Chesapeake Cycles Celebrates New Location, 10 Years
The three men behind the Annapolis motorcycle dealer talk about how they ended up where they are—in a larger space with more drive-by traffic and years of experience in the business.
Although they've only moved a mile from their old location, Chesapeake Cycles is hoping the new shop brings them something they didn't have before—greater street visibility.
The motorcycle dealer moved to a highly visible location in Parole near Westfield Annapolis mall in November 2012.
The new location is stationed near the intersection of Defense and Generals highways, not far from their original location in an industrial area off of Bestgate Road on the other side of the mall.
"We went from 7,000 to 16,000 square feet," said Mike Eichhorn, one of three partners in Chesapeake Cycles. "We went from drive-by traffic from literally about two cars a day to 20,000, if I had to guess."
Though the previous location had its limitations, Eichhorn explained that didn't prevent them from reaching customers. The business, which will be celebrating 10 years in May, represents three brands—Victory, Triumph and Vespa.
"We remained a top ten dealer and the mid-Atlantic's number one Victory dealer for 10 years in a spot that was limited in size and completely hidden in visibility," he said.
Chesapeake Cycles was started by two of the three partners—Eichhorn and Frank Miller, after they decided to leave the corporate world behind.
"Nineteen years of that [corporate world] led to a desire to do something for ourselves," Eichhorn said.
Eichhorn's wife suggested he should parlay his love of motorcyles into a business. He laughed and added there might have been an ulterior motive for his wife: She wanted him to get rid of and/or find a place for the many motorcycle parts they had in their garage.
A third partner, Mike Balazs, recently joined Eichhorn and Miller—though he is no stranger to the business.
"Mike was our service manager," Eichhorn said. "He'd been here for nine years and recently became a partner."
Chesapeake Cycles will be hosting an open house on April 20 featuring food, entertainment, demo rides, clinics, prizes and discounts. The business offers clinics and group rides on a regular basis and emphasized they are open to all riders, regardless of brand owned.
"We're all sharing this sport together," Eichhorn said. "We're enthusiasts of the sport and we welcome enthusiasts."
CORRECTION: This article was updated to reflect the correct spelling of Mike Eichhorn's name. Patch regrets the error.