Kim migrated to Florida from the tiny seaside town of Mattapoisett Mass. She knew at the ripe old age of 12 she would have two choices in life. She would someday either have to own her own business or become unemployed and a burden to society. Being headstrong and a control freak really didn't make for a great employee. As a child herself, she ran a children's day camp for kids from her parents' front porch. When that got tiresome and her Mom was furious as to how much food this "camp" required, she pitched a tent and sold seashells glued on wood each day to the people walking to the beach. Just think of Mexico- you're trying to relax and soak up some sun and these darn salespeople are on you like white on rice.
This all before she was 13 years old.
At the age of 20, the previous owner of the Bicycle Center told her he was going to give her an offer she couldn't refuse. He claimed that he saw promise in her and he was ready to retire. He gave her a chance that would prove to be life-changing. He would sell her the 10 bikes left and all the parts on payments of only $100.00 a month. With no real future in her current position(bar-tending and selling refurbished mopeds from her parent's yard), she went for it. In 1993 she rented an efficiency on Bayshore Rd which was only 300 square feet. The front yard was considered the showroom and each day she would push the mostly used bikes out on the lawn. Starting literally from nothing, her only option was to sell not only bikes but parts and accessories by way of a catalog. There was no money yet to fill the "showroom" It was a tough road but as they say, the rest is history. Four moves and two decades later she has arrived where she always wanted to be. Her motto? "to become a champion, fight one more round".
She credits her success first to God and second to her loyal customers, who never left her side. Rain, sleet, and even a hurricane didn't stop them from patronizing Bicycle Center. In 2004 the store was blown away by hurricane Charlie and she was left operating outside in shipping containers for 3 1/2 years. She ponders now if she shouldn't have taken a very long vacation during that time.
She is a casual cyclist and a serious shopper, much to her husband's distress. She enjoys traveling, church and being a Mommy to her daughter, 3-year-old Alexis.
Like Kim, Gerard emigrated from up north with his parents back in 1989. Gerard came here from Long Island, New York. He has owned the Bicycle Center with Kim since 1993. By today's standards, he is considered a veteran of the cycling industry, as he has almost 20 years of owning and operating a bicycle store here in Port Charlotte, Florida. Besides going out and supporting all the local and some not-so-local rides with Rob, Gerard is also a Trek Certified Level 1 and Level 2 (advanced tri-fittings) bike fitter. Which was taught to him by the bike industry guru of fittings-Michael Sylvester. So, if you have any questions about bike fit please feel free to ask him. In the meantime, Gerard keeps very busy with his 3 1/2-year-old daughter Alexis.
Rob, hailing from Newark, Delaware joined Bicycle Center in 2005. Ironically enough Rob has worked in the industry over half his life. His boyish young looks puzzle many and people can't believe he's 30. He worked at Bike Line in Delaware starting with assembly and then quickly mastering the art of repair.
In 2005, Rob came to work at the Bicycle Center, or should we say the Bicycle Center tent and his dedication, hard work, and knowledge has kept the customers coming. Rob helped keep the store afloat after Hurricane Charlie and worked 8 hours a day in the incredible grueling sun while the building was being built. He has a vast knowledge of high-end bikes and their finicky components. Since then he has increased his knowledge beyond the components of the bike to finite adjustments involved in bicycle fitting. He became a certified Bicycle Fit Specialist in 2009.
As you see by the picture- he is sporting a lab coat with Dr. Rob given to him from one of our customers (who happens to have a fleet of high-end bikes) When not working his 40 plus hours a week, he enjoys fishing, boating, and being the life of the party.