Spotlight Feature: An Interview with Jason Millard of California Bicycle

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California Bicycle is located on La Jolla Blvd. right off of Pearl Street. The family owned company has been serving La Jolla since 1977. The last three decades have been spent not only providing great customer service, but filling every customer’s bike-related needs. Whether you are looking for a beach cruiser to explore gorgeous beach areas in La Jolla, road bikes to amp up fitness routines, Mountain bikes for some off roading in the mountains or hiking trails, or beginners bikes for children and adults, California Bicycle has everything in stock. They also have a large amount of bike parts and accessories as well as provide in store service and maintenance on bike items. Visit California Bicycle Tuesday through Saturday and get yourself on out on two wheels.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Jason Millard of California Bicycle.

What is the history behind California Bicycle? I understand that it’s been a family owned business for three decades, originally owned by your dad Kevin?

My dad, Kevin Millard started California Bicycle in 1976 at the age of 16.

Did your dad come from a cycling background? What made him want to get involved in owning a bike shop?

He always loved bicycles and began working in a bicycle store at the age of 13. He loved the mechanical side of a bicycle and that passion continues today. He did a lot of riding when he was younger including a long tour of Europe by bicycle in 1976 right before he opened our store.

In addition to selling bikes, what other services do you offer?

We offer a full service family-oriented store. We specialize in everything bicycle–sales, service, and rentals. Our reputation for higher-end bicycles expands around the world. Our clients will travel to us for their custom built dream bicycles.

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California Bicycle has won several awards over the past few years. What makes you stand out from other bike shops?

Our pride. We take a lot of pride in everything we do – offering the best selection of products and the absolute best personalized service you will find in any retail environment. Call us old school, but we still prefer a good old fashioned handshake over a fancy e-commerce website that offers no personal interaction. We instill in our entire California Bicycle Team to treat our clients like family. This “Cheers” type atmosphere shines through whole heartily and we truly do remember everyone’s name!

You guys have been in the business for over 40 years, what trends are you seeing in the industry?

We are celebrating our 42nd year, all of which have been in La Jolla. I think the largest growth we are seeing locally is the electric bike market. This new breed of bicycle is now offering riders of all skill levels an opportunity to enjoy La Jolla in ways that was not possible just a year ago.  With four different brands of electric bicycles we have an option for everyone. For our clients that live up the hill, Mt. Soledad is no longer a problem with these high powered-pedal assist bicycles.

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Of all the bike brands, are there any companies we should get excited about?

Over the past four decades we have learned to pick our brand partners wisely.  We have partnered with these brands for their advancements in technology, materials, and client support.  We work very closely with our partners to insure we offer our clients the best products and after-sale support possible.

It seems like you’re very involved in the community. What is the best part of having a store in La Jolla?

The best part about the village is the diversity of the people. We operate in one of the most beautiful places in the country and maybe the world. People come from all over the world to visit ‘The Jewel” and the beauty it offers. The locals are fabulous and many have been clients since we opened 42 years ago.

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Every Saturday you guys do the morning group ride- can you tell us a little about that? 

We started our Saturday Morning Ride years ago.  We created this event for beginning to intermediate riders. There are many rides in San Diego that cater to the more aggressive riders which intimidates the beginners. Our ride leaders are California Bicycle Ambassadors that offer many tips and tricks, safety recommendations and will never leave riders behind (we always stay together).

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Are there any upcoming events you want to let folks know about?

Our most exciting news for 2018 is the addition of our California Bicycle Ambassador Squad. We started this group of hand-selected riders to focus on bicycle awareness, safety, and advocacy. You should plan on seeing our squad all over San Diego doing road/trail maintenance, bicycle training rides, safety courses, helping to promote a healthy lifestyle and many other things to come.  We would also like to reach out to our community to teach children about the benefits of riding and appropriate cycling etiquette. This is an all-volunteer squad, so if you see us out there be sure to say hi!

For more information about California Bicycle, click HERE.

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