The name says it all. When you’re in a state of flow on your bike, it’s transcendent.
You know the feeling. You’re riding along—completely focused on the task at hand—and you become one with the bike. It’s euphoric and it’s why we ride. Whether you’re alone or with friends, achieving flow state is an incredible feeling. Which is why it’s the perfect name for a bike shop that’s more than just a bike shop. Flow State Bike Co. is located just outside of Guelph, Ont., and the location is in the nexus of some incredible riding venues in the province for road, gravel, and mountain biking. As the owner Nate Lessnick explains, it’s more than just a place to buy tubes.
More than a bike shop
“It’s about redefining the entire bike shop experience. Instead of just a place to make occasional purchases, like buying a bike every few years or grabbing a pair of socks, we aim to provide more reasons for customers to visit, bring their friends, and come back just to hang out,” Lessnick says. “I envisioned a beautiful space with a coffee shop vibe where I could go on a date with my wife and still be surrounded by bikes. My observation was that existing bike shops didn’t offer this kind of atmosphere. I wanted a place that encouraged a sense of community, where families could come together and where everyone felt welcome, whether you’re a total newbie or a seasoned athlete.”
Inspired by travelling
The inspiration for opening the location was based on his years of travelling the world working for a bike travel company. That involved 13 different countries, including places like New Zealand, Switzerland, and more. The key to the company’s success was that they would only work with local guides and take people to some incredible places off the beaten path. Of course, that all came to a grinding halt once COVID-19 hit. One day, however, during the start of the pandemic, he walked into a location and was immediately inspired…and the wheels started turning.
The dream location
“When my wife and I moved to Guelph, there was this great little spot in Arkell—a restaurant and market in this charming, historic building. It was right next to trails and I immediately thought it would be such a great bike shop. A few years later when I learned that it would become vacant, I hopped on the opportunity and it’s been a labour of love ever since. Getting all the right suppliers on board took time,” he explains. “I feel like the brands…