When Greg and Carmen Frislie were contemplating a move from Spokane, they looked for a community where they could plant their roots, raise their family and open a new bicycle shop.
All with the hope of making a positive impact.
They liked what they saw in the Wenatchee Valley.
Specifically, they liked what the future promises for bicycling in this region.
“The Wenatchee Valley is perfectly poised to become a destination for world-class mountain and road biking,” said Greg, who owns Cycle Central, 34 N. Wenatchee Ave., with his wife, Carmen. “We’re really excited to see where the community will be five years from now. I think the city understands the economic potential that mountain and road biking hold, and we’re happy the community is behind the biking plan.”
Cycle Central (cycle-central.com) opened its doors in April 2013, and serves customers throughout the state. The business’s ample rented space has an airy warehouse feel well-suited to a bike store.
Cycle Central features state-of-the-art bicycles manufactured by Trek and Felt. It features popular product lines such as Bontrager, Endura and Blueseventy. Cycle Central also features fitness watches and GPS units by Garmin and Bontrager and a complete line of Hammer Nutrition products.
The Frislies built an interior wall toward the rear of the store to create a full-service repair shop that features a 48-hour turnaround for bicycle tune-ups. It also provides complimentary bike fitting when buying a new bike and free adjustments for the life of the bicycles purchased from its shop.
Today, in addition to the owners, the business has six employees, including Larry Michael, the former owner of Second Wind bike shop in East Wenatchee.
Although still in its first year of business, Cycle Central has already made an impact on the community. They gave a generous donation to the Complete the Loop Coalition, as well as donating a full suspension mountain bike to the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust for an online auction. They also donated a children’s Trek bicycle to the Pybus Market Charitable Foundation.
Cycle Central also supports the Eastmont School District as it develops its mountain bike club. And it has created Re-Cycle Central, an in-house program where people may donate gently used bicycles. Cycle Central then does what it takes to get the donated bikes up to speed, and distributes them to foster kids.
It also didn’t take long for the new business to support local bike rides. It hosts mountain bike rides (in season) every Monday evening, drawing from 10 to 30 riders, Carmen said. On Tuesday nights (in season), Cycle Central hosts road bike rides from its store. It also plans to hold weekly bike rides for senior bicyclists this summer.
Cycle Central embraces social media and uses it as a source of communication to the surrounding community. Like many other brick and mortar stores, Cycle Central encourages customers to come into the store and take advantage of the benefits of shopping locally.
“We would love for everyone to come into the store and experience the wonderful environment,” Greg said. “Nothing beats the smell of tires while socializing with friendly staff who make you feel right at home. Plus, when you buy locally, it’s a win-win-win – you help support your schools, your community and your local economy.”
The Frislies are well aware of the positive impact outdoor recreation has on the local economy, where the Wenatchee Valley Transportation Council developed the Greater Wenatchee Bicycle Plan last fall and the Wenatchee City Council adopted it into its comprehensive plan in December 2013.
They respect the efforts of Matt Kearny in reporting the economic impact of sports tourism for the Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce. They applaud Bob Bugert and the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust for saving the foothills above Wenatchee from development and for its work in building and maintaining area trails. They thank Bob Parlette for his unwavering commitment and leadership in the construction of the Apple Capital Loop Trail, and more recent efforts to extend the trail to Lincoln Rock State Park with the Complete the Loop Coalition.
They also tip their cycling helmet to local outdoorsman Andy Dappen for his years of promoting outdoor recreation in the area, and his dedication to building and maintaining the justgetout.net website. They salute the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and International Mountain Biking Association, who have expressed interest in further development of mountain biking in the area.
The Frislies are also aware of the past effort to build a dedicated bike path up the Wenatchee River to Leavenworth.
“A bike path from Wenatchee to Leavenworth is a no-brainer,” Greg said. “The potential impact, both physical and economic, is something that should be seriously studied. It could even have a year-round impact if it were groomed for skiing in the winter.”
As the Frislies prepare to celebrate the first of many anniversaries at Cycle Central, they have big plans for growth.
“We are very thankful for the opportunity to serve this great community,” Greg said. “And Cycle Central is extremely committed to the Wenatchee Valley for many years to come.”