A Coupeville man with a penchant for vintage bicycles is putting his mechanical skills to a good cause.
Trevor Stevens performs bicycle maintenance and upgrades older bikes through his business, Celerity Cycles, which he brought to Whidbey Island when he moved here with his wife last year.
But for Stevens, Celerity Cycles is more than a hobby or source of income — it’s also a way for him to support folks in need in the community by helping them gain access to a reliable mode of transportation.
Stevens, who grew up in Maine, didn’t begin his career in bike repairs. He worked as a car photographer for around 15 years, taking photos for dealerships to use in marketing. But when he lost most of his business during the COVID-19 pandemic, he turned his focus to a longtime hobby of his — fixing bicycles.
At the beginning of the pandemic, he would sell old bikes that he had fixed up. Riding and working on bicycles had long been pastimes of his, but the pandemic gave him an opportunity to take the hobby to the next level.
He attended the United Bicycle Institute in Oregon, where he was certified as a technician. The knowledge and experience he gained there were invaluable, he said.
“UBI is a very rare thing,” he said. “People come from all over the world to go there.”
Stevens has been officially operating Celerity Cycles as an LLC for two years. He started the business out of his home in Kirkland, where he lived until moving to Whidbey Island a year ago, and now he operates out of his Coupeville home, though he plans to expand to a retail space at some point down the road.
Stevens focuses primarily on older bikes. Vintage bicycles are of particular interest to him, he said, because “they just have character.”
Older bikes come in bright colors and classic designs. They’re also easier to work on and more affordable. They were built to last, he said.
Modernizing vintage bikes is one of the primary services he offers at Celerity Cycles. He can make upgrades to suit customers’ wants, such as switching out handlebars or seats, adding accessories, changing the gearing and more.
“You can customize an old bike to be new,” he said.
Cyclists in the market for a bicycle can find one they like on Stevens’s website — he has hundreds of bikes in his inventory — and then customize it to fit their preferences.
Folks who want to upgrade their own bikes can also bring them to Stevens for customization. He will even travel to customers if they can’t bring their bike to his shop.
Bicycles represent an essential mode of transportation for a lot of people on Whidbey Island, Stevens said, especially young people and others who might struggle to afford a car. For this reason, Stevens regularly visits locations such as Ryan’s House for Youth, which provides resources to youth and young adults experiencing homelessness, and volunteers fixing up bicycles that have been donated to the organization.
Stevens said he has seen groups of kids with smiles on their faces riding bikes that he’s serviced into town.
“It’s just a nice way for someone who’s having a hard time to have a little bit of freedom, to have a little bit of fun,” he said. “I love doing that kind of stuff.”
Stevens said he is more than willing to work with individuals who have tight budgets and even provide services for free to those who really need it, especially folks who use their bikes as their primary means of transportation.
“I don’t want to just sell bikes and make a ton of money,” he said. “I want to give back to the community and make it more about them.”