Cat Brennan and I have owned the Cycle Craft Cycling Center since January of 2012. The story of who we are and why we do this goes back much further.
In 1994, burned out and disillusioned by a career in professional photography I stumbled upon a help wanted sign in the window of a small bike shop called Cycle Craft in Parsippany, New Jersey. I was feeling pretty rock bottom at that point and I was getting back to cycling to rescue me from the despair of feeling like a failure. I stopped in at Cycle Craft because it was the only shop open on Sunday and I needed some parts for my bike. A help-wanted sign in the window prompted me to inquire on the details.
Instant Career Change
The manager of the store was desperate to get some help for the season. He said “well, I’ll tell you what-if you can sell me a bike you’ve got the job”. Honestly, I didn’t know a darn thing about bicycle retail and I had a pretty limited knowledge of bikes, but having had some sales training I was able to “close” the manager on a bike sale and I was hired on the spot. Thus began my journey that would see me learn and conquer every job at Cycle Craft. After starting as a part time sales person I held the positions of marketing manager, sales manager, service manager, and finally general manager. I paid my own way through mechanic certification and bike fitting certification. I was obsessed.
The thing is I just love bicycles and riding them. I’ve dabbled in racing with unremarkable results but I did it just for the fun of the experience. The simple joy of pedaling a bike, any bike, feeling the air rush over my skin, the momentum and the lean- it touches my soul in a way that few things do. I love the way bicycles look and how they sound. The simple elegance of a wheel and its spokes-It all just speaks to me.
In the mid-2000’s I did a bike fit for Cat Brennan and in her I had met a kindred spirit. She was one of those people completely hooked on the magic of riding a bike. In her I had found my soul mate. Cat was someone who really "got it" and understood me in a way that no other person ever has. The rest is, as they say, history. We were married in 2010 and sealed our bond with a bike ride home from our wedding reception.
In 2011 we were presented an opportunity to become the owners of Cycle Craft. With some trepidation we took on the challenge and let me tell you, it is not easy. We work harder than most people think is sensible and, as you can imagine, the financial rewards are not very compelling. Cat still works a full time job and pitches in at the store on her spare time.
This is our "Why"
So why do we do it? With the advent of cheap goods on the Internet and all of the challenges we face as a business-why?
It comes down to this - what we do really matters. Believe me when I tell you that cycling has saved both our lives and over the course of 25 years we have seen it save the lives of others as well.
Our business is not just to sell you some stuff or fix your bike. We're here to make your life better and the world a better place to live. Our mission is to get people on bicycles and connect them to the power of a healthy and positive lifestyle. Cat and I believe that if you could experience riding bikes the way that we do, you would love it too! This is our “why”. People on bicycles make the world a better place. More people on bikes creates more joy and positivity in the world. We are in the business of creating joy!
So, are you stressed out from your job? Are you feeling poorly because of a lack of exercise and poor diet? Do you just need a challenge and some adventure in your life? Connect with us and connect with the joy of cycling. We’re here for you.