Seven-time Ironman competitor purchases Cycle Werks

Julie Theroux is a triathlete, a USAT All-American, Kona Qualifier and finisher, and one of the new partners taking over Cycle Werks.

Julie Theroux is a triathlete, a USAT All-American, Kona Qualifier and finisher, and one of the new partners taking over Cycle Werks.

By Chris Galford- While winter might put bikes on the mental backburner for many, for some, like Julie Theroux, it’s a season of preparation and change. Julie, along with her husband Bob and partners Jonathan and Laura Hoag, took over Cycle Werks— located in Whitehouse and Bowling Green, respectively — at the end of October, with plans to funnel a passion for fitness into a full service bike business.

Passion perhaps doesn’t do things justice when it comes to Julie. Drive might be more appropriate. Just this year — in the same month in which she finalized her place in Cycle Werks — Julie finished the Kona Ironman in Hawaii, an event not unlike the Super Bowl for triathletes. In all, though, she has finished seven full Ironman competitions, is a nationwide competitor, and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

To break it down: The Ironman triathlon is a series of long-distance races consisting of 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of bicycling and a 26.2-mile marathon run, raced in that particular order and without any breathers in between. Complete the event, become an “Ironman,” because at that point, a competitor will have just completed one of the most difficult one-day sporting events on earth. For an event like that, year-round preparation is key.

While an Ohio — and Whitehouse — native, this will only be Julie’s third year back in-state, after moving away in 1981. She originally moved back from Phoenix to take care of her parents as a full-time caretaker — but even in those moments of devotion, her appetite for fitness never wavered.

Since returning to Ohio, she has been a frequent customer of Cycle Werks herself.

“Being an avid cyclist and triathlete, the owner asked me if I would be interested in working part time, because he was interested in having a woman’s touch in the store. That would be two years ago, in early spring. Then I found out he was interested in selling, after 33 years of being in the business. I told him I was interested in buying the stores,” Julie said.

For a partner in the endeavor, she turned to Jon, a local rep for Valdora — the bike brand Julie uses in competitions.

“When I moved here, the owners of Valdora introduced me to Jon, because he happened to live in Whitehouse. Fast forward, I’m going out for a ride, I encounter Jon on his bike. I told him, ‘I want to talk to you. I’m buying Cycle Werks, I want to bring in Valdora, but I don’t want to step on your toes, so I want to talk with you about a partnership.’ We started talking, he said he’d be interested in coming on as a partner if I was interested — and I was,” said Julie.

Their partnership has also produced quick results. In the matter of months since they took over, Jon has introduced a full line of fitness equipment to the store, including treadmills, weights and functional fitness trainers — at once broadening the store’s stock and its winter potential.

“In September, October, sales on bicycles just tank. But that’s the time fitness starts to go up. Fitness high season is in the winter, bike high season is in the summer,” Julie said.

What’s more, Julie has added a women’s store to Cycle Werks, providing a locale specifically for female cyclists, offering bicycles, clothing, saddles, shoes, gloves and more. Putting her own knowledge and experience to good use, Julie intends to work with her customers therein to guarantee that all cyclists’ needs are met.

“I plan to work with women individually to help them find the perfect fit, the perfect product for whatever their goals are (from recreational riders to serious triathletes). I know what works, I have experienced a lot of trial and error, and have tons of experience and knowledge in both short and long racing,” Julie said.

The store will also be offering basic maintenance classes for bike owners, spinning classes, and in January, their fitness equipment will be in focus, along with accessories such as wetsuits and triathlon clothing, as well as carbon wheels. They also do fittings for the lot. A triathlon store has been added to the mix, with an Internet shopping site to follow sometime after January, and beginning in the spring, Cycle Werks will start offering rental bikes.

For all the changes coming to Cycle Werks, though, Julie and her partners have no intention of stopping there.

“I hope to make our stores in Whitehouse and Bowling Green a destination for all cyclists. We will be installing a rider’s lounge and will offer hot chocolate, coffee and tea in the winter and a smoothie bar, juice, water and cold drinks (for sale) in the summer,” Julie said.

Essentially, “Whatever you want, we’re your full-service, full-line provider of triathlon bikes and accessories,” Julie said.

Show your support for local businesses! Contact Julie and the rest of the Cycle Werks team at 419-877-1000; visit the website at http://www.shopcyclewerks.com; or visit one of Cycle Werks two locations at either 6760 Providence St., Whitehouse, Ohio, or 248 S. Main St., Bowling Green, Ohio.