Thanks for stopping by our online store. We've been in business since 1999 in a couple of different forms.
I've been an avid cyclist since the early 1970's. This includes crossing the United States on a late 1970's Viscount Pro road bike with one hard as hell Brooks leather saddle. Oddly enough, I purchased this bike from Randy and John Schlitter before they knew what a recumbent was! Even though I didn't catch on, this had to be one of the painful factors pointing me to the wonderful world of bents.
What really got me going was after my wife developed severe carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. Even after having both operated on, our Cannodale Tandem was still unrideable for her and a frequent cause of numb crotch for me. Shortly thereafter, I started researching recumbents. I then chopped up a couple of Peugot female frames and I built two recumbents at the Armed Forces Auto Hobby shop in Stuttgart, Germany and instantly fell in love. Cycling was fun again!
After retiring from the Air Force, I opened an online store selling recumbent parts and accessories. My goal was to stay online only, but a continous run in with an unbelievably nasty bike shop owner over 40 miles away changed all that. With his leverage in the industry, I lost all my vendors in the blink of an eye. The ultimatum was get a brick and mortar store or quit. After emptying our savings, we opened Power On Cycling in a small town called Plant City on the outskirts of Tampa, Florida.
Thirteen years later we are still serving the recumbent community to the best of our ability. We pride ourselves in personal service during in-store test rides. Our maintenance section is known country wide for our custom wheels, custom recumbent frame builds, etc. Our online store is getting a facelift and continuing to grow.
About five years ago we added a shopping cart and are trying to catch up with the times. I admit, I've dragged my feet here. I enjoy the human element when I shop and thought my customers did too. However, I've also received many calls from customers using our old website. They had just pressed the submit button a couple of minutes ago and wanted to know why they didn't have an order confirmation. My idea then was to go through the order and respond to the customer via email. Times are changing! We will be adding extra features when we can, so come back regularly.
In 2009 we relocated to Riverview, Florida. One of those things when you don't own the building and the landlord has other plans.....his plans. After 10 years it was time to move.
We found a newly constructed strip mall that didn't mind the sounds of grinding metal and exploding tubes! This actually gave us a chance to professionalize our product presentation and tone down the athletic prowess needed by customers to reach certain items. If you were ever in our Plant City store, you know you needed the skills of a Steeplechase racer to get to bottle cages or other products. The other nice thing about the move is we didn't have to drive to a park to do test rides. We had a huge parking lot with a 3/4 mile long piece of asphalt around the store.
Well, weird things happen and we only stayed in this store for just one year. Sit down for a zany story of how life twists and turns. We usually do Bike Virginia every year in June. It's an incredibly well organized 4 - 5 day tour that is moved around to different locations in Virginia. An overnight stop on the drive up has always been a little town in Tennessee called Newport. We both grew up in a very small town and loved the "Mayberry" type feel this little burg had.
To compound our love for this area, there were beautiful mountain views, bluegrass music for me, and log homes....a buttload of log homes. My wife has been a log home nut for over 30 years. We must have several tons of log home living magazines, plans, etc. This was close to Nirvana for her.
So, on our way back home in 2009, we hooked up with a realtor and bought about 7 acres outside of Newport with an incredible view of the valley.
And the dream began. I kept thinking about drinking a beer on my deck after a long day at the bike shop. Then I thought how much it would cost!!! So, we started thinking maybe ten years down the road, maybe!
Fast forward to 2010. Once again, coming home from Bike Virginia. We stopped by the property to dream and enjoy the view. Our realtor got ahold of us and took us to the top of the mountain our land was located on. Just wanted to show us something he said! That's when I padlocked my wallet to my shorts and got ready for the hard sell.
He showed us a new log house, that was basically abandoned. The builder got 95% of the way through with it, then the housing market crashed and now the bank owned it. Unfortunately, a typical story for this country. It was bigger than what we wanted, but basically had all the floorplan features Linda wanted. So, I told him it was beautiful, but not really in our financial future. His reply was, you don't understand, they want this thing off the books and just want a bid. So, we went to lunch and thought about it. We decided to give them a bid for what the much smaller house we had in mind would cost. This didn't factor in the primo 8 acres this house was on. We submitted our bid and went home to forget about it.
August rolls around and we get a call. "Mr Power, you own a log home". Sure we own a.....ok, now I'm in trouble. What do I do with my Florida house and not to mention my business. This is where the story really gets nuts. We call our Florida realtor, she pounds a sign in our yard, with a "Six months if you are very lucky" comment. The very day, my neighbor two houses in back of me shoots and kills another neighbor over some stupid argument about kids skateboarding on the tennis court. You probably read about it as the Valrico, Florida school bus driver that killed a retired Air Force Iraqi vet. By 3 that afternoon, I had satellite news trucks, police tape around my trees and about 200 nosy neighbors trampling my front lawn! Hell, I won't sell this house in 6 years let alone 6 months and I lived in a nice neighborhood. My realtor comes rolling up in her Benz, puts her arm around me and says, "Maybe we should think about renting this place!" I decided to wait and hope the craziness would die down some.
Someone was looking out for me. October rolls around and the second couple to look at my house puts in a bid. We weren't going to make much, but it was going to sell. All of a sudden, we had a closing date right after Thanksgiving and the ole, you need to be out of the house by 21 November. Now I was getting scared. I'm actually moving here, and I have a 4,000 square foot store with a lease that isn't up until March.
So, we packed and left the store closed and spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in our new town and home.
I then drove back to Florida in January, packed the store in two Penske trucks and left for the final time. Breathe. Since then, my daughter and her baby and my son in college have all moved in with us. We are really enjoying dialing back the speed of life and enjoying what's important. We are also learning what that granny ring is on our cranksets! My commutte to work is 9 miles of what could be called agony. You know hills in both directions!
Hopefully, this answers the questions and comments from people calling me stupid and my favorite "you ever here of a business plan, there's no money in that town, who puts a recumbent shop in a town of 7,000 people". Got it! Sometimes in life you have to take a chance and thumb your nose at the so called industry experts.
I dearly miss my friends and customers in Florida, but the pace of life and the view, wow what views.
Please come see us sometime. We love to talk and if you love to climb, this is the place.