Michael Braxton's new bicycle rental business in downtown Wilmington grew from his other business: event and wedding planning.
Braxton recently opened The Spoke and Wheel in Chandler's Wharf at 225 Water St., in a space that also has room for an office for his wedding and event firm, L'evenement Epique, which means "epic event" in French.
"My brides and grooms who are coming out of town are always looking for something to do when they come downtown," Braxton said. "I had a lot of people ask me if there was a bike rental shop downtown and there was nothing here, so I figured I could intertwine the two of them."
Braxton said trying to offer bike sharing, a self-serve program, seemed more trouble, including constant bicycle replacements, than it was worth so he opted for the rental business. He has 34 bicycles at The Spoke and Wheel, five of which are children's bikes, and all rentals come with a helmet and lock. Two of the bicycles are tandems.
He said he felt placing a bike rental shop in downtown Wilmington was a perfect fit, and the Chandler's Wharf space suited his idea as well.
"The space is perfect for a shop and has extra space for me to make repairs," Braxton said.
He said it also has a kitchen and office space for his wedding and event planning needs and that he "really couldn't find that anywhere else without paying an arm and a leg."