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Born to ride

The Bike Shop opens in downtown Houghton

July 23, 2008
The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Steve Vizanko and Caleb Wendel live for bicycles. Each day involves biking: fixing, selling, and most importantly, riding. They have been working locally at bike shops for the past eight years, and this spring, decided to create a bike shop of their own.

Simply titled The Bike Shop, the two Michigan Technological University graduates opened up their own store this past April. The store is located in downtown Houghton, directly below Rhythm. The Bike Shop carries a wide variety of bikes for all levels of riding including mountain, road, hybrid, commuting, cruiser, and kid's bikes. In addition to bicycles, the large showroom also features cycling clothing, bike parts and accessories, disc golf and ultimate Frisbees, and more.

Residing where the Motherlode Coffee Shop used to be, the entire building was remodeled. Near the entrance of the business, customers can get cozy in the lounge area, with a couch, chairs, and magazines to accompany a flat screen TV which plays biking videos during the day. The open space surrounds a wide, inviting, staircase that leads up to Rhythm. During open hours, the staircase is open and customers are free to walk back and forth between the stores. "The stairs give both stores a department store feel," said Vizanko. "People can browse like it's one large store."

Currently, The Bike Shop offers full service repairs for all brands and types of bikes. With more than 20 years of combined mechanic experience, your bike will get treated with detailed and careful attention. The two men are constantly adding new services, including plans for a full fleet of rental bikes.

Vizanko, originally from the greater Chicago area, and Wendel, of outside Traverse City, said they came to the Upper Peninsula for school at Michigan Tech. Both graduating with degrees in marketing, they stuck around in a place they love to be. Both Wendel and Vizanko are avid cyclists, participating in many of the area's cycling groups and activities. "We try to bike at least five days a week," says Wendel. They even close the shop early on Thursdays to support a cycling group ride in Copper Harbor. "We do our best to participate every week, and are glad to support such a dedicated group of riders," Vizanko said.

Since they have opened, "Foot traffic has been steady and sales have been great, and we are enjoying every bit of it," said Vizanko. "There's no reason to do this if you're not having fun," he said. "That's the whole idea."

The Bike Shop is located at 52 Huron St, downtown Houghton, directly below Rhythm. Business hours are 10-6 Mon-Wed, 10-5 Thurs, 10-8 Fri, 10-6 Sat and closed on Sundays. Call 487-9500 or email

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by The Bike Shop of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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