In 2011, Brian Richards turned into a center college instructor who competed in triathlons for fun in his spare time.
To limit the rate of the most excessive-tech bikes that he turned into continuously obtaining, he began buying and selling frames and components on Craigslist and eBay and crafting his personal equipment.
That utilitarian method of buying, and later promoting, his bikes is now a complete-fledged, multimillion-dollar e-trade business enterprise known as My Bike Shop.
“I’d restore them up and experience them after which promote them,” he stated. “Turns outs there has been an underserved market for humans trying to get a new motorbike.”
The leap to a commercial enterprise began when he casually stated his year-vintage effort to a stranger at his pool in the course of exercising. Mark Oakes became out to be an entrepreneur and thought Richards’ operation should become an actual employer. With no business training and a career-lengthy recognition on schooling, Richards was nervous at the beginning about taking different people’s cash. He wasn’t even sure he understood all the terms Oakes used.
But he studied up on the lingo and the basics and ended up partnering with Oakes and every other entrepreneur, Todd Smith, to launch My Bike Shop.
Richards didn’t don’t forget quitting teaching till he was literally hit over the head with the idea. He turned into struck via a truck on his bike journey to high school at some point in 2013, suffering a concussion and different severe accidents. While he became rehabilitating and unable to educate or teach college, he labored a chunk extra on the commercial enterprise. He never went back to coaching.
The first internet site, mybikeshop.Com, launched in 2014, and now he no longer only buys antique motorcycles and elements from athletes; he buys overstock merchandise from manufacturers. That makes his stock vast, even though now not usually steady.
Richards now not fixes up the bikes he buys himself. He has a staff of 15 to the best-music devices, buys and sells materials, and provides customer service. A few humans are stationed in different time zones, so there may constantly be someone to reply to questions or provide a quote.
He has a 7,000-square-foot warehouse and a showroom in Pikesville. Customers can purchase or sell, or each, in person or online.
Richard now also works with nearby motorbike shops. He repurchases their customers’ old motorcycles to cash toward the contemporary fashions and particular manufacturers from their community kee ands other tools.
That is “the growing tide lifting all boats,” he stated.
And even as Richards no longer competes in triathlons, he nonetheless runs avenue races on occasion. He calls the commercial enterprise his new “Ironman.”