Ride in Style with Bike Palm Springs
Have fun. Be fit.
By Kevin Perry
In California, our vehicles are our bubbles. They encase us in radio waves, air conditioning, and tinted windows, locking us away from the beauty of our surroundings.
But Tony Torres is about to burst that bubble.
“On a bike, you can cover a lot more ground than you normally would in a car,” muses Torres, who co-owns BIKE Palm Springs Rentals with his partner Rocky Wood. “The shop was actually established by Rocky about 11 years ago. He found that it would be a fun thing to do, given there are so many tourists in town. There wasn’t necessarily a lot of bike rental shops and it just kind of picked up and over the last six, seven years. It’s just gotten busier and busier.”
Torres punctuates his sentiments with refreshing earnestness. “It’s fun to deal with the public and tourists.”
While others may utter the word tourist with a hint of disdain, nothing could be further from Tony’s heart. He welcomes visitors to Palm Springs like a gracious host ushering them into his home. That’s because it IS his home. “I’ve lived here my whole life. I’m kind of a true desert rat.”
Torres swells with pride as he describes the Inland Empire. “It’s pretty heavenly,” he narrates. “When people visit, they can take it all in. You can do a little bit of shopping, and a LOT of eating.”
But veer not; you won’t be riding blind. Tony prides himself on being a savvy guide who helps you ride with pride. “We’re big on sending people out the door wanting them to come back with a big smile on their face. We kinda play the concierge and provide them with a map of nearby routes, y’know, where to go, where to eat. I like to recommend a lot of my favorite places around town: restaurants and great scenic routes to check out.”
Those routes will invariably feature another of Torres’ passions. “I’m kind of a big fan of architecture,” he explains, noting of his hometown, “It’s a modernist Mecca.”
Fans of BIKE Palm Springs agree. The striking shop has built (pun firmly intended) a reputation for its nifty nod to the signature style of the city. “We’re becoming more and more popular with Modernism Week, and social media has brought us into a super busy, successful couple of years.” Tony loves the notoriety, continuing, “We’ve been getting a lot of social media influencers that see it online and they’re like, ‘Oh my god, we like that colorful bike shop in Palm Springs!’ It brings attention to us and makes other people want to come in and ride.”
His business is on the fast track, so Torres needs an inventory to match.
“You can definitely cover a lot more ground on an electric bike. They’re fast, they’re fun – it’s a novelty for most people, but our guests’ age ranges between mid-30’s to early 80’s. Sometimes people have hip or knee or back issues, and it allows them to get on a bike and pedal around with an assist that makes it effortless. It’s definitely, definitely a lot of fun!”
Speaking of fun, Tony is the maestro of frivolity. His jaunty voice mirrors the rhythm and flow of a joyride on one of his bikes, and he strives to pass that effervescence on to his customers. “We focus on providing personable, friendly service and I think it sets people up for havin’ a good time!”
The community’s collective response: mission accomplished. Torres thrives on the enthusiasm of his clientele, savoring their positive feedback like he’s devouring a protein bar that fuels him on the ride of his life.
“I had this one guest once, this is kind of my favorite memorable thing that they said: ‘You guys don’t rent bikes; you rent fun.’ And I said, ‘Oh my god, I have to borrow that!’”
And we’re borrowing it right back… or should we say renting. Thanks for everything, Tony – see you on the road.
194 S. Indian Canyon | 760.832.8912