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Hidden Gems: Meet Walter Betanzos of Medieval Bikes

Today we’d like to introduce you to Walter Betanzos. 

Hi Walter, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
It all started when I was 16 and had dreams of creating some type of business in the biking industry so I could do what I love for a living. 

After many tries of starting brands, opening bike shops, and going into business with the wrong people, I slowly begin to understand what problems were holding me back and as well the dos and don’ts of business. 

Fast forward to 2017 I had to close down both bike shops we had in DC and Virginia due to issues out of my control with both properties being sold. This quickly brought upon new questions and doubts wondering if trying to have a bike shop is worth the stress and headache. 

The constant struggle to run a full BMX and bike shop was very hard with the rise of the internet and people being able to get things cheaper and quicker, “you just can’t beat the convenience of online retailers”. Which is unfortunate because bike shops are if not the most important part of the cycling community, and any true cycle enthusiast will tell you the same. 

So as these questions and doubts hung over me I decided to take a year to clear my mind and think what I can do to bring what I felt was missing in the cycle community and as well as start something that people would love to be a part of, and by spring of 2018 the answer arose in the form of Medieval Bikes; a brand that doesn’t only make reliable and affordable bike parts, but thrives to bring together people from different cycling backgrounds to enjoy the same thing, and that’s a place to belong. 

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The Only smooth road is a fresh paved one. And even those have their rocks. 

Some struggles that I faced were and are to this day 

-Manufacturing 

-Shipping 

-Covid-19 

-Weather 

-Lack of raw materials 

-Broken Glass 

-Not enough food stands in the city 

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Medieval Bikes?
We are a Washington DC-based bike manufacturer and proud of it. 

I am the CEO/designer/sales rep/marketing manager I pretty much had to learn how to do it all. 

I’m known for just being a regular dude with a passion for helping others follow their dreams. 

What I’m most proud about brand-wise is simple. It would have to be everyone that has become a part of it no matter if they are a customer, a team rider, or just someone that showed up to one of our events, you all are what makes up the Medieval brand. 

I’d like to tell your readers to check us out, either online at mdvlcycles.com, at one of our local events, or on social media. We are always stoked to welcome more people to our brand no matter if you’re riding our products or not. We are a community of friends first and foremost ⚔️ 

What do you like best about our city? What do you like least?
I love that DC is one of the top cycling cities in America and a power hub for the world. 

What I don’t like about DC is the shadow puppetry. 

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Image Credits
Medieval

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