John Miller, OC Condo’s “Bike Man” Keeps Things Rolling

first_imgHe’s the hardest working man in the bike valet business.John Miller can be found at Gardens Plaza six days a week from 8 a.m. to noon, helping residents with their bicycles. Cleaning, retrieving, fixing, and inflating tires…it’s all in a day’s work for Miller.The bike scene in Ocean City is exploding. Thousands of residents and visitors alike ride for pleasure and for transportation. OC is regarded by riders as one of the most bike-friendly towns in America.With its dedicated bike lanes, hundreds of racks and locking stations around town and numerous safety and education programs, it’s easy to see why Miller’s job was created. The Gardens Plaza residents have more than 250 bikes housed in three dedicated bike rooms off the parking lot of the building at Park Place and the Boardwalk.Miller, who works with autistic students at Atlantic County Special Services School District in Mays Landing and is a girl’s basketball coach at Vineland High School, loves his summer gig.“We have some really great people in the building and a lot of bikes,” he said. “If I can make things easier for people, then I’m happy. The job is a nice change of pace from teaching and coaching.”Miller also umpires in the Ocean City men’s softball leagues and works at various summer hoops camps. But the married father three daughters (wife Jill, daughters Makala, Marley and Marissa) said his passion in the summer months is living up to his “Bike Man John” moniker at the Gardens Plaza.Residents will head to the bike rooms in the early morning hours and utilize Miller’s myriad of services. On a typical day, John knows what regular riders will be coming and he has their bikes out and ready to go. He deals with the semi-regulars and non-regulars as the situations come up.“I will grab bikes for the people, put them away, fix them, lubricate them, put air in the tires, do whatever I can to help them get out and about on their bikes. Biking on the boardwalk is a family tradition these people really look forward to. I like to help them do that so that they might enjoy their visit even more.”“He is an asset to the building,” resident Adele Carlin said. “He does his job well and he always has a smile on his face.”“The nicest thing is seeing families come back each year and watching the kids grow and enjoy using their bikes,” said Miller, now in his fourth year working in the building.As a basketball coach, Miller has a career record of 240-234 as an assistant and head coach at 10 different schools and colleges over 22 years. The former Bridgeton High point guard loves imparting knowledge on his players and helping them succeed.He credits former high school coach and current Stockton University assistant Bob Hutchings as his mentor.“The most important thing in coaching today is letting your players know that you care about them as people,” he says. “Once you accomplish that part of it, then the players are going to feel you are invested and they will buy into your program.”He has worked at Duke University’s summer camp for several years, as well as the 76ers youth camp.“Basketball at the youth level is a 12-month a year sport,” he said. “Championships are won in the summer through training and skills development.”But for residents of the Gardens Plaza, what counts most are John’s skills as the bike man.“John is very professional and helpful,” said Bob Dunbar, a summer resident of the Gardens Plaza from the Bronx, New York City.“He gets my bike, puts it back, checks the tires and he is just very professional and helpful,” Dunbar said. “When he’s not around you really miss him.”last_img

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