Pequot Pedal and Paddle was born of local recommendations.
"I was up here showing houses and I was pretty impressed with the Americana feel of the town," said owner Guy Nelson. "This building was for sale. It's a little crooked. It's fun and has some quirkiness to it. I thought that was kind of my style. I went around town asking people what they would like rather than me trying to start a business and tell everybody what they should like. I want the community to support it, so I asked what they thought would survive and thrive and everybody said bike shop."
" "I have a passion for sports and a passion for creating new businesses. I always joke around and call myself an entremanure. I try a lot of crap and I'm always starting new businesses.""
— Guy Nelson.
The building, most recently housing the Wobbly Wardrobe and before that Calico Cottage, is on Main Street across from the Pequot Lakes American Legion. The business opened in the spring, though a lack of employees has made it hard to hold regular hours.
"I'd love to find someone to work here," Nelson said. "I pay commission on bike rentals and sales and it's been tough."
Nelson does open the shop when he's around, and with a quick phone call he can schedule to help those who call for his services. His goal, if he finds the employees he needs, is to be open Wednesday through Monday.
The shop is largely dedicated to renting bikes. He carries classic style Schwinn bikes and other iconic rides.
"I got these vintage style Venice Beach style bikes, because everybody likes classic bikes," Nelson said. "And since this town is kind of a Norman Rockwell town, I thought it'd be cool to do vintage classic bikes too, because the town's kind of classic and vintage."
" Basically my wall is your mall."
— Guy Nelson.
The shop has mountain style bikes and electric bikes available for rent or for sale. One unique, eye-catching item is a selection of new beach cruisers that are half long board and half bicycle.
Nelson specified that everything in the store can be bought - even the decor, which includes vintage motorcycles and boat motors, as well as wall hangings.
"It's all vintage, classic cabin decor," Nelson said. "I picked all that stuff out. Basically my wall is your mall. Anything in the state on the store walls is for sale, because everybody has a cabin up here and they think, 'Oh, that would look great in my cabin or my boathouse or my fan cave,' or in their basement or bar. So people can just pick stuff off the wall, whether it be old classic snowshoes or old skis or water skis, or vintage motors are popular too. So all this stuff is for sale and just kind of makes the shop unique and one-of-the-kind."
Nelson is working up to add kayaks or paddle boards to the mix, but for the time he is focusing on bikes and getting employees.
This is not Nelson's first foray into business. He is from Shoreview, where he runs a sports memorabilia business. Among his other products, he bought the Metrodome roof when it collapsed and uses it to make memorabilia to sell alongside seats and other items.
He also has a sports marketing business setting up promotions with athletes for autographs and meet and greets. And he's a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker. He's dipped his toe in other industries over time as well.
"I have a passion for sports and a passion for creating new businesses," Nelson said. "I always joke around and call myself an entremanure. I try a lot of crap and I'm always starting new businesses."
Customers can schedule bike rentals by calling Nelson at 651-895-0916.
Travis Grimler is a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal weekly newspaper in Pequot Lakes/Pine River. He may be reached at 218-855-5853 or email@example.com.