When you walk in the door of Mike’s Bike Shop in Berlin, you are surrounded by bicycles, biking gear, and the subtle scents of metal and wood. It’s obvious that the owner has a heart for bicyclists. Mike Radke appears from the back workshop, cup of black coffee in hand, and greets you with a warm smile. You immediately know your bike will be in good hands.
Mike began his love of business when he still worked in his parents’ store, Arrow Service Center, as a teenager. A few years later, in 1984, he founded Mike’s Bike Shop.
“When I opened up, I said I’d give my new shop five years,” Mike says as he sips his coffee, hiding a smile. “It turns out, I’ve been able to support a wife and three children with this business.”
There are helmets and clothing; balance bikes for the youngest cyclist; and mountain, racing, and road bikes for older enthusiasts. Mike’s passion is clear; he only sells the best models, including Trek, Surly, and Sun recumbent and adult tricycles.
At Mike’s Bike Shop, you will find a few things that make the store stand out. Not only can you order any shape and style bike in production, you can order the shape and style bike that fits your body type and bicycling needs exactly. Mike has a custom bicycle measuring machine that allows people to order an exclusive frame from Waterford Precision Cycles, a Wisconsin company. In this way, people with unique needs or those who desire the perfect fit for their cycling will come away fully satisfied. “Every bicycle I sell is the nicest bicycle anyone has ever owned, and I treat it that way.”
Additionally, Mike’s Bike Shop is a full-service repair shop. Mike can rebuild anything from spokes and forks to bent frames and wheels. “I have many repeat customers; people come back to me year after year because we’ve built that level of trust. Everyone gets the same attention to detail whether it’s a simple kid’s bike or a top-of-the-line triathlon bicycle.”
When he’s not working in his shop, Mike contributes to the local community as assistant chief to the Berlin Volunteer Fire Department. He has faithfully worked accidents and emergencies since 1989. If a call comes in, he locks the shop and races to the fire. His customers have been extremely understanding during the times he’s had to unexpectedly shut the doors. “The way I see it, a person can only do three things really well; I choose my family, this shop, and the fire department.”
It’s evident in his care for his bicycle clients, his family, and the Berlin community that Mike is indeed doing those three things very well. Mike’s Bike Shop is open year-round, but the busy season is March through October. The store is located at 117 E. Huron Street. You can also call (920) 361-3565 or find his shop on Facebook.
Rebekah Sell is a freelance writer and blogger in the Fox Valley.