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Rattlesnake Lake Cycles sets up shop in North Bend From the Web to the streets
An office career couldnt quite cut it for six-year Valley resident Ric Howland.
A bike lover, racer and former national competitor, Howland started a bicycle business online four years ago. On April 1, he opened his first brick-and-mortar bike shop in North Bend.
Rattlesnake Lake Cycles is located at 410 Main Ave. S., North Bend. Howland is building his selection, balancing between high-end pro models and bicycles and gear for all ages that can fit into a family budget.
I love working on bikes, selling bikes, talking to people about bikes, Howland said. To me, theyre really elegant. Its the most efficient transfer of manpower to motion that you can get.
One look at Howland, and you might not assume hes a cyclist. For one thing, he went to state three times as a wrestler. Howlands love affair with bicycles began in an offhand way. He got involved in marathons, then triathlons, and discovered he was a natural in the cycling portion. From there, he went on to bicycle sprint racing and other competitive track matches, racing on the national level.
Ive always worked on my own bikes, he said. Hes managed bike shops in California and Washington.
After he stopped racing, he joined the Marine Corps, then got a real job, working in operations management for 15 years.
Its not a lot of interaction, he said of his former line of work. Id rather create my own destiny than have somebody do it for me.
What I really enjoy is working with people on bikes, Howland said.
Somebody will come in here, I dont care if its a kid or some guy who wants a $5,000 road bike. Well sit and jab for a while, and I find out more about him and what he really needs, and get him the bike that he needs.
I like being a good neighbor, getting people what they need, not necessarily what I have in stock or trying to bump them up to the