Great Lakes Cycling moves and grows
After five years in the back of beyond at the rear of Boulevard Plaza, Great Lakes Cycling & Fitness is moving to a new location just down the street. "We're bursting at the seams," says Oscar Bustos, who co-owns the business with his wife, Lindsay. "I have bikes I can't even get on the floor." At 15,300 square feet, the new location gives them a lot more elbow room than their current 10,000-square-foot space-and, more important, a higher profile. "We're not very visible to the public right now," Oscar says.
They'll be gaining size and visibility by taking over the old Ace Barnes Hardware spot. (In a sort of west-side version of Trading Places, Ace Barnes moved to Boulevard Plaza in 2004.) The Bustoses planned to be in the new space March 1, and the stock will stay pretty much the same: bicycles, cycling gear, and home physical fitness equipment like treadmills and stationary bikes.
The interior's a different story. "We're trying to be as green as possible," says Oscar. That means, among other things, energy-efficient lighting and working with the Urban Wood Project to use reclaimed wood wherever they can. "We're also trying to invest as much money as we can in Ann Arbor itself, without taking money out of it," he says. That means using local businesses like the Hosford machine shop on Main Street: "They're making all our custom racks for our clothing."
Oscar, thirty-one and a former mechanical engineer, and Lindsay, twenty-nine and a former accountant, are passionate cyclists who thought owning a bike shop would dovetail nicely with starting a family. They bought Great Lakes Cycling from original owner Henry Bednarz in 2007, three years after he relocated to Boulevard Plaza from his original spot at Main and Madison.
In a town full of bike shops, the Bustoses know their niche. "There are other shops in town that specialize in just high-end stuff," says Oscar. "We're a family shop. We think we benefit the community as a whole and not [just the serious cyclist]. That's our focus. We're really looking for the moms, dads, and kids."
Great Lakes Cycling & Fitness, 2015 West Stadium Boulevard, 668-6484. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. noon-6 p.m. greatlakescycling.com.
[Originally published in March, 2009.]