KALAMAZOO – Tim Krone was working as a computer programming consultant with clients like Chase Bank, Ford Motor Co. and Ford Motor Credit when the credit crunch in the United States hit “and there has been no better industry hit than finance and the automotive industry, ”he said.
“I was dealing with financial software and (software for) auto loans and rentals when the 2008 financial collapse occurred. … So I found myself doing nothing, ”he said.
He went to work repairing and selling bikes on a lark – at a local bike shop where he had been a regular customer.
“I had a bike when I was a kid and got back to it when I was 39,” said Krone, now 46. “I decided that if I was in good enough shape I wouldn’t have to be 40.”
It didn’t work, he said, but “I just loved it. I loved it in pieces.
He said it would be very difficult to get rich fixing bikes or owning a bike store, but he opened Pedal Bicycles at 611 W. Michigan Ave. at the end of January. He said he loved her because “you have something in common with everyone who comes in.”
“They have a bicycle. They want a bicycle. Their friend has a bicycle and they want to buy him a part. There is always common ground, ”he said.
Pedal Bicycles do all kinds of bicycle repair work and primarily sell the Jamis and Guru Cycles Inc. ranges. Jamis, based in Northvale, New Jersey, manufactures a full line of bikes including ones for kids, cyclists. casual, mountain bikers, trail runners and others. At Pedal Bicycles, they start at around $ 400 and top out at around $ 4,000.
Guru cycles are handcrafted in Quebec, Canada. Tailored for serious road and triathlon riders, the cost for their frame / fork combinations starts at around $ 3,000 and climbs to around $ 5,300, Krone said.
Krone said he wanted his store to be a comfortable place to buy a bike or just hang out with people who love them. He hopes to attract students, runners looking to diversify, and women. All are potential bike buyers, he said, who may enjoy riding if guided through the quagmire of gear and gear involved.
Although Krone worked with software for auto loans and financing, he did not work for his wife’s business, the Orrin B. Hayes car dealership in Kalamazoo. Amy Krone is the general manager and co-owner of the dealership.
Pedal Bicycles uses the old 2,000 square foot Jeep showroom at the car dealership. This has been out of use since Chrysler Corp. terminated franchise agreements with hundreds of dealers in June 2009, including Hayes. But after reclaiming the franchise rights, dealer Hayes plans to reopen the Jeep franchise on Stadium Drive soon.
Amy and Tim met in 1990 when they both worked as computer programmers at Systematics in Pittsburgh. They married in 1992 and moved to Kalamazoo in January 1994. While Amy was involved in her family’s affairs, Tim Krone worked from home as a consultant, eventually for Fidelity Information Services.
Contact Al Jones at [email protected] or 269-388-8556.