Meet Your Local Maker: Chris Padavana of Eden Bicycles

Join us as we shine the spotlight on the business owners, craft artisans, and makers of Castro Valley!

Freedom is intrinsic to American culture. We are born with this innate momentum to choose our own adventures, constantly finding ourselves taking initiative, pushing past expectations, and rising from struggles to pursue those dreams. This speaks volumes about the kind of people that live in this country. And nothing captures this willful spirit of our citizens more than being able to propel yourself over great distances like cycling.


For folks like Chris Padavana of Eden Bicycles, he took this soaring energy into creating a space in Castro Valley to encourage and support the community into experiencing this untethered delight. What started out as a part time job at a local bike shop in high school grew into a passion for competitive cycling. This opportunity allowed him to travel all over the state in semi-professional competitions and even race against professional European Athletes and Olympic Gold Medalists like Alexi Grewal in 1984.

“When I first got started, cycling gave me this extra sense of freedom to go further and see more," Chris tells us. For him, it was an "exhilarating feeling" to see how far you could take yourself.

After injuring his knee in his early 20’s, he gave up competitive cycling and poured more time and energy into working at the bike shop. In 2002, after many successful years of managing the shop, Chris went on to own Eden Bicycles.


Eden Bicycles can be found in the local Castro Valley Village Shopping Center. It’s a full service bike shop, offering custom builds, frames, and equipment: to children’s bicycles and tricycles, repair services, and even bikes tens of thousands of dollars.

Chris has thoughtfully curated the shop with a sense of care and inclusion. From donating bikes and bike parts to local community groups and sponsoring the local women’s cycling club to supporting the high school racing teams and regularly hiring students, he is deeply invested in keeping the community growing and thriving. He tells us seeing his customers around town or watching the bikes he worked on traveling through the streets reinforces this comforting feeling of a owning a small business in Castro Valley.

“It’s such a rewarding feeling in participating in providing a healthy benefit to our community or being able to provide an alternative mode of transportation for people who need it,” Chris reflects.

We would be remiss not to mention the famous appearance of the late actor and comedian, Robin Williams and his visit to Eden Bicycles. Soon after they reopened the shop in 2002 under Chris’ ownership, they came across this colorful, Spanish brand bicycle and were subsequently contacted by a sales representative with Robin Williams. Chris describes Robin’s visit to the shop as a “career highlight” and appreciated his humble, lighthearted nature as he perused the shop and chatted with customers. After making his purchases, Robin took the entire staff to get coffee, and had them laughing the entire time.

For Chris and his team at Eden Bicycles, Shelter-In-Place has accelerated their business. With folks unable to get to the gym and becoming more interested in outdoor activities, cycling is a popular alternative to stay fit and healthy. Chris has adjusted his inventory and modified the store layout due to increased demand in products and services, while keeping his customers healthy and safe when perusing wares in the shop. Additionally, you can check out their full store online, with the option to pick-up at the shop with some of the products available to be shipped directly to your front door.


This greater appeal of cycling has caused a bit of a strain on the supply chain, and Chris politely requests the community be patient with him and his team while they continue to get creative to serve their customers. He also wants folks to know that Eden Bicycles offers assembly services for bicycles purchased online. Because the process can be complicated, Chris invites folks to come to the shop to learn and get some support.


While we adjust to this new normal, remember to just keep pedaling forward.

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"Chris is a great guy. We've been close friends since high school and I love knowing he is in our community. Chris is a family man with a commitment to doing the right thing at home and in business. I appreciate how Chris works with his customers. He really looks out for them. He doesn't over-sell to people and really takes his time to figure out what they need. I trust this business implicitly due to Chris' commitment to the community." -Amy Ramos, Castro Valley Today

Check out our Eden Bicycles listing to learn more about their products and services!