Wheel Works

Owner Dennis Jones is Cycling With a Purpose

Remember that feeling of getting your very first bike as a kid? There was that thrill of riding as fast as you could over to your friend's house to show off your new ride, learning to ride with no hands, and maybe even learning how to pop a wheelie! Well, my first bike was bought from Wheel Works in Winter Garden, as I am sure many of you can say the same.

Dennis Jones with Wheel Works has been a part of the Winter Garden community since 2008. Over that time, he has sold hundreds, if not thousands of bikes to the people of this community, creating memories for kids, families, and adults for the rest of their lives. He has also raised thousands of dollars for charities and local community events through fundraisers. Wheel Works is an essential part of our community, but many people don’t know the story behind the owner, Dennis Jones.

Dennis grew up in Clearwater, Florida and joined the Air Force where he served for 20 years. During his time in the military, he fell in love with fitness and rehabilitation and decided to become a personal trainer during some of his time. While he was stationed in Tampa he decided to race in a triathlon they had on base and from there it was history. “Once I started getting into biking, I was visiting many bike shops and loved the atmosphere and hanging out and seeing all the people they help,” Dennis said. After retiring from the Air Force, he decided to move his family to the Winter Garden area and took a job with the City of Winter Garden for four years. During that time, he worked on his dream to open a bike shop, he just needed the right location. One day after work he passed by a shop with a “For Rent” sign in the window and immediately went in to look and knew it was the one, which is now the very store we know and love today.  That day, he quit his job then went to bike school for two weeks, and then officially opened Wheel Works. They now have three locations along Plant Street, the Main Shop, the E-bike store, and the Bike Rental Store which is located right off the West Orange trail.

Aside from running Wheel Works, Dennis stays busy participating in numerous marathons and triathlons throughout the year. In fact, he just ran in the Boston Marathon where he participated to raise money for the Massage Therapy Foundation (MTF). The MTF does a lot of work rehabilitating cancer patients and veterans, which holds close to Dennis’ values. Dennis and Wheel Works love working with the community and are always putting on events such as their annual Breast Cancer Ride in October which raises money for the Moffitt Cancer Research Center. They also have their annual Ride of Silence coming up which is an 8 mile ride in Clermont. It takes place at the same time across the country in all major cities to honor and remember bikers who have been injured or died from a bicycle accident. “It’s a great event for the community to come together and recognize those people and realize that we need to have safe places for cyclists to ride in this community,” Dennis stated. Wheel Works also has the largest triathlon team in Central Florida which is made up of adults and children and is free for anyone to join! Dennis and his team are always hosting events, whether it’s for the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts or their free bike clinics, they are always finding a way to provide and take care of our community.

“Riding bikes is something that brings people together. You get your first bike as a kid and your parents teach you how to ride. You don’t have to be a professional with all the gear and competing all the time. Biking can be just for fun, and we have so many great trails for people to enjoy around here,” Dennis said.

“It’s a great event for the community to come together and recognize those people and realize that we need to have safe places for cyclists to ride in this community,”

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