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In any economic climate, losing your “bricks and mortar” business to a fire could be devastating. However, even with a guaranteed eventual return, losing your retail bicycle sales and service business at the peak of the highest sales season, might be just as devastating. That could have been the case for Cyclesport, a full-service highly regarded bike shop, in Park Ridge, NJ, when on April 25, 2009, a late day electrical fire took them and their shop off the road.

The reputation and tenacity of owners, Michael and Tracy Grotz and the entire Cyclesport staff, landed them into a temporary space, due to the generosity of another local business owner, Davey’s Locker, less than five days after the smoke lifted and the firemen’s cold water evaporated.

Michael Grotz’s promise to be back within 10 days seemed a lofty goal, but with the help of good neighbors, dedicated staff and a loyal customer base, they beat that goal by five days.

Mike wrote on the shop’s homepage: “Tracy and I have told our children from the time they were young, to treat everyone you meet in life the same way you wish to be treated. The payback is beyond what we could have ever dreamed.”

Cyclesport’s original founder, Mike’s dad, Walter Grotz, and the current team led by Michael and Tracy, are feeling the payback of 47 years of honest, reliable, and friendly service. Good for them and good for Cyclesport customers who have come to depend upon their goods and services.

If a business owner, are you conducting yourself, your customer service and day-to-day business in a manner that would motivate your customers and neighboring businesses to come to your rescue? Customers or owners, share your stories of success and how customer relationships have kept you running in times of trouble.

Mike, I only have one thing to say about Cyclesport – you’re Smokin’!


  1. Joanne Novak

    You could not have been more ‘right on.’ The guys at Cyclesport are the best in the business with customer care and customer support. Why wouldn’t the community respond so well! It was a shocking and sad situation to see the town institution go up in smoke, but the words shared with the customers were nothing but positive, confident and demonstrating resilience.

  2. phoenix

    Spot on!We need to read/hear more about how people are rising above the effects of this bad economy and helping others!!

  3. Melanie

    Customer relationships and Strategic thinking is crucial. I wish more businesses paid attention to longer term thinking and planning

  4. Carl Fenstermacher

    The only way to live is to treat everyone the way you’d want to be treated. What you give is truly What you get.
    (Good writing Janine)

  5. Dorene

    The folks at Cyclesport are professional and pleasant to deal with. So are the folks at Davey’s Locker. Customers who keep coming back to business’s such as these appreciate quality. It is similar in the workplace. Employers who appreciate hard work and quality output will keep and work with employees who provde quality work. Sure, there are people who just want the cheapest product (as in the case of a business), or the quickest service (as in the case of employees), but will they return or will they support you when times are rough?

  6. NJ

    This is a wonderful story and it’s so true that you get what you give. I’m so glad that these guys were able to get back on their way so quickly and had a lot of support.

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