M oshe Lock is the owner-operator of B3 Bicycles formerly Bike Blade & Ball in Lakewood New Jersey

1. What’s the best first bike to get for a kid?

The one he points to. You want to get him a bike he falls in love with because that’s a bike he’ll use. When someone comes in we size him show him what we have in that range and then he looks at the features and sees what he likes. Some kids like the bells and whistles. Speeds for example some kids want them because it’s an adult feature on a child’s bike really cool but other kids — and parents — just like the simplicity of a bike without speeds because the less it has the less you need to maintain. There are the brand names: Specialized Giant Raleigh. But to be honest if they’re selling it at a bike shop it’s a quality bike. Yes you’ll pay a bit more than the ones you get at department or toy stores but they’re much lighter and better made you can pass them on from child to child. And in addition to their longevity and durability these bikes are easier to ride easier to pedal the seats don’t fall off and the wheels don’t wobble.

2. How did you get into biking?

When I was 18 or so I really enjoyed playing video games and reading. I didn’t make a lot of time for exercise. I started feeling depressed so I went to my doctor and he said “You need to exercise for half an hour each day and you’ll feel better physically and mentally.” I started doing push-ups chin-ups in-line skating running biking. Over the years I began biking 15 20 30 miles a day — whether it was good exercise or not I enjoyed it — and it was slowly overtaking my other forms of fitness. I’d go through the bikes my parents had in the garage using each one and beating it up till it died and then moving on to the next one. That’s not a practice I recommend of course — take care of your bikes.

3. Do you remember the first bike you bought?

I’ll never forget it. I was 23 and it was the first major purchase I made for myself a flat bar road bike. It wasn’t super lightweight but it was a lot lighter and better than what I’d been using. I bought it for $1 000; it was an astronomical amount to spend on a bike. That’s still a lot of money but compared to what I see now — we sometimes have bikes in the store that are as much as $5 000 or $10 000. Back then I was biking 30 40 sometimes 70 miles a day. Once we opened the shop I got even more into it. I bought a full-on 14-pound road bike and when I had a day off I’d bike all the way to Pennsylvania and back in a day.

4. What’s your favorite place to ride?

Now it’s the New Jersey Pine Barrens. It’s a place with fascinating history and one of the largest tracts of undeveloped land in the US which is incredible when you realize New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the US. You go out there and it’s hundreds of miles of road where you can ride. In two hours there I’ll pass three cyclists and two cars. It’s beautiful and scenic and full of wildlife and it’s very flat so it’s an easy ride. No stoplights or stop signs; it’s just empty as barren as the name would imply.

5. How did you get into the business?

When I was in high school I was working at Toys for Thought a specialty toy store in Lakewood. I was into specialty board games that’s what we sold and Lego even though I was 18. I was a geek and it was the perfect place for me to work. We were constantly getting calls from people like “Do you sell skates scooters bicycle equipment?” The answer was always no. I asked the owner “Do you want to give me some space on the floor for a sporting-goods section?” He said no and in hindsight he was right; carrying bikes you need specialized knowledge and staffing it is complicated it’s not just a matter of floor space. I was biking a lot and I was ready to move on so my dad and I decided to open a bike shop together. That was in 2011.

6.What’s your best seller?

A bicycle rack and pannier — a bicycle bag — that attaches to the back of the bike. We sell a ton and we call it the rack-and-bag combo. It has a big pocket on top and on the side and a bunch of little pockets. The big pocket is large enough for a hat and the side pocket for a folded-up jacket — no creases — and a Gemara which makes it a great gift for a bar mitzvah boy. Drive down any major street in Lakewood at a time when bochurim are heading to or from yeshivah on seven out of ten bikes you’ll see the boys have them.

7. What equipment do you recommend and what’s unnecessary?

Some people walk in and ask for the works — they want the bike the aerodynamic helmet the tight shorts and jersey the GPS computer the list goes on and on. If you’re a recreational rider all you really need is a bike a helmet and a bicycle pump. The pump has a gauge that tells you how much air is in your tires and on the side of every tire it says a minimum-maximum inflation level. If everyone pumped their tires once a week it would eliminate 80 percent of the flat tires we see which you get from riding underinflated tires. One more thing: If you’re riding at night or in heavy traffic you need lights.

8. Can you list three things I should do to care for my bike?

One inflate those tires. Two lube the chain every so often to keep it running smoothly. And three don’t leave your bike outside — it’s just a no-no. If you do buy a weatherproof cover.

9. Most memorable bike sold?

Our first year a fellow came in he was in the mid-300-pound range. He said “I just quit smoking today. I’m going on a diet. And I’m riding in Bike4Chai in two months.” We sold him the bike and the equipment. Sure enough he did it — he was the last one over the finish line but he rode every one of those 180 miles.

10. What’s the best part of your job?

There are a lot of things in life people find fun when they’re kids — for example going out for ice cream can be the highlight of your week but as adults the fun diminishes. With bikes for adults it’s the same excitement as for kids; it’s the same look on an adult’s face as on a kid’s face when we wheel it out. You can see it in their eyes as they look at their new bike they see a gateway to adventure and to freedom. Originally featured in Mishpacha Issue 671