Community and cycling are her passions. She supports the community and the community supports her.
Carvelle Estriplet is celebrating one year since opening Carvelle Bikes on NE 6th Ave. just south of Oakland Park Blvd and Scandals.
“It’s been a roller coaster. A lot of ups and downs. A lot of growth,” she said.
She moved into the strip mall storefront last autumn. The floor was untitled, plumbing and electric were exposed, and there was what appeared to be a homemade sign. Today, a big sign announces her presence. Inside are racks of bikes. Some she is servicing, some she is selling.
Estriplet moved to the spot after renting some space in the back of a shop on Wilton Drive. Some would be nervous about moving off the beaten path, but not her.
“This is a busy part of Wilton Manors. We have a new development here. It’s been a blessing.”
While the previous spot barely had enough room to service bikes, this shop has lots of display space as well as room to service bikes.
“I’ve got great customers. There’s more room to service all the customers in our community.”
Walk-in customers are especially grateful. While Estriplet was talking with us, Michael Hatchcock, a loyal customer, popped in with a flat tire.
“If someone like me has a flat tire and needs to come by, you can’t beat service like that.”
For the upcoming year, she has three words: “Rentals! Rentals! Rentals!” Estriplet wants to set up bike rentals around Wilton Manors, which is an increasingly bike-friendly city.
“This year is about renting. Renting bikes to people coming into town and for SMART Ride and other events. People can also rent bikes to go visit the wonderful art in our town.”
In addition to her activism in the trans community, she is also partnering with Fort Lauderdale Police to get bikes into the community.
“I’m working with FLPD. Confiscated bikes are being brought over. I refurbish them and they’re given away to people or youth groups.”
With one year down, she believes there are many, many more anniversaries to come.
“I’m looking forward to more years of selling bikes, repairing bikes, and overall having fun with bikes.”
Editor's note: this story was updated on Nov. 21 to correct the address of the bike shop. Our original version stated 6th Ave. but in order to be more precise we've corrected it to NE 6th Ave. The original article also stated the bike shop was just east of Oakland Park Blvd. It's actually just south. We regret the error.