Venture On: New bike/adventure shop opens on North Farwell
Following the closure of Eau Claire Bike and Sport on Water Street over the summer, Nic Barry, who had been a manager and repairperson there, wasn’t sure what was next for him. He spent a while working in home renovation with a friend while he thought over his future.
“There was a pretty big drive for people wanting me to continue fixing their bikes,” said Barry. “I had people knocking on my door and calling me; the city bus stopped at my house and someone asked if I did bike repair.” So he decided to make a go of it on his own. He is preparing to open a new bicycle repair shop in late September, dubbed Stache Bike & Adventure. It’s named for the pointed moustache that graces Barry’s upper lip.
“I had people knocking on my door and calling me; the city bus stopped at my house and someone asked if I did bike repair.” – Nic Barry, on demand for his bike repair services after his previous employer closed
The little establishment is at 414 N. Farwell St., right next to Madison Street Auto Body. Barry intended to get started strictly with bike repair, although “it might change faster than I want it to,” he said. Burton Snowboards reached out to him as he was getting started to see if he would be a distributor. Stache will carry snowboards, cross country skis, and bicycle accessories such as gloves and helmets. Barry is well-versed in bike repair both basic and advanced, offering suspension and hydraulic brake maintenance.
Barry has plans to branch out from there, offering guided bicycle and snowboarding tours of places near and far. “I’ve gone pretty much everywhere in the Midwest whether biking or snowboarding, kind of guiding my friends for the last 15 years,” he said. He plans to capitalize on his experience and expertise to offer fun outdoors experiences to customers as his venture grows alongside the Chippewa Valley biking scene.
“Eau Claire, I think, has a really really strong passion for the biking community,” Barry said. “I talk to people who come from all over the country to ride on our paved paths.”
Nic is already doing repairs at Stache Bike & Adventure, as some of his former clients from Eau Claire Bike & Skate followed him to his new digs. He hasn’t had much time this summer to ride his favorite trails (from Chippewa Falls out to Cornell, or on the Pinehurst Park dirt paths), but he does enjoy an occasional relaxing cruise.
While the grand opening date is still in the works, Nic has plans to host a cool shindig in the parking lot between Stache and Madison Street Auto Body. They’ll set up a barbecue and Minneapolis-based BMX tricksters will haul out their ramps for a show. Of course, the main attraction will be the shop itself.
Find more information about Stache Bike & Adventure at www.facebook.com/StacheEauClaire.