A shop of his own
Well-known bike mechanic Marty Hammond buys Moore’s Bicycle Shop
By GREG STILES
Mail Tribune 2006
Marty Hammond established himself as one of the area’s top bicycle mechanics over the past two decades, managing several shops and building a loyal following.
Problem was, it was always someone else’s shop.
Now the 42-year-old cyclist has a shop of his own after purchasing Moore’s Bicycle Shop, 720 Crater Lake Ave., from local cycling icon Stan Moore.
Hammond and his wife, Tamara, 38, have rechristened the Medford shop Marty’s Cycle and Moore, acknowledging the longtime proprietor who continues to do repair work on a reduced scale.
“We wanted to keep Stan’s name in it because the shop has been there for 46 years and Stan is still doing repair work,” Tamara Hammond said.
Marty Hammond was a riding partner of Moore’s and then went to work at his shop in the early 1980s. After that, Hammond put time in with Cycle Analysis, Brother Jonathan’s Outdoor Store, Al’s Cycle and Hobbies and Sims Cycle Shop.
Some owners hinted at selling, but continued operating their shops, while others priced themselves too high.
Moore, who went to work at the family business on Crater Lake Avenue in 1967, suffers from a hereditary eye disease, retinitis pigmatosa, which vastly limits his vision. He says he once suggested to Hammond that a line-up of bicycle mechanics, including the two of them and Buck Pearce (now a police officer in Albany), would make for the perfect shop.
Last December, Moore decided it was time to find a new owner for the shop and approached the Hammonds.
“It was like giving a child up to adoption and making sure he goes to a good home,” Tamara Hammond says.
While the Hammonds set about remodeling the 2,000-square-foot showroom and shop, Moore continued selling swimming pool supplies and BMX bikes next door.
“It was good for me to step back,” Moore says. “I don’t have the same heavy responsibility. It was getting harder and harder for me. This gives me time off in the fall, winter and early spring.”
Marty Hammond says the Rogue Valley’s growing population has produced more cyclists, while Lance Armstrong’s dominant Tour de France performances have increased interest just as Greg Lemond’s victories did in the late 1980s.
“A few people have bought bikes because of gas prices, but not that many people are buying bikes for commuting,” Hammond says.
Hammond has revamped the bike selection to reflect demand.
“The biggest challenge is having the right inventory,” he says. “So you are always guessing what customers want. It’s like clothing, you’ve got to have all the right sizes. It’s a big money investment for one model, where you have four or five sizes.”
Mail-order and Internet dealers make the business all the more competitive, shaving down the profit margins.
“Basically, my goal is to have pricing similar as I can to Internet pricing and still have great service,” Hammond says. “A lot of shops try to run on minimal employees and I’m trying to keep more here so we can have the service we need.”
Ultimately, it’s a seasonal job.
Although there’s a tremendous amount of business in the spring and summer, when wet weather comes around a lot of bikes go on overhead hooks in the garage.
“If we were as busy in the winter as we are the summer,” Hammond says, “we’d all be driving Ferraris.”