Spotlight on Steve Donahue & Recycled Cycles
Name: Steve Donahue
Shop: Recycled Cycles (www.recycledcycles.com)
Main Location: Seattle, WA
A self-proclaimed “lifer” in the bike business, Steve Donahue’s first job was at an IBD while he was in high school. “It was a great shop,” he says. “They made the bike shop visit an experience and that rubbed off on me. “
While attending college, Donahue continued his career as a bike mechanic, never swaying from his early-found professional passion (unless we count drinking beer in college—“Is that a career?” asks Donahue). He wore his devotion to shop life like a badge of honor. “There was always green grease under my nails and I did not own a single shirt that was not stained, bike related and cost nothing. I wonder why I was not too popular with the ladies?” he laughs.
Along with a sharp sense of humor, Donahue—now owner of Seattle’s Recycled Cycles—has a poetic appreciation for the bike business and the joys that a two-wheeled perspective brings. The most rewarding aspect of the industry, he says, is “the people I have met and worked with and the wonderful places I have visited, all because of a simple, beautiful machine.”
Donahue’s outlook is obvious in the store’s mission statement. “We want Recycled Cycles to be a place where cyclists would want to shop, where bike shop professionals would want to work, and where both customers and employees could have fun sharing their knowledge of and enthusiasm for cycling,” says Donahue.
As a shop that offers the full gamut of new and used bikes, parts and accessories, Recycled Cycles has built a reputation for solid, friendly knowledge of everything cycling related. “Our familiarity with used and older products makes us the go-to place for the do it yourselfer. Our friendly atmosphere makes us a go-to place for the beginner,” says Donahue. The shop is truly an inviting place for everyone. “We love humans, dogs and bikes,” Donahue says.
This welcoming spirit is also espoused by the Recycled Cycles racing team, whose members serve as brand ambassadors for the store. After all, it’s human engagement that fuels Donahue’s unwavering belief in IBDs. “I think the IBD is irreplaceable,” he says, “Because people make the bike pedal.”
Donahue’s own cycling experience is framed by finishing his first charity ride, BikeMS. “The rush of emotion that came over me finishing that ride—the people cheering and thanking us for riding for a cure—that was my best memory on a bike,” says Donahue. His support of BikeMS is ongoing, as Recycled Cycles provides three days of mechanical support for the riders in the Pacific Northwest event each year.
At 49 years old, Donahue also likes to push the pace as a budding down hill rider, tackling the challenging terrain in Whistler, BC. “Pushing my comfort to the next level is exciting,” he says. “I have the rotator cuff scars to prove it.”
Scars aside, this devoted cyclist urges everyone to get outside and enjoy the simple pleasure of pedaling. “Ride your bike, rain or shine,” says Donahue. “It is always a good time.”