I may not be very entrepreneurial these days and I’m certainly not that much into biking as I use to be, but there was a time.
Back when I was 14 years old I was the bike guy. I started my 1st business called the YK Bike Corner. From 13 to 16 I was into biking, cross-country and downhill, I loved it, but I wasn’t very good at it. I still enjoyed it though, what I did start to get into was the mechanics. The 1st mountain bike I ever bought was a Kona Scrap. That is actually the only mountain bike I’ve actually bought, everything since then was built from the ground up. I then moved to a duel suspension bike, with a KHS frame. I rode that for about a year until settling in to a Giant AC 1 frame. I actually had two of those frames, one for back up parts. So in the time I spent building these bikes I acquired a set of skills, skills that I could use to help others.
My First Client
While looking through a local online classifieds site I found someone who needed help gearing their bike. I was 13 at the time I thought what the heck, I don’t know how much a person charges, but I can help. So I did just that, I rode my bike over to this persons place and I fixed the bike. I think I made $20 for about 15 min. of work, I was living large.
After that first client I started to market myself. I built myself my 1st little website, albeit it was a free one, on a service that I don’t even think exist anymore. Anyone remember freewebs? I would put flyers up around town, I would put up classified ads, and I even went to the extent of advertising on the local classified site. Things actually started to pick up. At the same time as I was doing the bike stuff I was also flying into Treeline Lodge where I would work for a couple of weeks and then come back again. Over the course of 2 summers I got myself established, people actually started to know who I was. I made enough money to buy myself an outdoor tent garage, and convert it into a bike shop. I had a bike stand, and I had all the common tools, plus a lot of the specialized ones, for things like the crank and cassette. At 1st my whole shtick was that I could come to the client, and I wasn’t talking about big repairs here, but the little things that the average person can’t do. So I had my backpack full of tools and I would bike around town and fix people’s bikes.
Then I turned 16
When I 1st turned 16 and got my license it was a whole new world. Instead of going to people, I could go to them and get their bikes, bring them back to my shop and fix them there and return them the next day. It was awesome. There’s nothing like working in your own shop, in your own environment, with your own stuff. It was pretty cool, at one point I even had people coming to me and dropping off their bikes. In the summer of 2007 though, I spent most of July up at a place called Bathurst Inlet Lodge and when I came back I took off to British Columbia for most of August. I think this was the last summer that the bike business was still going. I had done a lot of work in May June, but when I started to go away things dwindled. I lost interest in the biking and really had no time to do the fixing anymore. Do I miss it? Absolutely! A year or so after I stopped fixing bikes I contemplated trying to get a job at the local sports shop, but it wasn’t for me. What I liked about my little business, was that I got to talk to the people, and I got to meet them. You will be hidden away and just fixing something and then sending it out again. I like the interaction.
In the past
The reason my memory got jogged about all of this, was because the bike forum, Pink Bikes sent me an e-mail the other day. I hadn’t signed into my account in probably 4 years, but it still worked. ykbiker! Not only was able to sign in, but I was also able to find some old pictures. Here’s some pictures from my past… Which was actually not that long ago.
This is my complete bike to this day, with minor changes. I have a stronger rear rim now and a different rear shock, which has a blown seal.
This was the parts frame. With all the moving parts on this frame I wanted to have extra bearings and bolts.
This is a Haro frame. I had bought this as a complete bike for my brother, but then he didn’t like it, so I stripped it and sold it.
Finally we have a .243 Frame I bought second-hand. This stuck around for a while although I don’t remember what I did with it.
I did just manage to find a picture of the KHS frame before I swapped everything onto the Giant frame. I of course am in the picture… back in 2005, while visiting Jasper.