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Brent finishes 15-year ride

Brent Sowry of Happy Valley Cycles is selling his business. PHOTO/ELI HILL

Eli Hill

After 15 years at the helm of Happy Valley Cycles Brent Sowry is switching gear and has put the business on the market.

“One of the things that helped with the decision was the lockdown thing, I’d been toying with the idea for some period now, because I’m old enough to do it. It’s about time to let someone else have a go.”

Sowry, now 67, had been a long-time cyclist before he took over the business after moving back into the region.

“I used to run service stations in Wellington and then sold and moved up to Wairarapa. This was down the road, it was on the market, and I thought I’d have a go.

“I grew up here, it wasn’t plan A to come back here but I like it.”

Sowry, says the “cycling scene” is in a good space at the moment.

“It’s a good time for someone to come in and take it on. I mean we’ve got the e-bikes hitting the market big time.”

The technology on bikes has “gone crazy” over the past seven or eight years.

“I mean not just the e-bikes but normal bikes… you’ve got hydraulic disc brakes, they’ve got whiz banging suspension, and massive amounts of travel so you can jump off cliffs.”

Over his time at the store Sowry has been involved in the cycling club Athletics and Cycling Masterton “pretty much the whole time”.

“I’ve been running the races now for not quite 15 years. At club races, I’m a national connoisseur and I do most of our club races here.”

While he’s keen to hang up the tools at the bike shop Sowry wants to keep up his involvement with the club.

“In fact, I may do more of that.”

‘I do next to no track connoisseuring because there’s no track here, but I wouldn’t mind getting into it.”

He has part-time workers including one who has been at the shop for 10 years and is ‘a top mechanic’.

“We’ve also had lots of school students through that we’ve mentored on to other things.”

While the club has been one of Sowry’s highlights, he says seeing children walk out of the store with bikes, and smiles on their faces is “really cool”.

“You’ve got to be happy enough to work, it’s retail… I do quite a few hours. But I find it quite rewarding.”

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