Well, it is official! You are a teenager. Happy Birthday our “little bike shop that could”.
They say time flies when you are having fun – no kidding. To think, 13 years ago, Dawn and I talked about creating a space that was a good place to be. We wanted people to “Go to their happy place” and, for the most part, with your help and support, I think we did.
In those 13 years, what a roller-coaster ride! From crazy highs to scary lows, even going through a pandemic, and here we are. We have achieved some amazing things, and we would like to share a few of them with you.
Here are 10 THINGS ABOUT HOMETOWN BICYCLES that you may not know:
- Why the name HOMETOWN Bicycles? We wanted a name that was non-intimidating, felt safe, and was familiar because that is what we wanted to create. We all love the place we grew up in, “our hometown” . We use it in conversations, we share fun memories with our friends, it defines us. Well, this is YOUR Hometown.
- We started as just a SERVICE SHOP. I have always said “I don’t care what you ride, I just want you to ride”. Repairs have always been our thing. As a kid growing up, my uncle was a car mechanic, and I enjoyed working with him. I remember the first time we did an engine swap, and the thing roared to life, and I saw the smile on his face – it was pure joy. More importantly, I saw how he was able to help another person, and I learned a lot from that experience. I was also the official bike mechanic in our little village and, with his tools and his guidance, he fixed the cars, and I fixed the bikes.
- OVER 35,000 Bicycles. Yes, you read that correctly, and we are proud that in our 13 years of business, we have worked on over 35,000 bikes (and counting). In 2010, after a conversation with my father-in-law, we realized that we were only 112 bikes away from 1,000 ,and that was the beginning. We ran our “1,000 or bust” challenge and, with your help, we did it…… and the count just keeps growing.
- Our first repair was a RECUMBENT. How fitting. Customer #1 is a gentleman named STEVE REED, and our first repair was a front flat tire on a recumbent. I always thought our first repair would be some sleek, new, space age machine, but it wasn’t. It was something different, and that is why, to this day, we say that “we work on everything, and if we can’t fix it, we will find a solution.”
- Our first “NEW bike” was a cool road bike. Although our intention was to never sell NEW bikes, people loved working with us and were asking for new bikes. Well, it happened. Our first bike we ever sold was to a good friend Jacki V. – a Jamis Endura that she still rides today. Even with a primary focus on service, over the last 13 years, we have managed to get over 3,500 people their new bike.
- We went from 600 sq.ft. to a 14,000 sq.ft. ROLLER RINK. That is right, the current shop used to be an old roller rink called “Lakeview Skateland”, and we still cannot find the view of the lake.
- Originally we thought about opening in HOWELL. Yep, and if you look at the logo, some of the landmarks from Howell are in there. Probably the most recognizable is the top of the Historical Courthouse on Grand River. P.S. Our cat Tigger is also sitting in the logo window.
- Our first year, we drove to VEGAS non-stop. It was our first year in business, and who does not want to go to a trade show, so what do we do? Pack 4 guys in a car, and started the engine of a borrowed FORD FLEX (thanks, John VanAlsberg) in Brighton, and turned it off 35 hours later at the Harrah’s Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- A lot of our past crew are still in the industry. We have hired over 60 highschoolers and, for a lot of them, this was their first job. We knew that this was not going to be their end game, so our goal was to teach them to be good members of their communities. Today, our past crew members are Engineers, Attorneys, Pilots and, yes, a few even stayed in the industry. Employee # 5, CJ BRISH, after racing in college, has worked for Competitive Cyclist, Rotor, and Nukeproof. One of our crew members, AUSTIN, even started his own bike product line called KOM Cycling. It is a very proud moment walking around the trade shows and seeing your “Kids” all grown up and repping the products we all love.
- Partners in the community. Over the last 13 years, we have helped our communities, groups, and organizations raise HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS for trail maintenance, advocacy, disaster efforts, and families in times of need. We are very proud of this, and we believe in the purpose of our community partners, like Go-LIV-Co, Tour de livingston and the United Way, the Eric Hartwell Foundation, League of Michigan Bicyclist, MMBA and MCMBA. We could not do this without your help and support, so THANK YOU.
Celebrate with us!!
Hometown Bicycles 13th Anniversary Open House
Saturday, April 15 • 4pm-7pm
We will have food, drinks (WATER/POP) You are welcome to BYOB and celebrate with us today. Food (Pizza/Salad) will be here at 5pm. Come hang out, tour the shop, eat some food, share some stories, and let’s celebrate this thing you helped create!
5th Annual Do It For Dan Memorial Ride
Be sure to add this ride to your cycling calendar!
Sunday, May 7th • 3PM • Green Oak Village Place