Because the basement is naturally warm and dry, it’s also ideal for the winter bike storage, especially those owned by often-deployed soldiers stationed at nearby Fort Riley. A 150-foot hill blocks the north wind, while a row of trees across the highway blocks the south wind, forming “a little oasis,” Jaecke says.
The store also has the good fortune of being between two off-ramps, allowing people 20 seconds in both directions to decide whether to exit.
The retail store above the basement has three levels. The main entrance is on a side of the building not facing the highway. Fifteen feet from the doors is a greeting/checkout counter at which an employee is always present. Customers enter onto the carpeted PG&A area, from which they can see the tiled vehicle showroom three feet below, accessible via three sets of stairs and a winding ramp.
Everything is department-store clean. Numerous windows and high finished ceilings make the showroom light and airy.
The third level is a walled-off mezzanine that includes Jaecke’s office. Windows allow him to look out over the entire retail space.
Attached to the side of City Cycle Sales’ vehicle showroom is the 80-foot-long covered porch seen from the highway above the shrubbery spelling out “Live to Ride,” which is illuminated at night. The porch provides additional display space, a place for smokers, and even the occasional live band.
City Cycle Sales hosts community organizations on a regular basis in its basement, on its showroom and in its large meeting room. “This is a friendly place,” Jaecke says. “We probably run it more like a clubhouse than we do a business.”
Through October of last year, the dealership had donated to more than 85 benefit rides, golf tournaments and poker runs, giving away more than $25,000 in cash, merchandise and store credit. City Cycle Sales helps out schools, churches, rider trainer courses, government agencies, sports teams, hospitals, jails, rodeos, marching bands, toy runs, and on and on. It regularly donates and loans out vehicles.
The store helps the military with its Safety Day training and caters to the base in other ways. Jaecke even picked up a Suzuki franchise a few years ago primarily because he noticed the brand’s popularity among soldiers.
The friendly atmosphere extends to the service department. No wall separates the five service bays from customers, who often use the department’s handy platform lift. Technicians keep their areas clean by using a freight elevator to transport clutter to the basement, where new units are assembled. The basement also has a wash bay and a 500-gallon tank holding waste oil poured into a sink on the floor above.
City Cycle Sales offers a low labor rate of $60 per hour, a pickup-and-delivery service, loaner vehicles, a full gas tank with each service, and a nice waiting area with free Wi-Fi. HOG members of any chapter receive a 10 percent discount on parts and accessories. The store has no limit on vehicle age.