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My good friend Anne called me last week and told me about a guy named Bill who, after losing his lucrative job in the semiconductors industry, made the gutsy decision to open a bike shop. I will be making a trip up to visit Bill and learn more about the shop soon, but in the meantime here is Beverly Cycles story.
Bicycles for the Rest of Us
The day he turned fifty-six, Bill Kerr got laid off from his corporate job and, the way he tells it, he couldn’t have imagined a more welcome present. He’d always been an avid bicyclist, riding to and from work in all kinds of weather, organizing weekend rides and doing some competitive racing. Despite the several bicycle shops already in existence on the North Shore, Bill saw a need for a bicycle shop for the rest of us, for those who aren’t necessarily into racing or competition, a shop where everyone, regardless of ability or knowledge would feel comfortable asking questions, trying out bikes and having fun. Bill Kerr visited possible locations for his shop for months before finding the perfect spot. Nestled in the heart of North Beverly next to the venerable Annie’s bookshop and across the street from famed Nick’s Famous Roast Beef, Beverly Cycles opened it’s doors at 6 a.m. on March 2, 2009 in the middle of a snowstorm. And a great grand opening it was: ten inches of snow and not a single customer.
Top mechanic is Olivia Harkness, a high school friend and running buddy of Bill’s daughter Grace. Now attending art school in Portland, Maine, no one was surprised to learn that Olivia had a way with the wrench: she can build virtually anything, from tables to electric guitars to tree houses. She also fixes her own car. Other employee, Ben Sawyer, avid mountain bike rider and son of long distance coach David Sawyer is foremost a talented carpenter. When you visit the shop, notice the elegant L-shaped front counter and display wall: Ben’s handiwork. He has reportedly gotten into road riding lately. Don’t let his hobbit-like demeanor fool you: he is fast.
At Beverly Cycles, you’re not going to get the hard sell: while the shop offers a wide range of bicycles from mountain to road to cruiser to kids’ Bill, Ben, and Olivia love to resurrect those bikes you have forgotten about in your basement. They will help you get your old bike back on the road, upgrade, or try something completely new.
They also offer bicycle day care: North Beverly train station is across the street: ride your bike to the train and store it at Beverly Cycles for the day; if you need repairs or want a tune up, it will be done by the end of the day. Store hours are Monday-Friday 6 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m; the shop is closed Sundays. There are always bike rides happening. Check the website for road rides and mountain bike rides for all levels of ability.
“Bicycles for the rest of us!”
132 Dodge Street
Beverly, MA 01915
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