It was a big step for Dan Ibbitson, owner of Sheldonville Bicycle Repair. He walked away from a 25 year career right into the unknown of business ownership. But, it was a chance to spend his days living his passion and find enjoyment in his work. "Maintaining and repairing bicycles is something I enjoy so I made the big step to make it a full-time thing and see if I could make a go of it," he says.
The move wasn't a stretch for him. For decades he had been involved in cycling and that passion for riding turned into an interest in maintenance and repair. He started doing repairs on his bike and that expanded to friends' bikes. Through word of mouth in the cycling community, he started doing the work more and more. "More often than not it was a friend and I would do the repair free of charge," he says. "I've probably been doing that for 10 years."
Before he was a business owner, he sold heavy earth moving equipment. But after a quarter century in that business he began to feel burned out. He and his wife sat down early last year to see if was possible to turn his passion into a real business. "I'm getting a little bit older and wanted to do something I enjoyed," he says.
Once they decided to take the plunge and start Sheldonville Bicycle Repairs, he went about doing everything necessary to run a business. "I went before the Town and got my business permit and my business license. I got business insurance and then we started to advertise with lawn signs," he said. He put a big sign at the end of his driveway and went to work. "It's going better than expected," he says. "The signage and web site have really helped, along with a few other things we've done to spread the word that I have a shingle out there and I'm open for business."
Sheldonville Bicycle Repair is a maintenance and repair shop located in his home at 277 Hancock Street, Wrentham, MA, just a stone's throw from the Pan Mass Challenge Bicycle route. Ibbitson offers flat repair, works on brakes and deals with shifting problems. He also offers a tune up package and wheel repair. Sheldonville Bicycle Repair is equipped to handle issues related to bicycles, tricycles, tandems, cyclocross, mountain bikes, road bikes, and anything bike related. "I have experience with all that stuff," he says. "Over the years I've pretty much worked on any bicycle you can imagine."
He does have a few products cyclists need in a pinch as well as inventory for work on the bicycles. 'I do have the staples you need - inner tubes, cables, chains, bike seats that people might need on short notice."
Ibbitson is holding an open house at Sheldonville Bicycle Repairs on April 28th, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 277 Hancock St., Wrentham.