Changing Gears at Woody’s Bicycles

For almost 29 years, Woody Deutsch has been the owner and operator of Woody’s Bicycles, rolling out rides to the community.

On June 1, new owner Robert McKee takes over to keep the bicycle community going.

McKee, who grew up riding bikes here, said “the community needs a bike shop. We need to keep it open and keep it running as it is the closest traditional bike shop within a 50 mile radius.”

McKee said everything at Woody’s Bicycles will remain the same, right down to the exceptional customer service that is the hallmark of the business.

“The business plan remains the same for the shop,” said McKee. “There are so many trails for mountain biking and for road riding here. We will do some more marketing and community outreach. We will get back to pre-COVID activities such as group rides, community bike tours and rentals. As the Mountain Goat Trail expands there will be an opportunity to have outposts along the Trail for people to pick up and drop off bike rentals.”

“The best part of being the owner of the bike shop is solving problems and fixing bicycles to help people get out and ride. I want to be a part of that,” said McKee.

What began in October 1995 as a satellite of Tullahoma’s then J&M Bicycles, Deutsch opened Woody’s Bicycles on 2nd Avenue in Winchester. The timing was right, and Deutsch, who has always been an avid cyclist, said he had some ideas of his own about how to run the kind of bike shop he wished he could frequent himself.

“At the time, there was no notion of me being the sole owner of a retail business. I was the mechanic and the salesperson, and J&M Bicycles provided all the goods — the bicycles, clothing, accessories and parts, and they did the bookkeeping. This was the perfect way to start to learn the business,” he said. Deutsch said it was about a year into his running the Winchester store that the owners of J&M decided to sell, and Deutsch went all in.

Deutsch operated the Winchester store for 13 years and in 2008 made the move to the Sewanee location. Brian Schaefer, who started working with Deutsch in 2000, also made the move up the mountain. Deutsch said the shop owes a lot to the innovation, imagination, and the pure magician-like talents of Schaefer. During the pandemic, Deutsch stopped going in on a regular basis, and Schaefer was instrumental in keeping the shop open and highly successful. When Schaefer died Feb. 3, 2023, Deutsch went back to the shop full-time.

“Every morning, I wake up and say ‘Oh boy! I get to go to the bike shop.’ This shop is an extension of my house. I am at home at the shop,” said Deutsch. “The best part of the shop is the customers. It will be the people I will miss the most day to day.”

“I want to spend more time with my grandkids and go to their sporting events and school activities. I want to read more, bike and hike more, learn to cook better, and help more with Rotary. There will be Saturdays I want to take off. But sixty percent of the time I will still be here at the shop,” said Deutsch. Deutsch said Speed Baranco will also continue working at the shop three days a week.

Woody’s Bicycles is located at 90 Reed’s Ln., in Sewanee. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Get in touch with Robert and Woody by calling (931) 598-9793, or stop by. For more information on repairs, biking trails, sales, rentals and more, go to

. —reported by K.G. Beavers

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