Open for Business
When Pedal Power Cycle in Portsmouth opened its doors on May 4, the dream of Steve and Janice Bakula of Portsmouth became a reality. It’s not every day that a couple can turn their shared passion for a hobby into a business venture, but that’s just what Steve and Janice will be celebrating at the bike store’s grand opening on Memorial Day weekend. Pedal Power Cycle is located in the Market Basket Plaza, Route 1 South, 1500 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth.
Love of Cycling
“This is my dream and I am lucky to be living it,” said Steve, a lifelong cyclist. “I got my love of cycling from my father and now I get to share that love with all who walk in the door.” Steve’s father, local artist Henry Bakula, was often seen biking around Rye, Portsmouth, Kittery and York - carrying his painting supplies in a basket and setting up to paint when the spirit moved him. Pictures of Henry on his bicycle appeared frequently in local newspapers.
Steve and his crew at Pedal Power will not just sell you a bike, they will accessorize it to meet your individual cycling needs They also carry a line of cycling clothes and shoes. After racking up many enjoyable miles on the Seacoast, they will service and maintain your bike, keeping it in optimal condition. Steve offers another idea “If you are visiting the area and need a bike or want to ‘try before you buy’, we offer rentals.” The staff of Pedal Power includes well known faces from the Seacoast cycling community – service manager Dana Grover and mechanic Devin Clancy, both experienced bicycle mechanics as well as sales associate Geri Mullavey. The crew, including owners Steve and Janice, have been selling and maintaining bikes for more than 7 decades.
Family Bike Store
What makes Pedal Power different is their desire to be your family bike store - a friendly place where everyone will feel welcome, no matter their level of skill or commitment to the sport. Visitors to the store have commented on the personal experience and attention to detail as well as the willingness of staff to spend the time required to get the ‘right’ fit. Steve says “We believe that our customers are making an investment in their health and that it is essential that we make this a rewarding experience for them. Taking the time to adjust the seat or fit the helmet strap, especially for little ones, helps to ensure safety and maximum enjoyment”. Enthusiasm, knowledge, experience and caring are evident in the staff’s actions. No questions go unanswered.
If you come in with a trade, Pedal Power will do one of two things with your former bike. They may tune it, clean it and put it on the floor to sell, or your former ride may be starting a second life outside of town. Trade-ins and components will travel down to ‘Bikes Not Bombs’, an organization located in Jamaica Plains in Boston. Once there, local youths will be involved in repairing the bikes - learning skills, responsibility and ‘reward’ for hard work as they earn their ‘new’ bike. Some of the bikes will be repaired and crated up with extra components and shipped to Africa. Once there, they will be given to adults and children in need of non-motorized transportation to get to jobs, medical clinics or school. Your former ride will have an opportunity to provide a global impact!
Also helping out globally, Pedal Power sells hand woven bike baskets made by ‘Joseph’s House of Talents’ and woven by nearly 200 Ghanaian women. House of Talents donates a percentage of profits to establish a scholarship fund for children in the weaver’s community. When you purchase one of these beautiful, handmade baskets made from elephant grass, each individually dyed, you will be helping individuals and communities struggling to make a better life for themselves. You can impact our global community through your basket purchase.
SCORE Counseling: Preparing for Success
Transforming their dream into reality was not easy. Steve and Janice spent many hours discussing the idea before deciding to seek experienced help from Seacoast SCORE Chapter 185. They worked for more than 50 hours with counselors Martin Klenke and George Collin from SCORE, creating business plans, marketing and promotion strategies and financial forecasts. Steve and Janice also took advantage of financial and internet workshops run by SCORE, to better prepare their new business for success.
Finding the right location for Pedal Power was another important task. After considering four other locations, they settled on the Market Basket Plaza. They wanted visibility, foot traffic, easy access, ample free parking, safe test ride areas and complementary businesses around them. The Market Basket Plaza location provides all of that and more.
Steve and Janice have spent countless hours preparing Pedal Power Cycle for opening. “He even does windows” said Janice commenting on Steve’s attention to detail; “he enjoys making your experience personal - the little things count when it comes to helping our customers, which is reflected in his enthusiasm”. The new store will host a grand opening over Memorial Day weekend.
Steve and Janice spent many hours discussing the idea before deciding to seek experienced help from Seacoast SCORE Chapter 185. They worked for more than 50 hours with counselors Martin Klenke and George Collin from SCORE, creating business plans, marketing and promotion strategies and financial forecasts. Steve and Janice also took advantage of financial and internet workshops run by SCORE, to better prepare their new business for success.