Tim Brick will soon be the former owner of Brick Wheels as he prepares to retire.
Brick started out at Brick Wheels before finding his name in 1974. He was a bicycle mechanic for two years, until he got the keys in 1976.
Little did Brick know it, the bike shop would last nearly 50 years.
“It was an interesting race, we saw a lot of things,” said Brick. “The people of Traverse City put up with a lot of our antics.”
Brick Wheels was one of three bike shops in Traverse City when it opened in the 1970s. They started when gas went from 25 cents a gallon to a dollar.
“Everyone thought the world was going to end. that’s kind of what fueled us in the early years,” Brick explained. “Sales have gone from seven or eight million to 15 million bikes a year.”
While Brick was the owner, he connected with the community and helped organize ski and bike events in Traverse City. New Brick Wheels owner Andy Weir hopes to build on what Brick has created.
“What I’m really happy about is exactly what Tim was really happy about,” Weir said. “Getting involved in the community and talking to people on a day-to-day basis and enjoying people enjoying the outdoors.”
Weir says he’s excited about some things they’ll be able to do in addition to what they’re already doing. He hopes to build more relationships with community members and organizations.
“Tim has always been an integral part of the trail systems here in Traverse City and some community organizations. I would love to continue that,” Weir said.
Brick states that he will miss many things at Brick Wheels, including teasing his customers.
But above all, he will miss selling children their first bike.
“I’ve sold so many children’s bikes and most of my employees bought their first bike here. I sell bikes to grandparents for their grandkids and I sold them their first bike,” says Brick.
It’s been a long ride for Tim Brick and Brick Wheels.
Starting out as a mechanic at one of the first bike shops to open in Traverse City, Brick made a name for himself.
“I never tire of coming here, it’s always a great adventure,” said Brick. “Every day I look forward to it, every day I learn something, and you know – it’s been a great ride. Time to ride into the sunset.