MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota is home to some of the best bike trails in the country, which means you’ll need a good bike to get around.
For this week’s Best of Minnesota, your votes sent Kate Raddatz to Jonny Rock Bikes in Hopkins.
“I wouldn’t select anybody else but Jonny Rock in this case,” customer Jared Sedlacek said.
The man behind the wheels is Jonny Rock himself. Well, sort of.
“I used to work in night clubs a long time ago, and one time I met Kid Rock and got to hang out with him all night,” owner Jonathan Minks said. “My friends started calling me Jonny Rock.”
The nickname stuck, but a bike shop wasn’t always part of the plan. He worked in sales for 15 years and lost his job in the recession.
“I had to reinvent myself, and so I started picking up bikes out of the trash and fixing them in my garage,” Minks said.
The life-long cyclist decided to open his own shop.
“I was going to either make it or I wasn’t going to make it,” Minks said.
He opened Jonny Rock Bike Shop in Hopkins in 2011, with a promise to make customers feel at home.
“When they go out shopping, they don’t have a good experience at some shops,” Minks said. “No one says ‘Hi’ to them, no one addresses them.”
Today the shop draws bicyclists from all over the state to see what Jonny Rock has on the racks. They have bikes that start at $50, and go up to thousands of dollars. Everything from used to new, and pedal-assisting bikes that are battery powered.
Fancy gears aside, customers say it’s the service that makes Jonny Rock Bikes the best.
“Jon’s always friendly, he always knows me by name,” Sedlacek said. “He always makes sure I get the best customer service I can.”
His wife and two sons often hang out at the shop. Cash, 2, might even chat you up.
“We are more of a family bike shop, so we’re family friendly, kid friendly,” Minks said.
It’s big-name bikes in a hometown business.
“I had a customer bring his bike in for a repair the other day, he said, ‘I keep coming back because of the people,'” Minks said. “I think that says a lot about if you provide a good environment for people to come do business with you, they’ll keep coming back.”
They also do repairs. After all, WCCO viewers voted them Best Bike Repair Shop for Best of Minnesota in 2015. They’ll take your bike or really anything with wheels.
“We’ll fix walkers, we’ll even [fix] strollers,” Minks said.
So if you’re in need of a bike, just ask for Jonny.
“I’ll be out and they’ll be like, ‘Jonny Rock!'” Minks said. “I hear it all the time.”