Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Walk right in, pedal out

NKU team helps plan business

By Terry Flynn
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEWPORT — Jason Reser never doubted that a bicycle shop could be a success in downtown Newport. Along the way he convinced the folks at Northern Kentucky University's Small Business Development Center.

Saw a niche
        Mr. Reser, 21, a Fort Thomas native who grew up and still resides in Milford, was the Kentucky and Ohio off-road bicycle racing champion in 1995-96. But he also developed a skill in repairing and merchandising bikes in six years at Bishop's Bicycles in Milford.

        “I felt there were a lot of niches (in bicycling) that weren't covered by other shops,” he said. “There were a lot of people in this area who bought bikes by mail order because they couldn't find what they wanted here, but they often were disappointed with delays and lack of service.”

        That led to the birth of Reser Bicycle Outfitters in the old bank building at Eighth and Monmouth streets in the heart of Newport's central business district.

        Mr. Reser carries everything from mountain bikes for the kids to $4,200 hand-made Colnago Italian racing bikes.

Sought advice
        Because this was the Moeller High School grad's first business endeavor, he approached officials at the Small Business Development Center at NKU for assistance.

        Sam Asmah, assistant director of the center, said he personally worked with Mr. Reser to analyze financial projections, make certain that his research was correct and that the location was good for the project.

        “The people at the center weren't sure at first that the old bank building was the best place for me, but I used information from the city about how the area is changing, and they agreed with me that this was the right spot,” Mr. Reser said.

The money angle
        Mr. Asmah also assisted Mr. Reser in locating potential pitfalls and determining that he had adequate financing to see him through the early days of the business.

        “We helped him with his presentation to the bank when he sought financing,” Mr. Asmah said.

        “He attended our workshops on subjects like accounting and legal ramifications. He was very diligent about doing everything. He set up a timetable and met it.”

Hands-on help
        Mr. Reser is assisted in the repair side of the business by 41-year-old fellow bike racer Syd Smith, an engineer specializing in hydro geology who said he is looking for a career change.

        “Jason and I met through the (bike) riding community,” Mr. Smith said. “I've been riding all my life, including racing. I thought this (bike repair) would be a good thing to try while I'm looking at other career opportunities.”

        Mr. Reser said he has had a number of customers compliment his location. In the past, they had been forced to drive longer distances to buy a bike or obtain repair and service.

Easy access
        “We're central to a lot of areas, including downtown Cincinnati,” he said. “Most of the specialty bike shops are in suburban locations. And some other stores that sell bicycles don't offer any service.”

        Newport Main Street Coordinator Eric Avner said the bicycle shop is exactly the type of new business the city wants to attract.

        “As the business district changes and grows, I think we'll see a lot more specialty businesses coming here,” he said.


CPS approves merit pay plan for teachers
Details of the merit pay system
Priest, historian to lead Xavier
Graham hopes to build on success
Academic stays active shepherding a parish
PULFER: If Genius of Water could talk
Officer cleared in fatal shooting
3 saw cop shoot - but not same way
Report defines unequal mortality
Rick Beck will lead teachers' union
Some teachers regain jobs
Tough coaching style is out
C average for athletes argued
Man is due explanation, police admit
Pair offer to clean up property or raze home
KNIPPENBERG: Good samaritan saves little Sheba the dog
Buddhist group touts meditation
Buddhism gains higher profile in Cincinnati
CCO names Santora its maestro
CCO ends 'tryout' season on memorable note
KIESEWETTER: 'Frasier' falls back to Tuesday
Know Theater's 'Rebel County' edgy, engrossing
Pig Parade: Pig of Possibilities
Queen City's moments to shine reflected in book
Butler seeks probe of forgiven tax penalties
Constable killed in '22 gets a hero's memorial
Court ruling means tax cut much less likely now in Ohio
Covington Schools gain on computers
Fish dying on Ky. River
Florence to ask Boone for funds
Grad Night arrests rise slightly
Hearing delayed in priest stabbing
Move to oust city manager
Panel hears from workers
Pressure mounts to fill empty chairs at MRDD
Rancor on school board
Student seeks honor for officer
Study: Low-level lead hazard
Symphony's name change hits clinker
Tough year for tobacco farmers
- Walk right in, pedal out