BIZ KIDS — These N.L. teens turned their family garage into a bike business

CBC Kids News • Published 2020-06-03 06:00

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Is your summer camp cancelled due to the pandemic?

Try shifting gears.

After finding out his summer gig as a camp counsellor was a no-go this year, Thomas Drover and his younger brother James thought of another way to make some cash this summer in Newfoundland.

They opened a bike shop in their garage.

The Drover brothers had to overtake their dad’s workshop to make room for bikes, tires and tools. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

A few weeks ago, the St. John’s brothers opened FlatOut Bicycle Service and Repairs, suspecting that there might be a higher demand than usual for bike repairs during the pandemic.

“So many people are looking to get outside and ride their bikes with all this free time that they have,” said Thomas. “It's an activity that you can do while you are social distancing.”

Thomas, 18, has taken on the administrative side of the business, such as responding to emails and co-ordinating repairs, while James, 16, is handling the hands-on work.

“I've been working 10 hours a day,” James said.

Since he has a driver’s licence, Thomas is responsible for picking up the bikes from clients and delivering them to his brother, James, to repair.  (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

As an avid cyclist, he picked up all of his repair skills from his dad.

“He couldn't do it for me all the time. I figured it was time for me to start learning my own stuff,” he said.

Now, learning those skills is paying off.

Since opening, the brothers are dealing with an “overwhelming number of requests,” but say they are keeping up with the heavy workload.

Looks like they’ll be keeping busy this summer after all.

With files from Jeremy Eaton/CBC

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