STERLING – Bryce Mead did not know he was speaking prophecy when he told a buddy last summer that he’d like to buy the space next to his bike shop.
About a week later, Heather Lanell, the photographer whose studio occupied the space, posted a notice on Facebook that she was moving.
“I didn’t expect it to happen so suddenly,” said Mead, co-owner of Mead’s Bike Shop.
He and his wife, Marcy Mead, bought the 1,000 square feet of space at 416 Locust St. and recently opened it as a showroom for about 50 mountain bikes.
The newly acquired space will be used to showcase certain bicycles; for cycling classes, informational sessions on bicycle safety and other issues; and for special events such as ladies’ night and men’s night.
The room also has a bar where folks can sit and have water or soda while their bikes are repaired or while a friend or family member shops. Mead plans to install a TV in the new room to live-stream the Tour de France.
“We’re trying to be cycling central for northwest Illinois or the Sauk Valley region,” Mead said. “It’s about a community, really.”
They moved the shop to 414 Locust St. about 2 years ago. Before that, the store was in Bazaar Americana, 609 W. Third St., for 7 years.
Mead used matching facade grants from Sterling Main Street for both of the Locust Street buildings.
“The facade program helped get us going,” he said. “[It] was huge for both buildings. The Sterling Main Street facade program has been undervalued.”
Mead is also president and co-founder of Tempo Velo Cycling Club, which has about 100 members, mostly from the Sauk Valley. From April through October, the group goes on three 18- to 50-mile bike rides a week: at 6 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 3 p.m. Saturdays. As many as 35 members have participated in some rides, he said.
The club also tries to promote safe cycling and works with the city on signs, Mead said.
“If you’re a cyclist, and you’re looking for other like-minded people, the club is a win-win,” he said.
Mead and Rick Rodgers of Sterling founded the group in 2009. The club welcomes riders from casual to racer.
About the shop and club
Mead's Bike Shop,414 Locust St. in Sterling, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.
Go to meadsbikeshop.com, find the shop on Facebook, or call 815-626-4601 for more information.
Bryce Mead also is president of Tempo Velo Cycling Club. Go to tempovelo.com for membership forms and more information, or call the bike shop.