safer than a bicycle rack because of cameras and the need for a special card to enter.

Mary Ngo, a life-long Dorchester resident, has previously had to go to bike shops in the South End and Milton. “Wonderful, finally,’” she said to Pelletier when she was walking by earlier in March and first noticed the full-service store. She came in last week to fix a flat tire. “Here it’s much nicer, it’s in the neighborhood,” she said.

More information about the bike shop, including the hours of operation, is available at ashmontcycle.com.