Shop Small Day 218: Riverbrook Bike & Ski

In the past 10 years I think I have rode my bicycle twice. So the reason I was intrigued to check out today's shop was less about the inventory and more about the building itself. But, I left the store feeling enthusiastic about both! Riverbrook Bike & Ski isn't just a great small shop, it's a little bit of history.

Owner Tim Swift's enthusiasm about the building, biking, and skiing is infectious. Tim is charismatic and spent a ton of time answering our questions and sharing his knowledge. I just read that he's a "former professional road cyclist/mountain bike racer/cyclo-cross nationals competitor and perennial elite skier"- I guess we won't hold it against him then that he went to U of M!

Whether your idea of a bike ride means racing, rugged terrain, daily commute, or a means to get from one coffee shop to the next, Riverbrook will help you find the perfect bike (or service a bike that's been hung up for a while).

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They even have an option for those who aren't deterred by a little snow or ice. Check out the crazy huge wheels!

They have tons of biking gear, but even if you aren't a serious biker there's plenty of cute tops and dresses too.

What happens in the winter months? The store basically switches gears to cross-country (not a bad a idea for a town that holds one of the biggest cross-country races in the world).

Despite the cool gear & cute clothes, I wasn't drawn to the shop for the inventory, I was intrigued by the building.

imageRiverbrook Bike & Ski is housed inside a Carnegie Library.

As an avid reader (and one that essentually considers the library a second home), I'm embarrassed to say I hadn't heard of these small-town libraries.

Apparently in the late 1800's - early 1900's Andrew Carnegie donated 2509 libraries around the world, about 1700 of which are in the US.

Over time most towns have outgrown these libraries and they've been converted to stores and offices. I'm now on a quest to find one for residential sale.

imageAs soon as I walked into Riverbrook I felt like I wanted to move in. Much of the woodwork and doors are original. They've even used many of the bookshelves as display racks.

I think I may have found a new challenge for 2014, visiting these libraries across the country!

Thanks for the history lesson, Tim. And, thanks for making me want to dust off my bike when I get back home.

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Riverbrook Bike & Ski
15838 US HWY 63 (Main St)
Hayward, WI
715.634.0437

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