COPPERAS COVE — Larry Brooks launched Larry’s Bike Shop in 1978 because he loves bicycles and saw a community need for the business; his passion for cycling has kept the store open for 35 years.
“I was in an exercise routine at the time and started to ride as part of that,” Brooks said. “I liked bikes, but there wasn’t a bike shop around here, so I opened one.”
At the time, Brooks left his job as a computer technician at Fort Hood to follow his dream.
“I love riding them, working on them, and I enjoy talking to people who are interested in them,” Brooks said. “Bicycle people are unique.”
He especially enjoys helping people who are interested in using bicycles as a form of transportation and/or exercise.
“I know a man who lost over 100 pounds just by starting to commute by bicycle,” Brooks said. “Cycling is a great way to exercise, because it’s a lot easier on the joints than running.”
Brooks cycles everywhere and spends no money on gasoline. Besides being an expert at fixing bicycles, he builds bicycles for customers.
“I really enjoy the freedom of being my own boss and setting my own hours,” Brooks said.
Brooks advises beginning businessmen to start small.
“Don’t go into debt buying your equipment and supplies,” he said. “I try to avoid getting loans from the banks. If I can’t pay for something with cash, I will wait to buy it.”