What's that business? Big Lake Cycle repair shopBig Lake Cycle offers service and repair on all makes and models of motorcycles, from 1930s Harleys to bikes right off the showroom floor.
By: Candace Renalls, Duluth News Tribune
What: Big Lake Cycle
Address: 5822 Tower Ave. in South Superior
Business: Service and repair on all makes and models of motorcycles, from 1930s Harleys to bikes right off the showroom floor. The shop also sells parts for brand-name bikes, sells bikes on consignment and offers winter storage.
Owner: Will Farrow of Superior
Previous job: General contractor
Background: Farrow was a general contractor for 24 years, building houses and remodeling kitchens and bathrooms.
“I was good at it but didn’t like it,” he said.
A few years ago, his then-wife suggested he do something different, something he would enjoy, like open a motorcycle shop. He had always loved motorcycles and had been riding them since he was a boy.
He researched the possibility for two years. He found that new motorcycle purchases were declining, while the number of old bikes in use was increasing — but without enough places to service and repair them.
Dealerships only want to work on newer bikes, Farrow said.
Women welcome: Farrow’s research also found that female bike ownership was on the rise.
“Most places won’t give them the time of day,” he said. “They don’t pay the same type of attention to women coming in as to guys. I’ve watched this all my life and thought it was ridiculous.”
So at his shop, there are no girlie posters, no off-color jokes.
“I want the flavor of an old-time bike shop with a modern, today feeling,” he said. “The things they could get away with in a bike shop, like a beer machine in the corner, doesn’t fly now.”
Customers: Most are men between ages 45 and 70. But the shop gets people of all ages, including teenagers with their first bikes and older men with disposable income who are into bikes. Its female clientele also is growing.
Employees: One, who serves as shop manager.
Cost: Fees vary — $55 to change a tire, $65 to $75 for an oil change — but labor runs $72 an hour for other jobs.
To learn more: Call (715) 718-2277, visit biglakecycle.com or their Facebook page.
Of special note: Farrow, who’s big on safety and responsible riding, wants his shop to be a place where people can come in and feel welcome and comfortable … and get answers to their questions.
“I’m willing to take time to talk to people on how to ride,” he said. “I really mean that. I don’t want to see anybody get hurt on a bike.”