Biking to a new shop
Eric Morrison is a happy man these days.
The roads and bicycle paths around town have pretty much cleared and his shop, Alaska Velo Sport, has settled down in its new location.
Situated on Old Glenn Highway right off the new Glenn Highway and Artillery Road intersection, the shop features an array of gleaming bicycles from such top performance manufactures as Redline and Scott.
Morrison runs the shop with help of his marathon-running, triathlon-racing wife Karen, lead technician Lyndon Thomas plus a couple of part-time technicians.
The shop sells mountain and road bikes plus helmets, gear and parts and offers tune-ups and bike repairs.
It also sponsors a variety of athletes in the Arctic Bike Club’s road race series. Morrison would love to sponsor more female racers.
“It’s important to give back to the community and be passionate about the sport,” he said.
The shop, previously housed off Market Street near Jitters, was in need of a space upgrade. The new location, which Morrison remodeled from a beauty salon, sports what he called “the only indoor wash station in the whole state.”
The station resembles a large bathtub with a high ceiling and is large enough to accommodate any size bike.
“We used to have to do it outside and it got cold fast,” he said.
When Morrison retired from a longtime position at The Bike Shop in Anchorage five years ago, he decided to open a shop in Eagle River.
It was a risky move, he admitted.
“When it’s not busy, you can start to wonder,” he said. “I worry about it at least once a week.”
The shop caters to a blend of sports minded individuals, bike commuters and serious athletes/racers.
“We make about three-fourths of our income in five months,” he said.
Most of this he attributes to a strong customer base.
“It’s been tough to develop that core base but we have it now,” he said. “It’s a labor of love. We’re not getting rich but we love what we do.”
Alaska Velo Sport is now located at 11000 Old Glenn Highway.
Hours are 11am-6pm Tuesdays-Saturdays during winter season and 11am-7 pm Mondays-Saturdays during summers.