Because of all this, long-distance travelers who initially stop by just to use the restroom often end up returning for service or a new bike.
“We got a letter not too long ago from a guy who lives 125 miles away,” Jaecke says. “He said he always thought that anybody who would drive over 50 or 100 miles to get work done on a motorcycle had to be loony, but he said that in our case it was worth the trip.”
A new crop of motorcyclists will discover City Cycle Sales this June when the store hosts the annual HOG State Rally after last doing so five years ago. “And being the 50th anniversary, it’ll be even bigger, I’m afraid,” Jaecke says.
Indeed, the staff is now planning how to celebrate the milestone Jaecke would soon rather forget. He has similar feelings toward returning customers to whom he sold a motorcycle when they were in high school. “Now they’re a lawyer or a judge or about to retire,” he says with good humor. “I say, ‘God, I’ve been at this for a long time.’
“There’s getting to be fewer and fewer of us that started out as mom-and-pops,” he continues. “Most of them were smart, and when business got good, they sold. But I don’t know what I’d do if I quit.”
This story originally appeared in the April 2012 issue. Photography by Gary Rohman.