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New Owners Help Cyclist Stay In Gear at Local Bike Shop

Avatar photo by Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator | June 13, 2022
Grand Opening Electronic Invite

Emporia, KS – As the summer riding season heats up, cyclists coming to Emporia will be pleasantly surprised to find the doors at High Gear Cyclery remaining open. Located at 520 Commercial Street in downtown Emporia, the bike shop had a moment of uncertainty earlier this spring when previous owner, Matt Brown, decided to move to Texas to pursue and expand Handlebars of Hope, Brown’s nonprofit organization and outreach ministry to get bikes into hands of those that need them.

To transition into closing High Gear, Brown asked his nephew, Tyrel Davis who had worked for the shop previously, to come back and help get business in order. During his time back, Davis fell in love with the repair side of the bicycle world and wanted to do everything he could to keep Matt’s legacy alive. At first, that was to open La Grind Bike Shop & Repair – a mobile repair shop that would keep the mechanics in Emporia going strong, but that wouldn’t allow any new bikes to be sold.

Davis went to Colorado Springs, CO for a month in March to get all the certifications he needed to move forward at the U of Q Institute. He got certified in Bicycle Assembly Maintenance, Professional Bicycle Service, Bicycle Fitting Fundamentals and E-Bike Fundamentals.

Right as Davis and his fiancé, Lacie Goering, prepared to launch their new business, Shawn Jones from BikeTek in Salina, KS contacted the couple and explained he wanted to keep the High Gear doors open!

Jones, a longtime friend of Brown’s, is the owner of BikeTek in Salina and has been running the shop for 17 years. Jones had come to High Gear while Brown was in the process of selling his inventory to the bike shop in Topeka and was devastated to see such a staple in Emporia shut its doors after 23 years. After meeting with the Davis’, Jones offered a partnership to keep the shop and running as High Gear.

As the Davis’ get settled into their new roles as owners/operators, they hope to keep several things the same at the shop while implementing a few new features of their own.

“Our goals for the shop are to continue to provide consistent, reliable, and friendly service to the bike community in Emporia. We also will continue to be a home-base for Handlebars of Hope for Matt and Stephanie, so we will be helping that mission locally, too,” explained Goering. “We will continue to be a full-service bicycle mechanic shop, with Trek being the primary brand sold. We are wanting to recreate our logo and launch products with the new brand.”

Being part of the community is also a focus for the new owners.

“We are most excited about being involved in the community and continuing to get people on bikes and helping the Emporia community in any way is a priority for our owners,” said Goering.

With the transition, Emporia Main Street is working with the new owners to support them with the resources they need to remain successful.

“Cycling has become such a passion for our community and beyond. We are pleased to see the doors at High Gear remain open,” said Casey Woods, Executive Director for Emporia Main Street. “Our staff looks forward to working with the new ownership and offering them the many resources our organization can provide.”

The community is invited to a Grand Opening for the “New” High Gear this Saturday, June 18th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Attendees are encouraged to come meet shop owners and check out the new inventory. High Gear is located at 520 Commercial Street. For more information on the business and a listing of hours, visit www.ridehighgear.com.

About the Author

Jessica Buchholz, Events Coordinator

Jessica Buchholz is the Community Development Coordinator for Emporia Main Street in Emporia, Kansas. She specializes in event planning, volunteer recruitment, alternative marketing, media/public relations and fundraising. During Jessica's tenure at Emporia Main Street, she has helped grow events to an international level and she has created a series of new activities to meet organizational goals.

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