LEARNING TO SURVIVE IN THE MOTORCYCLE BUSINESS
In the fall of 1976 I ordered for
spring delivery a brand new 1977 Harley Davidson Superglide from Dave’s
While traveling to the many different Harley, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki dealerships over the three years that I ran the magazine I had noticed the explosive growth in ATV sales so I made the decision in the spring of 1985 to open All Terrain Charley's. I started the business as an ATV and motorcycle repair shop with $5,000 my wife had saved at her job at a bank, six months later I signed up as a Polaris ATV dealership and sold Polaris ATV’s for 10 years.
I also sold ATV, motorcycle and snowmobile parts and accessories but the largest percentage of my business was the sale of ATV and motorcycle tires. The first 10 years I ran All Terrain Charley’s I would take short naps in the rear shop, if anyone came in the front door my shop dog Quad runner would give a small bark and come back to wake me up. Quad runner was half American Bull Terrier and half English Bull Terrier, I called her a Canadian Bull Terrier, she was the greatest dog with women and kids but she was very selective with males.
I traded a local biker one new motorcycle tire for his Harley in exchange for Quad runner, she was the runt of the litter at 6 weeks old but I could see that she had spunk. The biker was on his way to the slammer so I got a good deal, he also knew I loved animals and that I would take good care of the pup.
I forgot to lock the shop door a few times at night but no one tried to remove anything from the shop, they may have made it into the shop but they would have been missing some body parts before they made their exit.
In 1998 I was admitted into a special Environmental Health Hospital run by Dalhousie University in Waverley Nova Scotia and since then I have been a guinea pig in an experimental program of treatments for people who are environmentally ill, the worst part of the treatments was that I would get mysterious infections after some of them. This special Environmental Hospital was set up because hundreds of doctors, nurses and other hospital staff had become environmentally ill from breathing harmful hospital exhaust fumes in the then new Camp Hill Hospital. When they built the Camp Hill Hospital someone had screwed up big time, they had designed the hospital with the exhaust vent for the hospital right next to the air intake. The new hospital opened but shortly after most of the staff including many doctors and nurses got very sick. The Workers Compensation sent the same doctor that had talked to me to investigate the hospital situation to see if there was a problem and determine if all these hospital workers had a legitimate claim. She determined that there was no problem with the hospital, she did not take the time to investigate to find out about the hospitals air exhaust and this was only brought to light after they sent a new person to investigate the situation. To my knowledge out of the hundreds who worked at that hospital and got sick only one person ever received Workers Compensation.
Since 1999 I have gradually returned to a good state of health most of the time but once in awhile I get laid up for a few weeks because of exhaustion from having to deal with stresses on my immune system from exposures to smoke, alcohol, perfumes and to food that I am allergic to.
I feel blessed that I can function at a reduced level and my wife Diane says I do alright for an old geezer. We joined the Dartmouth Volksmarch hiking club 10 years ago and we have traveled to many provinces, states in the USA and European countries to hike.
In the year 2000 I set up a
I sold www.atvtires.com in September 2011.
I retired in early November 2007.
For all those years it was my pleasure to serve the motorcycle community and in my eyes it was my customers and friends that made my dream come true.
NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAMS
KEEP YOUR DREAMS ALIVE
Your health is the most important thing you have, take care of it.