Make bikes, not war! Ely wants to wean you of oil

In these days of war and a struggling economy, local resident Todd Ely has a passionĀ­ replacing cars with bikes. Every bike that takes the place of a car means less energy wasted and less pollution created. It's a simple philosophy.

Located on Ninth Street in a building it shares with a church, Ely's shop, Basic Cycles, nestles among a car upholstery shop, a car parts store, and a car garage– they should call the street Gasoline Alley. It's in this ironic spot that Ely plies his trade of keeping people on two unpowered wheels.

With his apprentice, Daniel Wilson, Ely serves a very basic need of Charlottesville residents. As I stood in the shop for a half an hour or so, I must have seen at least 10 customers come in with problems ranging from a simple flat tire to more complicated problems like broken spokes.