Bike shop to keep cyclists spinning

Mike Beech, a former sheriff’s deputy who has worked on some of the county’s most grizzly crimes, admits his new bike shop in Coupeville will be a change of pace.

“Boring is nice sometimes,” Beech said.

Beech opened Coupeville Cycle and Sport, a home-based shop on Fort Casey Road, on Saturday. He retired in March after a 22-year career in law enforcement.

His former employers include the Island County Sheriff’s Department, the Langley Police Department and most recently the U.S. military as a bomb dog handler in Iraq.

Beech envisions the shop to offer repair services, refurbished bikes and bike rentals.

“Just a local hometown shop,” Beech said. “It’s already been growing pretty well through word of mouth. The cycling crowd is pretty tight knit and word spreads pretty quick.”

Beech, an avid bike rider himself, said he’s not “into the speed” part of cycling but more “the enjoyment.”

“This has been a dream of his for a number of years and the timing was finally right,” said Beech’s wife, Kelly.

Lynda Eccles, executive director of the Coupeville Chamber of Commerce, said a bike shop is a needed service for the area.

“I wish him luck I think that’s a great business to open here,” Eccles said. “There’s a lot of people who have bikes and bring bikes to (Ebey’s) Reserve.”

In addition, Eccles said the chamber frequently gets requests about where to rent bicycles and hopes Beech’s new store will fill that need.

“It’s a very popular past time here for locals and visitors,” Eccles said.

The Town of Coupeville and North Whidbey currently don’t have a bike repair or sales shops, and the closest location is the Half Link Bicycle Shop in Langley unless cyclists go off-island for services. There is also talk of a Skagit Cycle coming to Pioneer Way in Oak Harbor.

Beech said he had originally planned to rent a retail space on Front Street until he heard about the potential Skagit Cycle coming on island.

He decided to “put the breaks on” and start his business in a home shop until he could see how the bike repair market plays out. He said he would still like to find a location downtown in the future.

“I think Coupeville will like the stay-local, backyard thing,” Beech said. “I’m not trying to sell you a $3,000 bike, I’m here to fix the one you have.”

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